Pea size baby avocado/Sacramento area recommendations

My mother-in-law planted this tree probably more than 10 years ago and has only gotten one or two fruit. But this year I see at least 10 pea sized baby avocados, so pollination was at least partially successful this year, right?

There are also many more smaller baby avocados but I’m less sure that they are really fruit. But I think really good pollination would have set multiple fruits at every cluster?

We don’t know what kind of avocado this is. Any recommendations for a second tree? We are in Yuba City near Sacramento


Check out @Marta’s blog post recommending some varieties for the area:

It looks like it could use some fertilizer, based on the yellow shade of the leaves. That might help it grow bigger and support more fruit next year, too.

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Thank you! Everytime I visit I try to clear the brush and apply fertilizer to this tree and some small citrus trees.

What does “not cold hardy” mean in the context of avocados? The tree dies back/dies, or the flowers die/ don’t set fruit or something else?

Is it possible to examine the flowers in morning/afternoon and try to figure out if it’s an A or B avocado? I don’t even know what time of year it blossoms, seems like it happened recentlt

It could be any combination of those, depending on how hardy the tree is and how cold it gets most winters. Based on the small size of that tree after 10 years, I’d say it has been suffering some winter dieback unless someone has been aggressively pruning it.

I don’t put much stock in the A/B distinction, since it can be highly temperature dependent and mature trees are likely to have plenty of pollen available throughout the day, regardless of when the peak time is for male phase vs female phase.

Avocados typically (but not always) flower with their first flush of growth after winter dormancy. For Mexican-race avocados that’s usually at the end of winter, but for Guatemalan types it is often more like mid-spring.

Do you think that was purchased as a grafted tree, or could it be a seedling?

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We think the tree came from Lowe’s and maybe it was called “small Mexican avocado”. I think it was planted in 2015 or earlier, I’m not really surprised that it hasn’t grown more. I think it’s now a good size and it will start to grow pretty well, we cut down a big tree that was shading it.

If the A/B distinctions isn’t important, would a second tree help with pollination?

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Yes, though the thing that would help most is for that tree to get bigger. Even under ideal conditions with a pollenizer, a large avocado tree in an orchard will have hundreds of thousands of flowers but only ripen a few hundred fruit.

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