Hi everyone –
I’m going to be using this thread to post updates about my various avocado-related experiments and projects, which will mostly involve close documentation of the premeditated killing of countless avocado seedlings each winter in my yard in Seattle. This project was inspired by efforts of avocado enthusiasts Craig Hepworth and Oliver Moore in North FL, where they have similar minimum temperatures but a very different overall climate than Seattle.
As it stands now, my plan is to construct a greenhouse in my back yard this summer, and in that greenhouse I will keep a few avocado “frankentrees” grafted with every allegedly cold-hardy variety I can get my hands on, trying to hand-pollinate and cross-pollinate them as much as I can whenever they flower. Seeds will be germinated in the greenhouse and then grown on the patio until their first winter, which they will spend back in the greenhouse. Then, they will go into the ground in the spring and be given varying degrees of shelter or protection their first winter outdoors. I expect very high casualty rates.
My (updated via edits) current inventory of grafted varieties (including both established potted trees and freshly grafted scions) is:
- Brazos Belle (aka Wilma)
- Poncho (aka Pancho)
- Winter Mexican
Second Red[grafts failed] and Royal-Wright
- Jade [grafted on May/Del Rio seedling]
- Improved Bacon selection on its own seedling rootstock
My first round of seedling victims have already begun to grow, and will include seedlings of:
- Hass (x 1 . . . absolute premeditated murder with this little guy)
- Bacon (x 4)
- Mexicola (x 4, then x 8 from a new source)
- Mexicola Grande (x 4)
- Royal-Wright (x 8)
- Del Rio (x 3)
- Fantastic (x 3)
- Purple Nebula (x 9)
- Sharwil (x 4) [to be greenhouse rootstock]
- May x Del Rio [from Oliver Moore]
The only tree that has flowered under lights indoors this winter is the aptly named Winter Mexican, but since it’s one of the least cold-hardy varieties I have I’m not expecting much from any seedlings it may produce. Here’s the latest photo of fruitlets setting, though I won’t be surprised if they all drop before maturing:
For now, I’ll wrap up with a photo of my first ever attempt to top-work a tree, this one has Joey (one tiny scion), Aravaipa, Second Red, and Royal-Wright on it:
If anyone has any suggestions for varieties to add – including any unnamed Persea americana var. drymifolia (Mexican race) avocados, or has seeds from any such trees that you want to contribute to my experiment, drop me a PM or reply below!