Best Zone Avocado Tree

Maria Garcia
• Thursday, 14 January, 2021
• 8 min read

Having conducted lab research on avocado trees for 14 years, I am often asked what varieties will grow in colder areas, and I am delighted to provide this guide to answer that question. Avocado trees fall into one of three possible subspecies: West Indian, Guatemalan, or Mexican.

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They encompass plants (or animals) that have developed in response to their natural environment in isolation from other populations of the species. These are the ones that turn black when they are ripe, and are the most popular variety for making guacamole during the Super Bowl.

However, if winter temperatures in your area often dip to 20 °F or below, and you want to grow delicious avocados, your best option is a cultivar from the pure Mexican subspecies. The fruit from these varieties that originate in the northern Mexican highlands are smaller than most of the commercial ones we’re familiar with.

While these fruits are small, weighing only 3-4 ounces, they are reputed to have the richest flavor and highest oil content of all the Mexican types. It’s been reported that this tree was frozen back to the major limbs when 7 °F temperatures hit in the 1980s.

With thin, glossy black skin, the fruit from the ‘Mexico la Grande’ variety is easy to peel, with a delicate flavor. It produces medium-sized green fruits with a creamy flavor that are slightly larger than most of the Mexican types.

The name ‘Lila’ came from a large commercial nursery that propagated this variety and renamed it. However, the large black fruit are unusually susceptible to the fungal infection anthracite (a fungus that turns the skin orange), so they are better suited to drier climates where there is less humidity.

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‘Wilma’ originated in Texas, from cuttings taken from a large tree growing in a backyard in Pearsall. These avocado trees are crosses of the Mexican with either the Guatemalan or West Indian subspecies.

The pear-shaped fruits have green skins and pale, dense flesh and range from 6-12 ounces each. The large, tender-skinned, green fruit has a 30 percent oil content, giving the firm flesh a rich and creamy texture.

Cold tolerant to 22 °F, this tree can grow to over 40 feet tall in the right conditions. It’s important to remember that the cold tolerance of each of these varieties refers to the mature tree.

The cold hardy varieties can grow in partial shade, but they prefer full sun. These trees require well-draining soil that does not get waterlogged, so try to find a site on higher ground or on a slight incline for planting.

To plant your tree, prepare a hole approximately twice the width and depth of the football. Even if you have a frost tolerant tree, you should take steps to keep it warm on very cold nights.

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This is particularly true for young trees, which tend to be less tolerant of cold temperatures than mature ones. While it may seem counterintuitive, continuously spraying water on trees to keep them from freezing is a little-known secret of experienced home gardeners.

As the water turns to ice, it releases heat, which can help protect the tree against frost damage. I have a friend with a Has avocado ranch on the central coast of California who has an irrigation system that she can operate from home via the internet when there is a hard freeze.

While you may be used to looking at hardiness zones to determine whether plants can grow in your area, many more factors can be involved than just average temperatures. In contrast, if your tree is in a windy area, it will be more sensitive to freezing, which can cause the fruit and leaves to drop.

To help protect the trees from sunburn, you should whitewash the limbs as soon as possible after the leaves drop with a white interior house paint diluted to 50 percent with water. You will definitely want to prune back dead tissue to keep fungi from invading and causing damage.

As advised by Nick Markovic and Ben Faber at the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources for Ventura Country at the University of California, the amount of pruning required will depend on the degree of damage. When your tree has lost a lot of leaves, it will lose much less water to evaporation than it normally does, and avocados are very sensitive to overwatering.

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The Mexican avocado cultivars offer hope for growers in cooler areas. With varieties that can tolerate temperatures below 20 °F, homeowners in areas that include parts of USDA Hardiness Zone 8 can enjoy the taste of fresh avocados from their own trees.

One of Helga George’s greatest childhood joys was reading about rare and greenhouse plants that would not grow in Delaware. Helga then returned to Cornell to obtain a PhD, studying one of the model systems of plant defense.

Avocados fall into three categories: Guatemalan, Mexican and West Indian. Today, there are new hybrid varieties available that have been bred to be more disease resistant or more cold hardy.

The Guatemalan can survive temperatures down to 30 F. (-1 C.), making neither of them a great choice for a zone 8 avocado tree. Keep in mind that the range of minimum temperatures for zone 8 is between 10 and 20 F. (-12 and -7 C.) so growing any type of avocado outside is a risky undertaking.

The Mexico la Grande is a Mexican type of avocado that can take colder temperatures without injury, but it does like a dry climate. Choosing a zone 8 avocado tree depends upon your microclimate, the amount of rain your area receives, the level of humidity as well as the temperature.

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Avocado trees need to be planted in a warm area with full sun for at least 6-8 hours a day. Space additional trees 20 feet apart (6 m.) and situate them in an area that is sheltered from high winds which can break limbs.

Make sure you plant them on the south face of a building or underneath an overhead canopy to protect them from cool temperatures. Also, keep the area around the tree out to the drip line free of weeds which tend to hold the cold in the ground.

If you live in colder areas where freezing is a common occurrence, pot the avocado tree and bring it indoors during the winter. Avocado trees are divided into three main types: Guatemalan, Mexican, and West Indian.

Mexican types are the least salt tolerant and are typically grown in California. These avocados are Guatemalan x Mexican: Bacon Has Little Cato West Indian varieties are the least cold tolerant, and need protection at 32 °F.

Avocados are not native to USDA zone 9, but yes, they will definitely grow there. There are 3 types of avocado : Mexican, Guatemalan and West Indies.

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If you live in an area that is prone to lower temps, plant the tree on the south-face of a building or underneath overhead canopy. If your goal is fruit production, be sure to select a site in full sun with at least 6 hours per day.

Are native to Mexico, because Mexican cuisine is famed for thick, avocado -based guacamole. Avocados are evergreen and grow rapidly in warm, sunny locations.

The avocado fruit has creamy green flesh with a rich, buttery taste. It's easy to sprout the seeds and grow avocado trees in containers indoors at home.

Outdoors, avocado trees grow to 40 feet tall and require warm temperatures and mild winters to thrive. You can grow an avocado tree outdoors in parts of California, Florida and Hawaii in the United States.

Avocados are subtropical understory trees, accustomed to warm weather and semi humid climates. Any areas that get extreme heat in the summer or frost, chilly winds or snow in the winter are not avocado territory.

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Over half of commercial avocados produced in Hawaii are the 'Sharif' cultivar, a hybrid cross of Mexican and Guatemalan varieties. Experts differ as to how Sails compare with the smaller avocados produced on the mainland.

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