Avocado Tree Fruiting: Everything You Need to Know

When Do Avocado Trees Bear Fruit

Avocado toast, shake, ice cream, guacamole – avocados have become a staple in millennial food fads. But who can we blame when they’re both delicious, nutritious and versatile enough to fit all our sweet and savory cravings?

We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about avocado tree fruiting and the tricks of the trade to ensure you’ll enjoy a bountiful harvest.

When does an avocado tree bear fruit?

When does an avocado tree bear fruit
Image: Gardeningetc

An avocado tree generally bears fruit three to four years after planting a grafted tree or five to 13 years after planting a seed. Once an avocado tree reaches its mature fruiting stage, it will produce fruit all year round. 

The time an avocado tree bears fruits depends on factors such as variety, climate and care. For instance, Hass avocado varieties produce fruits within three to four years, while Fuerte varieties take up to seven years before producing avocados.

The climate also affects avocado fruiting. Since avocado trees need warm weather to fruit, they may take longer to do the same in cooler temperatures.

Avocado trees usually produce fruits between April to September and enjoy those fruits all year round. Once picked, you only have to wait a few weeks for the avocado to ripen.

What time of the year does avocado fruit ripen?

What time of the year does avocado fruit ripen
Image: Reader’s Digest

Avocadoes generally ripen from spring to fall, with their peak season during summer. Most avocado trees mature during September, depending on the variety and climate where it is grown. 

Here’s a table of the ripening seasons of common avocado varieties.

VarietyRipening Months
HassApril to September
FuerteFebruary to October
BaconDecember to March
PinkertonJune to August
EttingerJuly to November

Do avocado trees produce fruit every year?

Do avocado trees produce fruit every year
Image: Epic Gardening

Avocado trees do not produce fruit every year from planting. During its first years, it will focus its energy on the growth and storage of nutrients and energy, but once it becomes a fully matured avocado tree, it will produce fruit every year.

Other factors that can delay avocado fruiting are overfertilization and over-pruning. They tend to stress out the plant and disrupt their fruit production process. 

There are also biennial or alternate-bearing avocado trees. They only flower and produce fruits every other year. 

Usually, after a year of hefty avocado production, the tree’s resources are exhausted, and the tree needs a whole year to recover its strength and prepare for production for the following year.

Some gardeners prevent biennial bearing on avocado trees by thinning the flowers and fruit in heavy production years.

How many avocado fruits can one tree produce in a year?

How many avocado fruits can one tree produce in a year
Image: California Avocados

An avocado tree can produce between 200 to 300 fruits every year. Each fruit can weigh as much as five pounds and will ripen within three to eight days after being picked out of the tree.

Fruiting still depends on factors like variety, plant care and climate. Some avocado trees are alternate-bearing, which means they may produce more fruits in one year and less the following year. 

The good news is that avocado trees can live up to 400 years old with proper care. So, even your great-grandkids can enjoy avocados for a long time.

How can I tell if my tree will bear fruit?

How can I tell if my tree will bear fruit
Image: Rennie Orchards

An avocado tree is ready to bear fruit when it produces small yellow-green flowers, usually during springtime. These flowers will also open and close over two days, which signals that the avocado tree will bear fruit in no time.

Avocado trees start bearing fruits within 3 to 13 years of planting, depending on whether it was planted as a grafted tree or a seed. Once mature, the tree produces yellow-green flower buds, which show that the tree is healthy and ready for fruiting. 

Note that avocados are not automatically ripened when appearing on the tree. Instead, they become soft and ripe about a week after harvesting.

Why is an avocado tree not bearing fruit?

Why is an avocado tree not bearing fruit
Image: thrifty fun

An avocado tree may not bear fruit because of the age of the tree, pollination failure, nutrient deficiency, irrigation problems, extreme temperatures, seed problems, wind and excessive salt.

Let’s discuss how each factor prevents a tree from producing avocados and how to fix them. 

1. Age of the Tree

Age of the Tree
Image: The Yard Posts

Avocado trees must reach a certain age, height and maturity before they can begin fruit production. It can take 3 to 13 years to produce fruits, depending on whether they come from a seed or a grafted tree from a nursery. 

Those who planted an avocado seed directly into the soil must wait at least five years for the tree to bear fruit. On the other hand, those who planted saplings will have to wait for three to four years. 

There’s nothing else you can do except be patient and wait for your avocado tree to mature. During this waiting game, make sure to regularly water, fertilize and prune your tree to keep it healthy. 

2. Failure to Pollinate

Failure to Pollinate
Image: AvoSeedo

How To Fix: Plant companion trees.

An avocado tree doesn’t need pollen from other trees to produce fruit because it already has its own male and female components. However, the problem lies in timing, when these male and female components don’t operate simultaneously. 

For instance, Type A avocado trees have flowers that function as female in the morning as they receive pollen and male in the afternoon when they release pollen. 

On the other hand, Type B varieties work on the opposite schedule, opening as male in the morning and female in the afternoon.

Success pollination relies on the timing of these components. 

Solution: Plant companion trees.

Plant companion trees.
Image: WIKIFARMER

Avocado trees will get the boost they need to kickstart the fruiting process when companion trees of the opposite type are planted beside them. 

So try planting Type A and Type B trees near each other to increase the chances of cross-pollination and fruiting. Make sure to choose trees that flower simultaneously so that when pollen is available, the other tree’s female flowers can receive them.

Here’s a table of Type A and B avocado trees that can pollinate each other.

Type AType B
HassBacon
FuerteEdranol
PinkertonEttinger
SharwilLamb Hass
ZutanoReed

3. Nutrition Deficiency

Nutrition Deficiency
Image: Haifa

How To Fix: Apply the right fertilizer at the right time.

Avocado trees are heavy feeders. They need a steady amount of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, boron, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc to be in peak condition for fruiting.

So, if your avocado tree is not producing fruit even if it has the essential nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium –  you should test your soil for other minerals that your tree needs. 

Solution: Apply the right fertilizer at the right time.

Apply the right fertilizer at the right time.
Image: MKULIMATODAY

Fertilizing avocado trees will encourage them to bear fruit, but you should apply the right amount at the right stage of the tree’s growth. You should apply balanced fertilizer on your avocado tree during the first growing season. 

When the tree is between 4 and 5 years old, it would also benefit from nutritional sprays containing zinc, boron, manganese, and molybdenum to prepare for fruiting.

Young avocado trees require fertilizers six times or every two months a year. As they grow old, the feedings should be reduced to four times yearly. 

When you apply fertilizer, always divide them into equal portions. Here’s a table you can follow on applying fertilizer on avocado trees.

Age Amount of Fertilizer per YearNumber of Feedings per Year
11.5 to 3 lbs6
23 to 6 lbs6
36 to 9 lbs6
49 to 10 lbs4
510 to 14 lbs4

4. Irrigation Problems

Irrigation Problems
Image: Agriculture and Food

How To Fix: Practice the drip irrigation method.

Avocados need water on a strict and regular schedule. Otherwise, it becomes susceptible to pests and diseases and reduces fruit yields. 

Young avocado trees need two gallons of water every three to four days, while mature ones need two inches weekly. 

Still, remember that overwatering can spell death for your avocado tree because it will develop root rot or fungal diseases.  So, always keep your avocado tree hydrated, but allow the soil to prevent overwatering the plant.

Solution: Practice the drip irrigation method.

Practice the drip irrigation method.
Image: Grekkon Limited
DifficultyAverage ●●○○○
SpeedSlow-acting
Things You NeedWater source
Pump
Timer
Drip irrigation tubing
Emitters

The drip irrigation method helps deliver water directly to the roots of the avocado tree through a system of emitters and pipes near the root zone. This is an efficient way of watering plants because it prevents waste, evaporation and runoff. 

With this watering method, the avocado tree will receive the water it needs and prevent stress that can disrupt its fruiting process. It also prevents root rot because water is delivered directly to the roots, and the soil doesn’t become saturated.

Finally, water is delivered directly to the roots, and the nutrients the avocado tree needs for fruiting are easily absorbed. 

Here are steps on how to apply drip irrigation to your avocado tree.

How To Do
1. Choose a location for your water source where it is close to the avocado tree.
2. Connect the main line to the water source.
3. Place the mainline around the avocado tree about 6 inches from the trunk.
4. Dig trenches for the emitters. Install the emitters about 12 to 18 inches from the trunk of the avocado tree.
5. Place the emitters in the trenches and cover them with soil.
6. Connect the drip irrigation tubing to the water source and pump.
7. Set the timer to water the tree for one to two hours daily.

5. Extreme Temperature

Extreme Temperature
Image: The Yard Posts

How To Fix: Add mulch and cover the avocado tree.

Avocados are sensitive when it comes to temperature. The ideal temperature range for avocado trees is 70 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can produce flowers, receive healthy pollen and grow fruit without undue stress.

When frost occurs, the tree’s leaves and flowers are first damaged, followed by the twigs and branches that will appear drenched in water before darkening, withering, and dying back. 

What’s worse is that if a late spring freeze kills your avocado tree’s flowers, your fruit production will be delayed, reduced, and even nonexistent. 

For instance, Bacon and Zutano avocado varieties are fairly frost-tolerant but can’t withstand temperatures below 24 degrees Fahrenheit for more than four hours. 

Extreme heat also affects an avocado tree’s fruit production process. If temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the tree will drop its flowers and fruits to conserve water for its leaves and branches.

For instance, some Guatemalan varieties will develop dark leaves and flowers after just a couple of hours at 30 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Solution: Add mulch around the avocado tree.

Add mulch around the avocado tree.
Image: Epic Gardening

Whether it be a spring freeze or a heat wave, mulch will help retain soil moisture and temperature your avocado tree needs for fruit production. 

If you’re expecting a spring freeze or heat wave in your area, start by giving your avocado tree one and a half times the usual quantity of water and a layer of mulch around the base of your tree. 

This will help maintain a steady soil temperature for the tree’s root system and keep them hydrated in preparation for the upcoming spring freeze or heat wave.

For an extra layer of protection, you can create a canopy out of a blanket, tarp or plastic sheet for your avocado tree before the temperatures drop. Make sure to anchor them firmly on the ground to create a makeshift tent around your tree.

6. Wind 

Wind
Image: The Yard Posts

How To Fix: Use windbreaks around the avocado tree.

Avocado trees grow large and tall, which makes them more susceptible to damage from harsh winds. This is especially true when the avocado tree is flowering because the strong winds will either damage the flowers and leaves or cause them to drop. 

Without those leaves and flowers, the trunk and branches are at a higher risk of sunburn, and the tree is left with no flowers to pollinate and turn to fruits. 

Strong winds can also dry out the soil and roots of the tree. Moist soil is necessary for the avocado tree to become stressed, reducing fruit production.

Solution: Use windbreaks around the avocado tree.

Use windbreaks around the avocado tree.
Image: Couch To Homestead

Windbreaks are practical barriers that can reduce the force and speed of the wind to protect your avocado tree. They can be made from permeable or solid materials. 

Solid windbreaks include walls and fences, effectively reducing wind speed but blocking light and air circulation. 

On the other hand, there are permeable windbreaks like trees and shrubs that can reduce wind speed but still allow light and some air to pass through. 

When choosing a windbreak, make sure they’re spaced enough away from the avocado tree so it won’t shade the tree or compete with nutrients, water and sunlight.

7. Excessive Salt

Excessive Salt
Image: Homes and Gardens

How To Fix: Apply root leaching.

Avocados are highly sensitive to salt. Excessive salt causes undue stress to the avocado tree and reduces its ability to produce fruits. 

Avocado trees that get excess salt from the soil produce smaller and less flavorful fruits. You can tell your tree has too much salt content when the tips of its leaves look like they’ve been burnt and will soon die back. 

Too much salt can damage the tree’s roots since salt draws water out. As a result, the roots will dry out, unable to absorb water and nutrients and eventually die from dehydration. 

Solution: Apply root leaching.

Apply root leaching.
Image: The Yard Posts
DifficultyAverage ●●○○○
SpeedSlow-acting
Things You NeedWater source
Hose
Timer
Soil moisture meter

Root leaching is the best way to address salt damage to avocado trees. This is a common practice in avocado cultivation, where excess salt is flushed out of the soil by adding water around the plant’s roots. 

A good rule of (green) thumb is to apply root leaching on your avocado tree every 6 to 12 months, as needed. Here are steps on how to use this in your own home.

How To Do
1. Using a moisture meter, determine the soil moisture level and make sure that the soil is moist but not soggy.
2. Attach the hose to the water source and turn on the water.
3. Place the hose at the base of the tree.
4. Let the water run for 30 to 60 minutes or until the soil is saturated to a depth of two to three feet.
5. Check the soil moisture level to make sure that the soil is not overwatered.
6. Once the soil is saturated, turn off the water and allow the soil to drain.

Avocado Fruit Drop and How to Prevent It

Avocado Fruit Drop and How to Prevent It
Image: Pat Welsh

Avocado fruit drop refers to the premature loss of fruits from the tree caused by stress, lack of pollination or nutrient deficiency. 

When avocado trees experience drought, overwatering, extreme temperatures, pests and diseases, fruit drop is a symptom of these stressors. 

On the other hand, if the tree is not pollinated or lacks nutrients essential for fruit production, it will also lead to fruit drop. 

To minimize fruit drop on avocado trees, avoid under or overwatering it. It’s also advisable to plant other avocado varieties nearby for increased success of cross-pollination.

Overfertilizing the tree with nitrogen might also cause fruit drop, so regularly test your soil and amend the soil to maintain the balance of nutrients and minerals.

Recommended Avocado Varieties for Gardens

Recommended Avocado Varieties for Gardens
Image: Garden Eco

Here are our recommended avocado varieties that you can plant in your garden. 

Avocado VarietyHardy TemperatureRipening MonthsWeight of FruitsHeight
Little Cado (Wurtz) Avocado Sensitive to frost below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)May to September8 to 14 ounces10 to 15 feet 
Reed AvocadoSensitive to frost below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)March to November12 to 18 ounces14 to 20 feet
Gwen AvocadoHardy to 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius)March to November12 to 18 ounces15 feet
Hass Avocado Sensitive to frost below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)April to September10 to 12 ounces25 to 35 feet
Fuerte AvocadoHardy to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius)December to May10 to 12 ounces25 to 35 feet
Pinkerton AvocadoHardy to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius)November to April14 to 16 ounces25 to 35 feet
Mexicola Grande AvocadoHardy to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius)September to February14 to 16 ounces25 to 35 feet
Sir Prize AvocadoSensitive to frost below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius)March to November10 to 20 ounces25 to 35 feet 

FAQs on When Do Avocado Trees Bear Fruit

What are the fast-growing avocado tree varieties?


Hass, Gwen and Wurtz avocados are the fastest-growing avocado tree varieties since they can bear fruit within 3 to 6 years of planting. 

Do you need two avocado trees to get fruit?


You do not need two avocado trees to get fruit because avocado flowers contain both male and female parts. However, you can get more fruit if you plant one avocado tree of each type, whether Type A or B, to ensure pollination and fruit set.

How should you store harvested avocados?


Store your newly harvested avocados in a cool, dark place with an optimal temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to kickstart the ripening process.

How tall is an avocado tree after a year?


An avocado tree can reach up to 10 feet after one year from planting, depending on the growing conditions and plant care it receives. 

Where do avocado trees grow?


Avocado trees grow in warm regions such as Mexico, Central and South America, Florida, California, Arizona and New Mexico. 

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