Cloning Avocado?

nicsoapdshJuly 5, 2009

Can someone please explain to me why it is recommended to graft an avocado cutting onto a plant that you've already started from seed? Rather than just taking a short cutting from the tree, applying rooting hormone, planting that into your medium, and covering with a humidity dome?

I've got a few seedlings going right now, but from what I'm reading it sounds like the fruit (if they fruit) could take up to a decade and will be unpredictable. But the grafting sounds a bit complicated. I've had good results using coco coir for rooting several other plants in the I'd like to just be able to take a cutting.

If I do that and don't graft it, A) will it even work? and B) will it take much longer than a grafted plant to grow to full size?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Avocado are bud-grafted onto rootstock for lots of reasons. For one, a root stock can be selected which will offer resistance to root rot, something that avocados are prone to. Second, bud-grafting is very easy and highly successful. This technique has been used for fruit trees of all kinds, roses, and other plants for generations.

One can select the fruit cultivar of choice without worrying about what might be an inherently weak root system. Also, using a clonal selection (the grafts), you will be certain of the kind of avocado you'll end up with.

According to what I've read, cuttings from avocado are rather difficult to strike. (Plus, you don't get the benefit from a well chosen root stock.)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 4:26PM
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Cuttings can be done with a misting bed and young plants, the older the plant becomes the harder it is to root the cuttings. Due to the need for a misting bed, most people find it easier to graft verses cuttings.

Very few growers select a rootstock for root rot, since most varieties do fine with rot, its based more on volume of fruits they can acquire for the seedling rootstock. Also bud grafting is very rarely used in avocado's the use of veneer grafting is primarily used.

Grafting has a higher rate of success over cuttings, we get about 85% success rate with graft verses around 50% with cuttings, we do not sell the cuttings but use them for experimenting and documentation of the practice. We are trying to find a method of cuttings that is more reliable and cost effective.

There is no real benefit from rooting verses grafting in the long haul as far as the consumer is concerned. The fruit time is the same as long as the cutting was from a tree that was mature enough to fruit.

Seedlings however will take 8-10 years to fruit with about a 98% fruit rate. Seedlings that are not grafted tend to produce much more fruit then grafted trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nipa Hut Gardens and Gifts

    Bookmark   July 10, 2009 at 3:24AM
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I know this thread has been long dead but I'm hoping someone will pick up my post and be able to help me out.

So I caught the dwarf fruit tree bug and, after researching what's appropriate for my zone, I invested much time and money to hunt down, buy and ship, among others, a Carrie mango, an Emperor lychee, and Holiday and Wurtz avocados.

Now, like any proud parent, I would really like to have "keikis" -- baby mangos, lychees and avocados. So I was able to find a few great instructional videos on how to airlay mango and lychee trees. But, when it came to avocados, I could find only one not-so-convincing post on airlayering an avocado. Grafting is out of the question for me ... so my question is can avocado trees be airlayered? Why or why not?

If anyone out there lives in Hawaii (on Oahu) and can help me airlayer my Holiday and Wurtz (and any or all of my precious dwarf fruit trees), you are welcome to take home one of each airlayering. In addition to the ones above, I also have Gold Nugget, Tango, Kishu and Owari Satsuma mandarins, a Mayer lemon, a Burst lime, a Nordmann kumquat, Anna and Dorsett apples, a Izu persimmon, and a Garden Prince almond. If you have something I don't, maybe we can exchange keikis.
Warm Mahalo,

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:00PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

your local extension office.. see link.. might be able to refer you to a local person.. who might show you or do the job for you ... for a reasonable price ...

i dont suppose.. there is an avocado society out there.. lol ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Aloha Ken,
Thanks for the link ... I'll see if someone there is willing to help for a reasonable price. I've actually been told by some of the foremost tropical fruit tree growers hat there is no such thing as a true dwarf mango or lychee, and that they're not familiar with true warf avocados, like Wurtz or Holiday. Which is why I posted here to learn from the real experts. Lol.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 7:34PM
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