How to grow avocados for profit

Did the title get your interest? Well, if you are an avocado farmer you will want to read this blog weekly. I am Charley Wolk, an avocado farmer in Southern California, who has been in the industry for more than 38 years, and manage my own grove as well as dozens of groves for other farmers.

I will discuss in this forum:

  • Water (price & availability) how to best use and conserve it.
  • Government policies and regulations
  • New, and tried and true Agricultural practices
  • Profitable Packing House utilization

and various other topics as demanded by your responses.

No question is stupid, feel free to ask all……….
I have been involved with the California commission, Nutrition committee, various water boards and other related entities, local, national and worlwide…….

I write this blog as a farmer who is experiencing the same challenges that you face daily and want to share some of my expertise to make your efforts more productive and more profitable.We all win when California growers produce the best avocado crops possible……..Semper Fi

 


Comments

How to grow avocados for profit — 787 Comments

  1. Hello
    I have a few backyard trees. One has much of the fruit turn black and soft on the base half. It is a very thin skinned variety sold as a “Mexican” The fruit on the other trees is normal.

    Any idea of the cause of the problem?

    Thank you, Mark

    • Mark, Tough to answer your question. I don’t know where you are. You didn’t say what variety the other trees are. Let me give it a shot. I believe the problem fruit is a Bacon, Zutano, maybe even a Jalna. They mature earlier than Fuerte or Hass. The fruit now has too much oil and is overly mature so it is turning black and soft on the tree. That can be expected. Good luck.

  2. I’m looking at homes in Fallbrook. A few have extensive avocado groves. I am not a grower and am convincing myself that I could just hire someone to manage groves and never have to be seriously involved. Am I fooling myself into believing that one might not be taking on a job with 20 acres of avocados and that it might be profitable?

    • Susan, Yes you can hire someone to manage the ag operation on your new property. That’s what the Bejoca Company does. I will send you my contact information separately. The orchard will be profitable if it is healthy and farmed correctly. Some have a negative view of avocado farming because of the high cost of the water. That has to be considered in the management plan. I look forward to working with you. Charley

  3. Hey Charlie my name is Kevin. I have a few acres in Hemet CA. the high desert the soil here is mostly sandy loam with temp. that reach a annual minimum of apprx 38f with summer highs up to 109f. What I do have going for me is plenty of yard waste I compost to ammend the soil and I have all solar power with a well that has a fast replenish rate. and several 5000 gallon water towers. Do you think these conditions would be adequate for growing Hass Pinkerton and Bacon avocado trees?

    • Kevin, It sounds like you have a lot of positive conditions for growing avocados in Hemet. Unfortunately there are some downsides, that annual minimum temperature is an average. There are times that there are night time freezing temperatures. Additionally in the summertime it gets too hot and too windy. If you want to experiment with a couple of trees in your back yard to see if you can beat the weather, go for it. If you are considering a larger planting for sales you need to accept it would be a high risk situation. Good luck. Charley

  4. Hi Charley,

    I was wondering, what is the optimal rotation length for an avocado plantation?

    I am an ecologist, interested in carbon sequestration in various perennial agricultural crops (inc. avocados) and I’m struggling to find out the average lifespan of avocado plantations.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Charlotte, An avocado orchard well cared for will last decades. They are usually taken out because of disease. They are often stumped and allowed to grow back. The answer is I don’t know what is the average lifespan of an avocado grove. The University of California has research on carbon sequestration. Checking their efforts may save you a lot of time. Good luck. Charley

  5. So my children have decided to plan for a design and development of a commercial avocado farm. I/we have a taken a strong interest this year and began growing from seed and studying the basic agricultural sciences with respect to these fruits. We have started with seeds of the hass and Florida type that is typically sold here at the markets. So after we have enjoyed the consumption my wife has not enjoyed the hundreds and hundreds of cups and tooth picks on our outside bar. Since then I have transfer them to soil and have been following guidelines for soil, water, light, pinching. All are beginning to reach 3 feet.
    I understand that the nurseries and big chain hardware stores sell the tree for $46 for 4ft and a staggering $169 for a 27 gallon size.
    My question for you to help me advise my children is; would it be beneficial to grow these plants to raise capital by selling at $100 per 27 gallon or to utilize these plants to begin the orchard? My children are young now so they could be viable trees for the start up of the farm? Or would buying a farm with the trees already growing be better than raising them now.

    • Allen, First the trees you have grown are seedlings. If you planted a Hass seed you will not get a Hass tree. It has to be grafted. You may not even get any fruit. If you do it will be some variation of the parent tree. The trees without a graft on them are of questionable value commercially. You didn’t say where you are. From your statement it appears you are in Florida or at least the south east. I would expect there are state or county rules requiring permits and inspections to have a commercial nursery. I suggest you investigate all of the above before you launch this business venture. Charley

  6. Hi Charley

    So great I came across your blog. I am exploring Avacado farming opportunities in India. Would be really wonderful to have your expertise.

    What will be the best way to contact you?

    Thanks

    Ruchita

    • Ruchita, It is best to submit your questions to the blog. When I answer them others get the benefit of your inquiries. Thanks, Charley

  7. Hi Charley,Thanks for answering my previous question on Avocado species.I am using 4:3:3 organic pellet fertilizers on my one year old trees,at the rate of 1kg per tree every 3 months.Is this concentration enough ?and how much should I increase in future years ?Secondly If Neem oil is to be used against Persea Mites what is the concentration of Neem oil in the solution be ?

    Thanks

  8. Hi Charley, we have 500 avocado trees on approx. 3.5-4 acres in Murrieta, CA.
    We are managed by East Brothers in Fallbrook. We stumped 70% of our trees (and painted the trunks of the trees white) back in January, after the freak snow storm that came through this area in 2014. We were lucky, all of our trees, except a handful, fully recovered and are now producing big beautiful avocados :0)

    My question is this…Do you offer any service where we can have you come out to our property and give us an assessment of our grove? We have two 5,000 gallon water tanks that we deplete and refill daily, along with city water usage when needed.

    We’ve recently read an article about installing moisture meters to help reduce water costs. Do you have any knowledge regarding this?

    Thank you,
    Debra

    • Debra, I’m glad your trees recovered from that goofy snow storm. Yes I do consulting/grove evaluation. I don’t do it on properties where there is already a grove manager operating the grove. Yes there are many different moisture sensors. some are very basic where you have to go and read and record the data. It goes all the way up to systems that read them at designated intervals and transmit the data to a computer. Some will even turn the valves on and off as needed. Obviously the more capability the more cost. The article you read should have enough information to help you research on line all of the systems.

  9. Hello Charley,

    I’m in La Habra, CA and purchased a property with about 18 mature (70+ year old) avocado trees. Some of them are healthy, some are not, but I am committed to bringing as many of them back to their former glory as possible. One tree in particular is currently affected by a rash of Persea mites. Seeing as how I would like to keep all my trees and fruit organic, can you suggest a way to eliminate the mites before they kill the tree? Also, I’d love to just chat with you about best practices when taking care of the small avocado “farm” on my property. I have never taken interest in horticulture until now, and I’m eager to learn!

    Cheers,

    Dallas

    • Dallas, The best you can do for the trees is give them adequate water. Those old trees have an extensive root system. If you are watering them for an hour a day, it is not enough. During the summer those trees will need at least 450 gallons of water a week, better delivered in one application or more than two applications. There are pesticides for persea mite labeled for organic. You will probably have to go online to find it. I don’t know of any farm supply stores in La Habra. The persea mite may be destroyed by the high heat in the summer. The economic impact of the mite has already occurred at this point in time. I am recommending going to the University of California Extension web site to get the basic information on cultural practices for avocado.

  10. Hi Charley,
    I am evaluating the possibility to grow avocado in Southern Italy:
    – Hill between 500 and 600 meters above sea level;
    – Temperatures: min (january): 4.7 C (39.2 F), max (august): 22.2 C (71.6 F), mean: 12.9 C (53.6 F)
    – Rain: min (august): 32 mm, max (december): 61 mm, total: 544 mm
    – Soil: quite rocky, limestone
    – The hill is facing south

    What is your opinion given this information? Do you think avocado trees will grow there?

    Thank you,
    Roberto

    • Roberto, Generally the conditions you describe would be acceptable for avocado. There are a couple of points that require further examination. The rocky soil would be good because it should drain well. On the other hand there has to be enough soil to support the trees root growth. Easy test is to look at what grows there naturally. Are there trees or is all the growth small scrubs. The other point to examine is the rainfall. The total amount is adequate. When does the rain fall. If it is not spread out over the year, but comes in a short period of time you will probably have to irrigate. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  11. Hello, I grow (lamb hass dusa) avocados in Crete but my field is relatively small (even for European Standards) and I am worried that my trees might not have enough room to grow. Each tree has about 15 squared meters (10 ft x 17 ft) and local agriculturalist told me that I will have to cut down half of them in 5-6 years. I heard that growers in California plant them in 10 ft x 10 ft plots. Is that area sufficient? Do you really cut down half of your trees 5 years after you have planted them? Thank you for your help! Regards, Giorgos

    • Giorgos, The answer to all your questions is yes. Older California orchards were planted 20×20. Later the standard spacing went to 15×20. On those spacings proper cultural practices required removing every other tree in every other row. As the price of land increased the strategy shifted to stumping. The trees were cut to chest high. This allowed saving water because the stumped tree required no irrigation for one season. The tree would grow back and resume production. You actually got more production because more of the tree saw sunlight. Downside was the best case you would lose at least one crop. Maybe more depending when you cut them. Now I take three years to get those very tall trees down by cutting a third of the tall leaders every year. I know some growers here have planted 10×10. I plant 12×12. In either case you have to prune every year. Sometimes as early as year four. The goal is to keep the tree at about 8 to 10 high and not touching. Production per acre with this strategy is high. If you choose high density planting, you can’t skip pruning. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  12. Hi Charley,

    Great blog you have here and I have read some great information.

    My wife and I are considering purchasing a property in Bonsall, CA. that has a little over 250 mature fruit producing hass avocado trees. Looked at the property this weekend all the trees looked very well cared for and healthy. The listing states its profitable and I saw in one of your other posts that I could ask for something showing the profits or proof of business, so I will do just that. If we wanted to hire a manager to do everything, where would we look or where do we start? This would be a totally new venture for us, but we really like the property and location and maybe this is something we could get involved with or maybe more than we want to bite into. Thank you

    • John, I apologize for the delay in responding to your questions. It is appropriate to ask the seller for detailed information on the operation of the orchard. Some provide it willingly, others refuse, some provide it after a formal offer is made. On the revenue side I recommend buyers ask for the packing house records. That for sure is the real information. Seller P&L are good but those numbers may not be accurate. There is no requirement by law for the seller to furnish the information. If the seller doesn’t want to furnish the packing house documents, one has to evaluate the credibility of the information. My company provides management services. I realize you may have already made a decision so we could help with the property you acquired or help you with deciding on another property. Thanks for your patience. Charley

  13. Hi, we are looking to purchase property at 46600 El Prado in Temecula. Are you familiar with this grove? The grove is certified organic Hass 1,200 trees. What would be the standard or optimal range of production in pounds for that size grove?

    What questions and answers should we be looking for as new owners? What extra effort is it to maintain an organic farm…etc? Thank you for your time and wisdom.

    • Julianna, I manage some groves on El Prado but I don’t know this one. I will look at it the next time in the area. From the number of trees the orchard is about 10 or 12 acres. If it certified organic it is hard to conjecture how much it has been producing. The seller should be willing to give the information. To give you a measure: a conventional grove on regular spacing should provide a reasonable expectation to produce 10,000 pounds per acre. If some of the elements of proper farming are missing the production will be less. Farming organically generally cost a little more. Soils in southern CA are generally nitrogen poor. Supplying the nitrogen organically is a challenge. The organic nitrogen material is low in nitrogen so you need more of it which increases the labor requirement. Besides that it cost more than conventional material. I trust this helps. Charley

      • Hi, I’m considering purchases one of two properties with avocado groves. Are you familiar with either grove, if so what’s your opinion on health of groves? Both claim to produce income, waiting for sellar records. One is at 15229 Topa Rd in Pauma Valley; 1,500 trees with high tech drip system. Trees are primarily Avocados but include some lemons and tangerine. Mix of mature trees and two year old trees on flat area and slope. Water source says private, not sure if from well. Entire property is 4.77 acres. Other property is 35510 Los Alamos (Crawford Canyon/Riverside) in Murrieta; 300 avocado trees and some citrus on 12.38 acres. Has 25 gallon a minute well, with timed sprinkler system. Current owner only maintaining health with current 2000lbs production, past crops were 22,000lbs. Property on top of steep hill with grove on slope.

        What questions should I ask as a new owner? Does either property appear to have more potential than the other? Thank you for your time and wisdom.

        • Robin, Tough questions to answer without seeing the property. Let me give it a try. Having 1500 trees on 4.77 acres is really high density. If are new trees and mature trees, my inclination is the mature trees probably need to be pruned. Private water source is probably a well. It would be good to ask how much water the well pumps. The other property is different in that the parcel is three times bigger. I looked at the properties on Google Earth. Yes this property is steep. A 25GPM well will be hard pressed to have enough water to irrigate the orchard. Both properties producing income really doesn’t say much. If you had two trees and sold some fruit you would have income. The question is was there profit or how much did the orchard income cover the cost of production. Also it appears there is a cell tower on the Los Alamos parcel If I had to choose between the two, I would pick the Pauma Valley property or keep looking. Good luck. Charley

  14. Hai,
    I’m murugan from India.
    How can I sell 2000 kg of fruit per week from the Western Ghats?
    It’s a natural harvest.

  15. Hello Mr, Charley

    Do you know the variety of Benik, do you recommend this variety, a want to plant Choquete but the grower do not have it only Benick. please explain if this is commerciable profitable.

    Thanks

    • George, Sorry I have the same response to your previous question. These are either local varieties or they are local names for commercial varieties. No matter I don’t recognize them. Charley

  16. Hello Mr, Charley

    I am planning to start an avocado farm in Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, no experience, the variety that i am planning to grow is Choquete,do you know if this variety is marketable.

    Thanks

  17. I have a small farm of 16 hectares in Botswana, Southern Africa, basically a dry land. However in my small farm I have a borehole with a yield of 52 cubics. I want to do something different from the usual vegetables. What will you propose. At one point I thought that I should specialize in growing chilli but I am not sure of the market more so that I am to aware of any of the chilli manufactures in Southern Africa. What will be your advise. The land is still virgin

    • Jacob, I don’t know if I can be of much help to you. I don’t know what the unit of measure cubics is. I assume it has to do with water. I also assume the bore hole is a well. I have no working knowledge of growing chillis. Only you can tell what the market would be. Good luck. Charley

    • kat, For some reason recently I have been often asked that question. The answer no I have not heard of anyone growing avocados commercially indoors. Additionally I have not even to figure out a concept to do it. Charley

  18. Hey Charley,

    Loving the blog so far.

    So we have a few acres of land outside of Karachi, Pakistan. The average highs during the summers are 35°C-36°C, and average lows during winter are 8°C-10°C. Though there have been times like in June 2015 when we have had a heatwave and the temperature has reached 40°C-45°C. It has a tropical climate, but slightly arid as well. Altitude is at around sea level. Is this ideal to grow avocados? What types of trees should we generally go for?

    We have grown many fruits and vegetables at our farm, and the soil seems to be quite good.

    I am interested in growing avocado trees on 2-3 acres of land at the farm.

    What is the best type of irrigation system to use for an avocado farm?

    I have a software engineering background, and love the idea of using sensors to monitor soil conditions, what sort of details would I have to to record to check the health of the plants? I also want to be able to take action based on specific readings, like water the plants if the soil moisture level goes below a certain amount, etc. This would of course be a sort of pet project, where I would hook up some smart sensors to monitor different details of the plant, that could then be routed to an app on my phone, or send signals to a motor, to turn on the irrigation system for example. I have very little farming experience, but am a quick learner!

    Would love to have a chat as well, if you have the time?

    Best,
    Mufaddal

    • Mufaddal, First I apologize for the delay in responding. Somehow I skipped your questions. The temperature range you describe should work. You will have to irrigate especially in the warmer months. Your tree choice and variety will b e driven by the source of trees. I have no suggestion for you. You will just have to do a global computer search for nurseries. The trees can be efficiently managed with low pressure low volume sprinklers. Sensor technology has made major improvements recently. Single sensors can measure at different depths. They will measure not only soil moisture but also temperature and salinity. They are capable of being connected to a device to send the data to a computer. You can choose how often you want the data transmitted. There is also software to give you an alert when conditions meet your preset criteria. There are even versions that will turn the irrigation on and off. There are several manufacturers in the US. With a computer search you can evaluate the components to put together a system that pleases you. Charley

  19. Hi
    I want to plant 100 acres of avocado. For this Italy Sicilyaya or Turkey Alanya is suitable for me. How can supply nursery?

    • Ilter, I don’t have a name but I believe there are commercial avocado tree nurseries in Morocco and Spain. You should be able to find them with an internet search. Charley

    • merhaba sana tavsiyem california hass veya hass carmen (dunyanin en iyisi bu iki urun) almani tavsiye ederim Alanya nin iklimine uyuyor ama kesinlikle toprak analizi yaptirmani tavsiye ederim dikmeden once Florida dan selamlar

    • Hello Ilter
      Where are you based – country and region?
      Contact me on faruk@eurocados.pt
      we are based in Portugal and starting an avocado nursery and we would be able to help you with not only any old plants but plants with rootstocks that would be suitable for your soil type and obviously varieties that are commercially important. In addition we are able to provide technical advise on production on a consultancy basis. Regards Faruk Ghumra

  20. Hi Charlie, i planning a small orchard in India. The Geography of the place is, 600m Elevation, Humid Subtropical Climate and is often Continental type, Temperature 15-50 degree Celsius.
    Is the place suitable for avocado growth, at what time of year is the plantation done. i am planning to grow Hass.

    • Packy, The climate seems OK at first. At 50 degrees Celsius that’s a push. If those temperature exist for any duration the trees will go into stress no matter how much irrigation water you are applying. This would be further aggravated if wind comes with the temperature. I would suggest looking for another crop or a different piece of land.
      Thanks, Charley

  21. Hi Charlie,

    My husband and I are interested in purchasing an avocado grove in Fallbrook, and my guess is that you’re familiar with this property. It’s a 22-acre parcel on Puerto Del Mundo. The description says it’s a producing grove, but we wonder if the grove is healthy, profitable, and worth the investment. I have always been a farmer, and can’t wait to learn everything I can about becoming an avocado farmer (it’s my life’s dream and mission). Even though it’s such a big grove, I want to do as much as I can by myself. I might have to work with a management company for a year as my education. I would love your thoughts about this property!!! Thank you so much!

    Avocado Lover Relocating From Michigan

    • NaDean, Interesting I received a request to look at this property earlier. I have driven by it to attempt to assess its condition. The grove appears to be well maintained and healthy. The parcel is steep but it looks like there are adequate roads. I can’t assess its profitability without looking at its production and expense history. The trees are very tall and would need to be programmed for height reduction. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  22. Hello,

    My name is Murphy and I recently inherited 19+ acres of agricultural land in Jamaica and I’m interested in possibly planting avacados at small or moderate level Would you happen to have any thoughts on this and possibly getting started?

    • Murphy, I am not familiar with ag production in Jamaica. The climate ought to be acceptable for avocados. Here are some points you should consider. Remember the plant likes well drained soil. Inadequate drainage could disease problems and possible drowning. The West Indian varieties may be better suited for that climate than Mexican varieties. Sourcing tree will probably be a problem. You will not only have to find a source but you will also have to get permission to have the live plant material shipped into Jamaica. Good luck. Charley

  23. Hello Charley,

    I am developing an Avocado Orchard in the North of India (Uttarakhand State). I am in a sub tropical climate. At the height of approx 500 Meter from sea level. Farm is closer to dense reserved forest. So the temperature reaches up to max 35 degrees during peak summer. Soil and climate seems to be optimum for the cultivation. My questions are:

    1. Which variant of Avocado gives best commercially sellable fruit? Kindly advise based on size and taste or any other parameter. Can you please give the best and 2nd best options? I understand for the sake of pollination we need to have more than variety. What would be the combination according to you?

    2. Further to question 1 – what is the tree size. How much space I need to give between each tree?

    3. Taking lead from question 2 – Is it possible to grow a dwarf variety of the same tree?

    4. What should be the age of sapling I should try to get so that I can begin to get the yield at the earliest.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hemanshu, Regarding the best variety is best commercially depends on where you are going to sell it and how much fruit you have. The way the questions was worded I assume you are going to sell the fruit in India. My suggestion is to go to the markets there to see what they are selling now. It will be easier to stay with those varieties. If you choose to start selling a different variety you will need to allocate resources for market development. You don’t need another variety for pollination. The trees produce both A and B flowers.
      I don’t know where you are going to get trees. I assume you will acquire nurseries trees. They are typically sold in 5 gallon sleeves. Planted at high density spacing of 12 x 12 you will have a little over 300 trees to the acre.
      There have been trees offered to be dwarf but over time it seems they get big just like regular trees.
      I believe you will have to take whatever the nursery has for available trees. Don’t worry about their age. Once in the ground and properly cared for they will grow very fast. Earliest yield will be driven by the care they get after being planted. Good luck. Charley

  24. Hello Charley,

    I ended up on your blog doing some research on Avocados farming.The question and answers on this blog gave me great insight.
    However, I have few more questions and would like to reach out to you.

    • Hari, Send your questions in. When I answer them other people will have the benefit of the answers.
      Thanks, Charley

    • Esteban, Not that I know of. The California Avocado Commission has that on its long term research priorities. It has not made it to the top of the list.

  25. Hi Charley,

    Thank you so much for answering questions. I have 4 two year old root stocks that I would like to graft. Do you know of any avocado growers in souther California from who I can buy bud wood (hass or mexicanola)? If not, what is the best way to find growers? Also any recommendations for a book about proper watering, fertilizing, pruning techniques for newbies?

    • Gnel, I would suggest you contact one of the nurseries in southern California. They might be willing to sell you bud wood for those few trees. The best reference on growing avocados for newbies is the University of California Extension web site. The information covers every thing.

  26. Hello Charley!

    Thank you for being a great resource for so many!

    I am in search of haas avocado bud wood that I can use to graft rootstuck in West Africa. I am looking for about 700 count (bud woods for grafting).

    Would you be willing to sell some bud wood?

    As for the distance Fedex has an express frozen/chilled goods delivery method for this particular scenario.

    If for some reason you were not able to supply me with the haas avocado bud wood for grafting, would you provide me with contacts of other growers/nurseries who could?

    John, from Texas

    • John, I don’t have any bud wood. Cutting bud wood is similar to grafting it is an art and a science. I would suggest contacting the California nurseries to see if they have bud wood to sell. You also need to contact the country in West Africa to see what regulatory rules they have for importing live plant material. The other alternative would be to contact growers/nurseries in Morocco and South Africa. Good luck. Charley

  27. Hi, I would love to know if is possible to start an avocado grove in the Houston area, maybe with some cold hardy avocado trees. I see several people that have some trees but I never see an avocado grove here only in southeast Texas.

    • Conrad, I would expect that you could have back yard trees in the Houston area. A commercial orchard would be at high risk of serious cold damage sooner or later. Cold hardy varieties would only give you a couple degrees colder for a short period of time. Commercially it is not worth it.

  28. Dear Charlie,
    I my first question related to eating young avocado plant by a baby goat is waiting your answer. I hope you may be able to answer when you find time.
    My next question is related to bore hole beetles. When I visited in my avocado farm recently, I found that a significant number of the healthy plants started to die in short period of time. I am very much afraid if the remaining healthy plants will die this way. I have provided the affected stem to the entomology department of agriculture in Kathmandu. However, the result has not yet been available to me. Could you please explain what could we do for treatment of the affected plant and prevention of the healthy ones?

    • Rishi, I am trying to catch up. I just answered you goat question. Regarding the borers you have a bigger problem. First there is a wide variety of borers. The problem with combating them is almost all of them stay inside the plant. They only exit infrequently and for short periods of time. This makes it difficult to use chemicals to attack them. If they are boring into lateral limbs you can remove the limbs and burn them. If they are into the trunk or main structure of the tree all you can do is maintain the tree health and hope the tree can overcome the attack. Of course the extreme coarse of action is to remove the tree and replace it. Hopefully the entomology department can identify the species which may provide more information to attack the pest.

      • Thank you very much for your extremely valuable answer to my question. I never knew that the avocado leaves are so danger for those types of cattles. Regarding the growth of the young plant after eating, there is general concept among the people of Nepal that the growth of any plant is adversely affected if any cattle eats them. I have no any evidence about other plants but my concern was only for avocado plant. I also tried to find documents about that but not found yet. Thank you very much for your this important answers.

    • Dear Rishi,
      We both have same interest and business. Please call me at once on my cell. 9855050669
      We can exchange our experiences.

      Himal paudel
      Bharatpur
      Nepal

  29. Hi Charley,

    I am growing an Avocado tree indoors. It is about a year old however I have some questions regarding fertilization. Any way I could get some advice from you?

    • Andy, Fertilizing any plant in a container can be a challenge. Since it is in a container you have to careful not to apply too much material. You didn’t say what size container you are using. You want to be sure the container drains. You should use a product that has nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Apply just a little, about two table spoons, and watch for reaction from the plant. After a couple of weeks make another application. As always watch the plant. Good luck. Charley

  30. Hello,

    I found your blog as I was looking for growing Avocados. I am from Iran but have limited experience in farming. I have been thinking to start growing and selling avocados locally. Do you have any suggestion on how to start? Do they need lots of humidity?
    Thank you for your helpful blog.

    Best regards,

    Makan

    • Makan, The trees need a Mediterranean climate planted in well drained soil. They are not cold tolerant. They don’t necessarily need high humidity but in most cases will require irrigation. Your biggest challenge will be finding a source of trees. Good luck. Charley

  31. Hello Charlie,

    Your website is amazing and you are a very much experienced person in avocado growing.

    I haven’t got to all the information but I have interest in starting the avocado business. What kind of weather is suitable for avocado growing? Is high temperature and high humidity like weather in Southeast Asia suitable for avocado growing?

    Also, would it be possible if I can receive your email address? I really hope I can have more conversation with you. I’m also considering a visit for a face to face conversation with you to get some guidance.

    Thanks,

    • Gabriel, The avocado tree’s native environment is tropical so Southeast Asia should work. The high temperatures will normally require irrigation. You didn’t say where in SE Asia. The tree doesn’t like wet feet. If you are in a monsoon area the soil must be well drained or the tree will drown. I will send you my email separately. Charley

  32. I have 30 acres of land in Tabasco, Zacatecas, Mexico. I want to grow avacados there, do you think this is a good climate for avacados? Water is very inexpensive here and I am near a big river.

    Land is flat. How many trees do you estimate I could fit into this amount of acres?

    EMail would be appreciated!

    • Charles, Growing avocados in Tabasco should be fine. They like a Mediterranean climate in well drained soil. In fact you are in their native environment. Planting a high density spacing will yield a little over 300 trees per acre. Good luck. Charley

  33. Hello sir, we own a property in Jamaica that contains about 400 Acres that are suitable for farming different varieties of crops. Our intention is to hire a professional consultant to advise us on various techniques for growing avocado’s and other suitable crops that can be grown on the property.The main variety of avocado that is grown here are very large and perfectly green in color. We would like to consider bringing the Hass avocado to the local market as well as produce enough for export to other markets in the Caribbean and North America. We already have water fed to the property every day from a river nearby that is spring fed therefore our water supply is cheap and abundant and we have no problem finding labor for the project. I have read most of your replies which state that the average yield per acre is 10,000 lbs but is that yield every year or month or quarter etc? Also what would be the best way to acquire Hass avocado trees since there is nobody that we know of that grows that variety here in Jamaica? I look forward to hearing from you soon you have an interesting website it has been very useful in helping us to acquire information about avocado farming thus far.

    • Justin, The 10,000 pounds is for a year on standard spacing. A high density planting will yield more pounds per acre. Getting the trees will be a challenge. I don’t know of anyone who ships trees. Also I don’t know regulatory rules are in place for importing live plant material. I guess my thought would be to computer search for nurseries in the western hemisphere producing countries, United States, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. Good luck. Charley

  34. Charley,

    I am thinking about buying land in temecula which is already a avocado farm.

    Can i get your email to ask you some questions ?

    Thanks
    Deepak

    • Deepak, Sorry for the delay. I have been overwhelmed. I will send you my contact information separately. Charley

  35. Hi Charley,

    Do you know anything about growing Avocados in Panama?
    I have been reading that they produce twice as much avocados? But I’m not sure if I can import to California (or states). If you know any resource that would help me to learn more about growing in Panama I’d appreciate.

    • Sam, I don’t know anything about growing avocados commercially in Panama. They should do well because of the climate. You can go to the University of California web site. There is a lot of information on growing avocados in California. You can adjust the information for conditions in Panama. You have to have permission from US Department of Agriculture to ship to the states. I don’t expect that an individual would be able to get that done. The process is normally done the country’s government. Sorry. Charley

  36. Hi, Im looking at purchasing about 10 Acer’s in Murrieta and plan on planting avocados. I have no experience managing or starting up a Grove from the beginning and I could use some good advice and would also like to find out how much you charge for your services.

    • Randall, There simply isn’t enough hours in the day. I am surprised at how far I am behind in answering the blog questions. I will send you the contact information separately. Thanks, Charley

      • Nguyen Quang’s question is also mine, he asked “Why is it that an avocado tree has many flowers but no fruits?” Thanks

        • An, First the tree will have huge amounts of flowers if it is in stress. Also it will not hold the flowers if it is stressed. The flowers fall before they can be pollinated. If the flowers are pollinated the baby fruit won’t hold under stress. The typical cause of stress is incorrect irrigation, usually not enough water.

  37. Hello Charley – I have been contemplating on starting an avocado grove for a while now and would like to know more information in general. I have 13 acres and a water well that produces about 60+ gallons per minute in the Ramona 92065 area. Could you please help me with the technical necesities etc? Thank you!

    • Jose, You are fortunate to have a well producing 60+ GPM. You have to look closely about growing avocados in the Ramona area. There are some places that get too cold in the winter. I can help you. I’ll send You my contact info separately.

  38. Dear Charley, I’m very interested to purchase hass avocado directly from farms or grow avocado by my self, if you have a chance please call me at 917-355-7803
    Thanks
    Roman

    • Roman, To purchase directly from a grower you would have to contact them and make arrangements for the purchase. The amount you require, how frequently, and for what price would have to be agreed. Also where you are and how do they get there would have to be established. I don’t understand grow by yourself. Are you wanting to grow one tree or looking to establish a commercial orchard? Let me know.

  39. Hi Charley,

    I am writing the post from Georgia (not the state in the US, but a country in Central Asia). My friend and I are willing to invest in avocado cultivation, however our knowledge on avocado cultivation is very limited. We would like to know answers on two very general questions:
    1) is there any way to plant avocado tree so that it can bear fruits within one or two years?
    2) does avocado cultivation require any specific materials (such as fertilizers, pesticides etc.) in the absence of which it will be impossible to have a profitable business?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Archil, I don’t know of any planting technique that can get the tree to produce a commercial crop in one to two years. Obviously if there were such a process everyone would be using it. Yes avocados require fertilizer some pesticides, and water the absence of which will make it virtually impossible to have a profitable business.

  40. Hi Charley, Great info here. I have 8.5 acres in the upper part of rainbow. I have a flat area of about 1/4 acre that I’m thinking to plant trees on. The soil is 100% decomposing granite and it gets full sun. The question(s) I have are 1 – What might be some considerations/concerns with pure DG as the soil? 2 – I”m considering purchasing 24″ box plants. I’m initially thinking of only putting in 5 to 10 or so trees and seeing how that goes. My initial goal is not to generate revenue but gain experience and provide for personal/friends, granted they are thirsty. I also have a small grove (60 trees) of Macadamia so I am thinking of registering as a grower, helps some on the water bill and having a tax deduction. As a side note: There is some areas near the mac grove that gets afternoon sun, the soil is a mix of DG topped with decomposing leaves/etc from the mac grove. This is a slight hill so it may be a better location (partial shade, better soil?)

    • David, The decomposed granite is fine for avocado. The tree likes well drained soil. What you have to remember is southern California soils are nitrogen poor so you have to have a proper fertilizer program. I don’t know where you can buy a 24 inch box avocado tree. Doesn’t make any difference. It is a waste of your money. Buy a regular nursery tree and take care of it. It will be big in a short time. The sun is not a huge decision. Where you are located will be fine. There is an advantage to slopes facing to the SW. It is a little warmer. Good luck.

      • Thanks Charlie. I am looking at sourcing a half dozen 24″ boxes from Maddock Ranch Nursery. I was wanting the 15 gallon hass trees but this year they are scarce (actually haven’t found any). These guys have a lot of the 24″ boxes. I think [believe] the 5 gallon ones are going to take to long to fruit – the 24″ is pretty much instant gratification 🙂

        Thanks again

      • Hi Charles, I am looking into a small avocado orchard with some citrus tree around Pauma Valley. How many pounds of avocados I need to produce to make it profitable. How many pounds aproximate does one tree make? How much a management company charges to take care of the orchard? I don’t know much about growing avocados I understand water is very expensive. Looking into a high tech drip system to save water but know sure how expense it is to install one.

        • Karla, The amount of pounds of production for profit is driven by the amount of expense. To give some perspective it will cost about $7500.00 per acre per year to produce a crop. How many pounds is needed is dependent upon the amount paid for the fruit. You can just pick numbers of pounds a amount paid to see what you need. We never think of pounds per tree. That number varies too much. The number used is pounds per acre. In the example above if you produce 10.000 pounds per acre and average $1.00 per pound you would be profitable. If you produce less and get less per pound you could be upside down. Most management companies charge by the acre. That may vary with the size of the orchard and the location. Yes water is expensive and you have to produce enough fruit to pay for the water. High tech drip is effective to get the tree started but not practical as the tree matures. Its native environment is tropical so it likes to have a larger surface wetted. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  41. Hi Charlie,

    My name is Rob, and I am looking to purchase a house in the Temecula area; the house comes with 650 avocado trees. Looking at the figures presented by the present owner the “farm” is operating at a loss and has been for the past three years.

    Having no experience or knowledge of Avocado production I am concerned at buying the house/home when it is incurring such costs.

    Can you help with the following queries:
    • Average yield ($ or lbs) to be expected from 650 trees, with 550 of the trees in “full production”
    • Average Cost of operating 650 trees –
    • The “listing” information states 6 acres, but obviously the House takes up some of this area.
    • Bearing in mind my lack of Avocado experience, would it be better and more profitable to use a Farm Manager or Contractor, and if so what income would be possible?

    I appreciate these may be vague questions and would be more than happy to talk to you if you need more info.

    Look forward to hearing from you
    Kind regards
    Rob

    • Rob, Your questions are difficult to answer. Production and cost are not normally expressed per tree but rather per acre. Without seeing the property I can only give the general case. For an orchard planted on standard spacing of 15×20, that is 15′ between the trees and 20′ between the rows, the goal should be to produce 10,000 pounds per acre. This assumes the orchard is being correctly farmed. If you averaged $1.00 per pound your revenue would be $10,000.00. You can vary this projection by changing the amount of pounds or the price paid for the fruit. This being said the state five year rolling average is 5700 pounds per acre. Operating cost vary about $7000 to $8000 per acre. If you have the time, make the commitment, and acquire the knowledge, you can save the expense of a manager. Since I am farm manager it sounds self serving to say you are better off with a manager, but you are. Good luck. Charley

      • Hallo I live in kenya, and I am interested in Commercial avocado farming,when you mention $8000 as the cost of operation, does that include the preparation of land to harvesting? Then again what would you say about the Gem cultivar which is trademarked is it a superior one above hass. I am interested in either hass or this other depending on your wisdom,

        • Priscilla, The $8000.00 is a per acre charge in California. You can use it as a guide to evaluate operating cost in your area. It does not include development cost. That is a separate item dependent on several variables. It does include harvesting costs once the trees come into production. The GEM is a hass like variety with some different characteristics, size, maturity time, tree shape. I would not say it is superior just a little different. Charley

  42. Hello Charley, going to plant more avacado’s here in mission hills. I would like to know if there re certified organic avacado trees available in southern ca. I am growing, hass, fuerte and reed at this time. How is the gwen in comparison to the 3 that I grow in quality. I may be biased but I think the fuerte is 1 of the best. 2nd. favorite is the reed.
    Thanks Charlie
    Joe Salemi

  43. hi Charley my daughter has 2 x avocado trees (BOTH HAAS) +-45cm high GROWN FROM SEEDS BUT CAN WE GRAFT THEM TOGETHER OR DOES IT HAVE TO BE GRAFTED FROM A BIG TREE (hi from DURBAN SOUTH AFRICA)

    • Tony, You have to graft using bud wood from a producing tree. The wood should be younger wood preferably cut in the spring. In South Africa you should be able to find someone to help you.

  44. Hi Charley,

    Do you have any experience with Fertigation? We have recently hired an engineer to oversee planning for the nutrition of our young trees, and he introduced to us the idea of Fertigation. Our farm manager and his assistant previously fertilized by walking tree to tree (over a reasonably expansive property). As an FYI, our farm is located in Michoacan, MX. Just was wondering if you had any thoughts on the practice.

    As always, your insight is much appreciated.

    Thanks and have a good one,

    Hoda

    • Hoda, The advantage of fertigation is that the trees receive nutrient on a regular basis rather getting it all at once. If you hand applied the fertilizer then got a lot of rain it will carry the fertilizer below the root zone. To inject the fertilizer you have to have the plumbing and a fertilizer injection tank. Most important you have to have access to either liquid fertilizer or a water soluble dry product. I have to believe those would be available in Michoacán.

  45. Hi there Charley, great blog you have going on here. I have a client with 7 acres in la cresta hills in Murrieta CA. Great area with avocado farms there. He wants to use 6 o those acres to crop for profit. I’m suggesting avocados, but if I am not mistaken these profit margins are on the longer run. How many trees u suggest per acre and how fast would you say a successful avocado crop could bring profit? Thank you

    • Ignacio, Profit for avocados is driven by how much fruit you produce. The cost of water is what impacts the profit. The industry is going to high density plantings. I suggest planting 12×12. This will yield about 300 trees per acre. After planting it will be about 4 years to produce a commercial crop. Profit is determined by the market and how good a farmer you are.

    • Kolawole, The avocado likes well drained soil. The soil drainage rate will effect your irrigation strategies. I do not recommend growing two crops in the same planting.

  46. Hi Charles, currently I am interest in Del Luz land in Temecula. All previous avocados tree have been remove, and I plan to grow the same type of tree in the land. Would you be able to help me where to start? For example, the company I can call to buy the plant, harvesting, etc. Please email me your consulting service and cost. Thanks

      • Hi Charley , I am interest in de La Luz area in Temecula , would you send the information of what I need to start a commercial orchard of avocados . Thank you for the information .

        • Natalia, You need to contact a realtor to find the acreage to develop. After that you can make a plan and set aside the necessary capital to accomplish the development. Good luck. Charley

  47. Dear charley,
    I am planning to purchase a House, Parcel 9.80 Acres 874 Hass Avocado Trees 15 Family Fruit Trees .CAN you quota me how much will your company to manage this grove? including picking and sale. by the way, how much to drill a well in temecula hill west?the exsiting owner showed me the water fee in 2016 is about $44,200,if I drill a well, can the grove be more profitable? and electricity fee is more than $ 5000/year, can solor system be useful to lower the cost? please help me as soon as possible so that I can make my decision.
    thanks.
    regards,
    carol
    R

    • Carol, Answering most of your questions really requires looking at the property. One general statement is that if you have a good well it will lower your water cost and should make you more profitable. Current solar technology can provide adequate power for well pumps. This will lower your operating costs but increase your investment costs. The operating costs for an orchard in today’s economy will be about $7500.00 per acre per year. I will send you my contact information separately. Charley

    • Jim, Seems some just recently ask a similar question about elevation. The simple answer is that the elevation consideration is related to the climate. In some cases higher elevation means the temperatures may be too cold. In other areas you have to get to higher elevations because lower the temperatures could be too hot or too cold. So the elevation doesn’t matter if the climate is right. You could test by planting a few trees. Good luck. Charley

      • Thanks for the response. In my area, Azores islands, I have a few trees growing well close to sea level. A piece of land came available at 290 elevation and I know it is about 2 degrees cooler there than at my location but never gets below 7 degrees C .

  48. hi Charley,

    Hi i am from india, i am very much interested in growing 1 or 2 avocado trees at my home, i actually dont have a garden where i can plant a tree so was wondering if i could grow them in a huge container or something like that, so i came across few varieties of avocado such as gem, holiday and some others which are small trees, so please can u suggest me few a varieties which have a good yield which can be grown in a huge container and placed on roof top.

    thanks!

    • Varun, Yes you could grow the tree in a container. You must be sure that water will drain out of the container or the roots will rot. You should also plan on pruning the tree to keep its size in line with its restricted root system. T he variety chosen will probably dictated by what is available in India. I have no personal knowledge on what nurseries may be propagating in India. Good luck. Charley

  49. I’m re-posting my question because I do not see it… My wife and I are new to the Avocado grove business. We purchased a grove up in De Luz 2 years ago. My question is do you know or have any suggestions about how to write off trees that have died on your taxes?

    Thanks,
    Brandon

    • Brandon, If you allocated a value to the trees when you purchased the property you can use that number. If not you could use a value of $350 to $450 per tree. You must be careful to use a number that is not too large. You could choose a number that includes all of the trees that is a value higher than the purchase price. Finally I would confirm your choice with a tax account familiar with agriculture. Charley

    • Richard, The avocado is happy growing in a well drained soil where there is no threat of freeze and summertime temperatures are not too hot. In most cases irrigation may be required in the summer. I would think these conditions would exist in Phnom Penh. Charley

    • Hi Richard, I’m in neighboring Laos, just starting to grow avocado at 1,200 metres above sea level, in the south of the country. Based on what I have learned, I believe you should be able to grow varieties of avocado from the West Indian race. That does not include Hass. I doubt you would be able to grow Hass successfully in PP (too low altitude = too hot). I know the West Indian varieties are popular in Vietnam and Indonesia (and perhaps elsewhere in SE Asia), they usually have less oil, and are commonly used in smoothies. They are growing them down the hill from where I am, currently being sold by farmers at the roadside for 20,000 kip/kg. That’s about $2.50. All seedling trees, no grafting, so every tree is a unique variety! The West Indian varieties normally mature in the middle of the year here. Hass is expected to mature at the end of the year. I’ll find out for sure in a couple of years! Eddie.

  50. Hello, I am looking a purchasing a piece of property with a few hundred avocado trees on it. Problem is we don’t know when to harvest, how to get the manpower to harvest or where to even sell the avocados. Is there a service that can be contracted to manage the grove and pick and sell the fruit for us? And is so what would a service like that be called?

    • Also, I know there are a lot of factors this number depends on. But for a fairly well managed private grove is there a range of estimated profit per acre?

      • Ben, You are right there are a lot of factors. The simple answer is that if the grove is healthy and properly farmed it will be profitable. For a correct estimate the grove operation has to be looked at over a period of time, usually five years.

    • Ben, What you are asking for is what my Company does. The service is usually listed as grove managers in California. I will send you my contact information separately. Thanks, Charley

  51. Dear Mr. Wolk,

    I’d like to start an avocato production in Portugal, however due to the high demand, there is a waiting list of 3 years to buy the trees (from Spain). Would it be possible (and would make sense in terms of business costs) to import the trees from California?
    Thank you so much for your kind attention, best regards

    • Rita, Join the club we have to wait until 2018 for trees ordered now. That is better than three years. I don’t know what the restrictions are on shipping live plant material from California to Portugal. Additionally I have no idea if the trees would ship well. I assume they would have to go by air and that could be costly. Too bad you don’t have some one with the skill in growing and grafting the trees. You could almost grow them faster than waiting for the trees from Spain. Good luck. Charley

    • If you are interested in purchasing avocados. I have almost 100 adult trees. You must pick it yourself and fill the dirt back in. In Florida.

  52. I have experienced growing Avocados on an amateur scale for the past 20 years,experiencing with different varieties,Haas,Ettinger,Pinkerton,Bacon.I am planning to plant a 2 acres piece of land on a commercial level.I am carefully studying what species of avocados to choose for that purpose.In all these years the Pinkerton Avocados seems to be the most reliable as In 12 years it has given 11 crops,better than all the others,and it is more resistant to diseases than the other species.I wonder what is best commercial variety in your opinion ? bearing in mind that the crop will be sold locally with no need for cold storage. Great Blog !!

    • Joseph, You say the fruit will be sold locally. I assume you will be selling it at road side or at Farmers Markets. You need to remember that 2 acres is different than a few trees. You are going to have a larger amount of fruit to deal with. Going to a packing house the hass will be easier to deal with. The Pinkerton will always be a winner in direct sales. I would also suggest Reed. It is a larger fruit and is ready later in the season. You should also consider Fuerte it will spread the production out over the season to give you the time to handle the fruit. Good luck. Charley

      • Is there a rule of thumb as to how much fruit an acre yields? I guess it’s related to the variety and age of the trees too…

        What can you tell us about it Charley? It is important if one is planning a commercial operation – no matter where.

        • Alvaro, Yes production is related to the variety and age of the trees. But also critical is the tree spacing and the quality of care. A high density planting correctly farmed can produce up to 20,000 pounds per acre.

  53. Charley
    Please tell me what size water meter would be the best for a twenty acre avocado grove.
    Is a one inch badger meter appropriately? I have RMWD and have had a nine month dispute going on with them over meter and irt problems. I would like to talk to you and possibly meet with you to get your advice. If you could meet with us for about an hour we would drive to your location and talk.
    I need help to understand and solve the problem we have.
    thank you
    penny peukert

    • Penny, Your question was about the best size water meter for a 20 acre avocado grove. In an ideal world we would want the largest meter available. Bigger meters flow more water so you can irrigate larger sections of the grove at one time. The downside is that the larger the meter the more expensive it is. The compromise is a 2 inch meter it will give you irrigation flexibility at a more reasonable price. If you go to a smaller meter you can get it to work by installing more valves to control the areas to be irrigated. The problem can occur when the trees are older and need more water. If you get a heat wave in the summer it may take too long to irrigate the orchard once.
      You may incur tree damage and fruit loss. I will send you my contact information separately.

    • Hi Charley,

      My question is a little bit off the topic of growing avocado. I hope you don’t mind. My husband and I are considering to buy a house a few hundred feet away from an large Avocado Orchard. We have some concerns about pesticide drift. Does Avocado Orchard use a lot of pesticide in general? Thank you in advance!

      • Julia, The general case is that there is very little pesticides used in growing avocados. There are a few growers who have chosen to spray for avocado thrip. You also need to know that the regulations governing the application of these materials is very stringent. Bottom line don’t worry about it. Charley

  54. Hi Charley,

    My husband and I are looking at buying land in Hawaii and are particularly attracted to a few parcels that have existing avocado farms on them. How many tree’s would you recommend to make a worthwhile income from them? What kind of ongoing maintenance do they require?

    We appreciate your email reply, thank you

    • Lavida, I have never thought of a number of trees as the criteria for worthwhile income. The number of trees or the amount of acreage really only impacts the economy of scale. The orchard will normally require irrigation, weed control, pruning, and harvesting. That expense will depend on the labor rate and how much you do yourself.

  55. Dear Charley, I am from South India we have several seedling trees growing here, mostly Guatemalan, and West Indian races. I have been trying to identify a suitable tree to grow near the western sea coast where the temp are between 14 deg C and 40 deg C. Past 4 years we are grafting using stone grafting or epicotyl methods. This year we have got our first fruits from the first grafting. Recently we identified a seedling tree with fantastic quality of fruit relatively small seed 50 grams average 500 grams fruit, high fat content, pulp with dry smooth texture, egg yolk yellow colour, thick grainy skin. It has more characteristics of Guatemala type. Would you think that root stock will change flowering and fruiting pattern and fruit pulp character? The price of retail fruit is about USD 2.2 per pound. We have humidity over 90% for 3 months and 40% for 3 months. Do you feel that if we were to go for 12×12, we could be profitable considering the fact that labour cost is USD 10 per day and rest of in put costs are like the USA? Some of our friends have about 100 acres of coffee inter planted with Avocado mostly of Guatemala type. Could 64 gallons of water per day be excessive? Regards Jacob

    • Jacob, You didn’t say what variety you grafted on your seedling. You say you got an exciting fruit from a seedling. You need to know that you can only get the same fruit by grafting. If you take the seed from one of these fruit and plant you will not get the same fruit. Actually I don’t know what you will get. Maybe nothing maybe some fruit traceable back to the trees parent. Fruit characteristics are determined by the fruit variety. The root stock will provide characteristics of the plant; drought tolerant, salt tolerant, dwarfing. Regarding profitability you have an advantage on the cost of labor. I don’t know what the cost of development is, clearing, irrigation system, water source. Of course the labor cost is low, but what will the fruit sell for. A mature avocado tree in the summer will require about 450 gallons of water a week. Good luck on your venture, Charley

  56. Charley, Great board! In your opinion is planting avocados on virgin ground better than planting on existing plantation? Also please send your contact, i would like to hire you for a consulting job in the De Luz area on a property i am looking at.

    Regards,
    J

    • Jaime, I believe most would say planting on virgin ground is better. The assumption being it is good soil and the weather is appropriate. I will send you my contact information separately.

    • Ed, Yes you can grow avocados in south Texas. There used to be a lot of commercial production in the Rio Grand valley. I don’t know why it was stopped. You need to check on how you will get to market before you plant.

  57. Hi Charley,
    I am writing from far far away. A city called Kathmandu in Nepal. By chance, I was given a plant some 10 years ago and that plant has started to fruit for last couple of years. In my country, avocados are slowly being known to people. I was just wondering if this plant could be introduced to rural hilly population it would help them to earn money so that it helps to alleviate poverty and also stop soil erosion. Because I found avocado a very interest fruit. Thank you.
    Surendra

    • Surendra, I don’t know what kind of avocado plant you were given. It is unusual for the tree to take 10 years to produce fruit. The consideration for whether the plant will do well is determined more by the weather than by the shape of the terrain. Simple criteria it can’t be too cold [freezing] nor too hot. You will probably need to irrigate. You also have to investigate where you can get grafted trees. Of course as I have suggested to others before you commit to the effort to develop an orchard you need to analyze where there is opportunity to sell the fruit. Good luck. Charley

  58. Hi, I live in the shade side of the mountain in Lake Elsinore. I want to plant about 4 or 5 avocado trees for my personal use. There are several mature Oak trees and I’ll like to ask you if the roots of the Oak trees will spread the oak tree root fungus disease to the roots of the avocado tree.

    Thank you.
    JC.

    • Jose, If you assume that the oak trees have the fungus, It is only a matter of time until it spreads to the avocados. Additionally You need to check the record for the low temperatures in the winter. There are a lot of areas in and around Lake Elsinore where it gets too cold in the winter. Are there any avocados growing around where you want to plant?

  59. Hello, I have being planting a few ha in Panama, but I am worry about how much sun light my trees are getting, because there is too much fog during the day. Could you help me with that?

    • Bernardo, The fog may be causing other situations besides the amount of sun. I am assuming that at some point in the day the fog diminishes. Even if it present always during daylight hours there still should be enough sun for the trees. The additional concern that needs to be considered is if there is that much fog that means high humidity. So the trees would not be using that much water. Irrigation management has to be precise too much water sets up the conditions that are conducive to various diseases. You will just have too much the condition of the trees.

  60. I recenty bought a former Avacado orchard in La Habra Heights. Since no one maintained or watered it, most of the trees have died. I hav 10 big trees left and that too are barely surviving.

    I have 2.5 acres and want to develop 1 acre into an Avacado orchard. Can you advise from where to buy plants and how many can I plant.

    • Nitin, Probably all of the trees should be replanted. I would recommend that you plant the trees on 12×12 spacing. I would suggest you go to the yellow pages for Ventura County to find a commercial nursery propagating avocados. I know there are several up there.

  61. Great list of questions and comments, thanks. I am putting together a pitch for greenhouse hydroponic (actually aquaponics) avos, can you send me a consult form?
    Meanwhile, can you estimate yield per acre in a greenhouse? What would it take to achieve year-round production?

    • Jon, AS I have told others I have a hard time visualizing growing trees hydroponically. I don’t know of any avocado commercial greenhouse production so I have no basis to estimate yield. In fact I am not sure it can be done. If doable I believe it would be very expensive.

  62. DEAR CHARLEY,
    MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN AND MY GRANDFATHER OWNS LAND IN MICHOACAN, MEXICO. HE DOES BUSINESS WITH LOCAL MARKETS AND STORES AND DOES EXTREMELY WELL. THE FACTOR OF HIS SUCCESS IS HIS HASS AVOCADOS AND THE GREAT QUALITY. HE BROUGHT UP THE IDEA OF EXPORTING TO THE U.S. AND I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A NEW AND COMPLEX FOR US. WHAT IS YOUR ADVISE TO ME ? HOW WOULD I GO ABOUT IT AS FAR AS LOGISTICS AND FINDING THE RIGHT BUYERS? THANK YOU

    • Christian, There are packers and shippers in Michoacán who export to the US. That would be the first place to check. If he is selling to local markets I assume he has a small amount to sell. To attempt to market his avocados himself to the US is a major undertaking.

  63. please is it possible to grow avocado in and out of season with the help of good fertilizer. if yes what type of fertilizer is best

    • Ezepue, The avocado tree is on a cycle. Where the trees are will determine the dates of the cycle. The tree will need nutrient during the different parts of the cycle. So I guess I don’t know what you mean by in and out of season.

  64. Hi,great posts..
    I am searching avocado land in ventura county. its over 15 acres of planting tree perimeter. the trees are sparsely planted in areas.i can send you a link with a drone video of property of listing.
    I’m looking for your opinion after you see property video/pictures. some new trees have been planted. a mix layout w old.
    I want to see if planting new densely 10×10 is possible with current trees layout for a profitable property. some areas the trees are sparse. rest trees are large but widely planted. its on a hill..Is there a concern with the age of Haas trees?
    Thank you for your opinions

    • DG, I will send you an email to use to forward the drone video. If I can see enough to offer some opinions I will charge you a consulting fee. If I can’t see enough I will let you know. Thanks, Charley

  65. Hello Charley
    I Have 60 acres of Hass avocado trees, average age of 14, about 4000 trees in Temecula, for the last 5 years, we have had horrible, and have been losing a great deal of money.
    I wanted to know if you do any consultation, if so what is the process and the cost in getting you to consult.
    Do you know of a great management company, that I can contact in Temecula?

  66. We purchased a property in Valley Center of 2+ acres with avos & citrus trees. When we purchased the avos were green & full but they have since mostly died back. One picker said we should “stump” them because that stimulates new growth. Is that true? If so how old should a tree be before it is cut in this fashion?
    Thanks!

    • Jeffrey, You didn’t say how long it has been since you purchased the property. Your description of what the trees did is probably an irrigation problem. In most cases not enough water. Stumping the trees is not the solution. It will do sort what you were told only because you have removed the parts of the tree that are demanding water. A mature avocado tree needs about 450 gallons of water every week in the summer time. You should be able to look back and see how close you were to applying that much water. Verify your irrigation practices before you start stumping trees.

  67. Dear Mr. Wolk,

    We are looking to develop a Hass avocado plantation above 1,000 meters farm in the Dominican Republic. We are interested in knowing your insights about tree density. We have learned the number of trees in a hectare should be 400 (or 162 per acre). However, we have seen that in some places in Mexico, they have planted 800 trees per hectare (or 324 trees per acre) and claim that this is a”technified” farm.

    My questions are:

    What factors influence the farm density?
    How many trees per unit area is recommendable? How should we decide?
    What would be a farm with good “technology”?

    We’d appreciate your help and knowledge.

    Thank you.

    • Carlos, High density planting is driven by the cost of land and water. Simply stated more trees per acre will produce more fruit per acre. Orchards I have planted in recent years were planted on 12×12 centers. This gives you high yield but you have to accept that the trees have to be pruned every year. Farmed correctly you may have to prune in year four, for sure every year.

      • Hi Charley, At 12ft x 12ft, for how many years would you expect the orchard to be viable and would you plan to thin (remove) trees at some point? Thanks. Eddie.

  68. Dear Sir,

    I am interested to produce Avocado in Pakistan.

    Please send me some needful information regarding forming and crop cultivation tips and sale it to Europe and America markets.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    Please also send me your Cell no for further information’s.

    Regards.

    Iftikhar Nawaz Qadri

    • Iftikhar, I believe the best information on growing avocados for a beginner is the University of California web site,UCAVO.UCR.EDU. You will have to adjust the information to fit Pakistan. You will also need to identify a source for trees. Not only to find someone who could furnish the trees but also look at the government regulations for permission to bring them into Pakistan. You should also identify the method you would sant to use to ship the future production to Europe and America. Good luck. Charley

    • Dear wolk,My name is Javed saleem and I m admistrator Phnjab cooperative fruit development board at Agri.University Fasialabad.We have very recently started growing this wounded full and mircial tree with the help of National Agriculture Reach council Islamabad who imported avocado plants for us from U.S
      Your introduction to board is blessing.i will keep in touch with you in the this regards.
      Thanks.
      Sincerly,
      Javed saleem

      • Javed, Best of luck on your avocado venture. If you have questions, put them on the blog. Hopefully I will not be so busy I can answer more timely. Charley

        • Dear Charley,
          My Name is Rishi Ram Parajuli from Nepal. I have started my avocado farm from last 4 years in my rural village of Nepal for the first time in that area. I planted about 300 plants in my slop land where no one else had planted avocado before. Most of the people even did not know about it. I did not consulted any concerned technician and soil was not tested before planting them. At the beginning of the plantation, baby goats ate the leaves of about 50 young plants. I heard from many of my friends that the plant contaminated with the saliva of goat is extremely danger for the avocado plant. So I replaced them on the same year. Fortunately now, majority of the plants are growing well. My question to you is that what is the association between saliva of goat and growth of avocado plant? I would be grateful for your valuable answer to this question.

          • Rishi, I apologize for the delay in responding to your question. Somehow your message was skipped. I believe your information has been misinterpreted. I know of no danger to the tree from saliva of any animal. On the other hand the leafs of the avocado can be dangerous to animals that eat them. It is especially critical for female animals and more so if they are pregnant. Could be goats, cows, or horses. Bigger problem is the animals eating all the leafs from the new trees. Good luck on your farm. Charley

      • Hi mr javed,
        I would like to get in touch with you regarding avacado growing in Pakistan. Could I get in touch with you on email or a number?

  69. Hi Charley,

    I am thinking about purchasing 5 acres in Vista and planting avocado’s Is there a way for me to get in touch with you?

    Judy

  70. hi charley,
    my name is farhan and i am from pakistan i am intrested in avacado plantation ,the weather in our place is from 4 degc in jan to 44 degc in june the hottest wheather ,so is this wheather suitable for avacado farming

    • Farhan, That temperature spread is at the margin. The low temperature will not damage the trees. At the high end in June you will need to have plenty of water for irrigation. If you were considering growing without irrigation it won’t work. Good luck. Charley

      far

  71. Hi Charley,

    My parents are looking into purchasing a farm in Northern NSW,Australia and would love to grow about 60-70 Avocado trees. The property is well watered with a dam at the bottom of the hill where they would like to plant the avo trees. I am just looking around on your site (love it!) and it may be a technical glitch but I cannot get into any of the categories, I would like to view the specific information on pests and best practices for grove instillation to get a rough cost to expect?

    Really appreciate you sharing your educational information!
    Kind regards,
    Victoria Schutte

    • Victoria, Your parents endeavor sounds interesting. To get more detailed information I would suggest searching for the Australian avocado growers web site. My memory is they have a pretty comprehensive bank of information. You can always go to the University of California web site UCAVO.UCR.EDU. If you use the California information you have to adjust it to fit Australia. Good luck. Charley

  72. Hi ,am Joseph from Rwanda I like these ideas and am so interesting to do avocadoes firming ,coz in our country we can have the biggest avocado which one can have 350-800grms in some province we havest even the avocado fruits of 1kg.but the problem we are not professionals on that to make a good profit on it and enough production.i ask for your advice,thx

    • Joseph, You will have to do some investigation there in Rwanda to determine if growing avocados will be profitable. Here are some considerations: where will you get commercial trees, is good quality irrigation water available, how much will the fertilizer, water, and labor cost, most important is there an outlet to sell the fruit? Answering these questions will give you an indication whether you can make money. Good luck. Charley

  73. I have a small avocado grove and would like to sell some of the fruits at farmers markets. Is it cost prohibitive for someone with 20 trees to get all the certification necessary to sell the avocados?

    • Adam, It is really quite simple. You have to register with the County Ag Commissioner. The registration is to verify that you are actually a grower. Usually there is no fee. The cost of selling in Farmer’s Markets is your time and expense to get there and sell. It is an interesting experience if you have the time.

  74. New to Temecula and with no experience in the industry I’ve recently heard of “girdling” to improve yield. I’ve read it’s occasionally used just prior to stumping. What are your thoughts on girdling as a practice to improve yield when there is no intent to stump in the foreseeable future? It would seem potentially dangerous to the tree.
    Thanks for your insight.

    • James, Girdling has been around for a long time. Many swear by it. As you heard some are combining girdling and stumping. I have done neither for two reasons. One girdling is an art. Cutting too deep or not enough diminishes the effect. Also like you I believe wounding the tree over time will have a negative impact. You might want to try it on a few trees and draw your own conclusions. Good luck. Charley

  75. Hi charley I am intending to cultivate avocado in large quantities in the west coast of Africa but I’m afraid my products might get ripped as temperatureh s are very high before they reach the market.are there chemicals to prevent them from getting ripped before they reach the market?

    • Gilbert, There are no chemicals that can be used to extend the shelf life of avocados. Shelf life is extended by controlling the temperature and atmosphere where the avocados are held. Controlling the atmosphere is removing the natural gases given off by the fruit as it ripens. Obviously lowering the temperature will lengthen the shelf life. It would appear you have a large challenge in your situation. Good luck. Charley

  76. Hi Charlie
    My wife & I are about to make an offer on a house in Fallbrook. It has an avocado grove of about 3.5 acres of and – they say – about 300 mature trees. Their water bill is about $900/month. We have no interest in making money out of the grove but do not want to lose money on it either and will have to have someone manage it. If you were to make a guess based on this info, are we going to make any money or lose money each year and what is the range of profit (loss)?

    Would you be able to come over and inspect it and give us advice on its management and what we can expect in costs and revenue? Please respond quickly we are about to make a purchase decision. Thanks

    • Mo, I apologize my schedule has prevented me from making a timely response to your questions. The$900/month water bill seems less than would be required for maximum production. If it was an average for twelve months it would be closer but I believe it would still be short. There is no way I could predict the net for the grove without looking at it and reviewing some past records. I can come and look at the situation on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact information separately.

  77. I am from Nepal. I have seed grown avocado in my garden but the fruit size is very small. I dreamt to acquire cheap land of hilly regions to plant 500 trees. But in Nepal here is no practice of avocado grafting so i can’t start that farm. So please tell me the Place and Procedures to import Grafted Hass avocado in Nepal.
    Himal Paudel

    • Himal, The fruit you got from your seedling comes from the parent root stock. To get a commercial variety the seedling has to be grafted. Importing live plants is normally regulated by the government. It would normally not only require permission but also permits. Some plants would not be allowed. That being said I don’t know of any nurseries that would ship live trees. If so maybe from Australia, New Zealand. or Morocco. I suggest you go on line and search for information on grafting technics. Then your challenge will be to get bud wood. The chances of a nursery being able to ship wood is more probable than shipping trees. Good luck. Charley

  78. Hi charly,
    Just a quick one,I’m frm Nigeria but I reside in the u.k and I love to go into avocado plantation but I’m not sure if this can be planted in Nigeria,have never heard of any farmer talking about this in Nigeria,and is there high demand for avocado in United States maybe it can be exported from Nigeria,please I really need you to put me through on this,thanks a bunch and will be waiting fr your response.

    • Ola,

      I have no personal knowledge of avocado production in Nigeria. Based on the number of inquiries I receive about avocados in Nigeria I have to assume something is going on there. You cannot export avocados from Nigeria to the United States at this time. It requires approval of the US Department of Agriculture for pest and disease exclusion reasons. There may be other markets available. Good luck.

  79. Hi Charley. i found you in my search on how to grow avocado, I see you have lots of knowledge about plantation and i think you can give me a good advice.I own a land in El Salvador, we already plant coffee.it is about 500 meter over sea level and we get decent amount of rain during winter.no water for irrigation during summer.i was thinking about planting hass avocado in between the coffee plantation we already have for extra income.will the avocado do well in this conditions? coffee plants grow about 2 meters, so we would have to let avocado grow over the coffee for needed shade.can hass avocado be started from seeds? is this a good idea or will be a waits of time and money? your advise will be really appreciated, thanks.

    • Ricardo, Your idea is interesting. As a matter of fact there is an effort here in California to get avocado growers to plant coffee under the avocado trees. Sort of the same concept from a different direction. Not having irrigation water during the summer may be a problem. The avocados can’t go through the summer without water. You can start an avocado from seed, but you will not get a varietal avocado. The seedling has to be grafted for the varietal. If you can solve the summer irrigation situation, this may be worthwhile. Good luck.

    • I was wondering how the Avocado trees and coffe worked together as well. I’m looking at a place in Costa Rica with live water running though the property.
      Another question was – is it worth the effort to be TOTALLY ORGANIC? As I have been told- is the way to go in coffee- at least there in CRica.
      The river also aids in a Trout farm production. Looking to have fish discarding as a fertilizer. All natural, injouse composting….. thoughts

      • Robert, I personally do not know anyone who currently is growing avocado and coffee together. I have commented before that I have a hard time seeing how it would work planting the coffee plants under mature avocado. Just seems that there would not be enough sun to get the coffee plants off to a strong start. Planting them together makes more sense to me. I do not know if the irrigation requirements for both plants are compatible. This would have to be analyzed to determine if an acceptable irrigation strategy can be created. I don’t know what the cost of organic farming is in Costa Rica. General comment is that organic product normally demands higher prices in the market. You just have to determine if the price differential covers the costs to farm organically. Good luck. Charley

        • We do plant coffee under avocado here in tolima Colombia, we do this 1300 to 1700 m. ..variety of coffee that works best is stunted ” San banardo”. A normal coffee tree is going to need a lot of pruning. My opinion avacate does better solo. But I got neighbors that do it. Although most stump the coffee when the avocate gets to about three years. 8/8m planting avo.

          • Ted, Thank you for the information. This will be helpful to those considering inter planting coffee with avocado.

  80. Hey Charley
    I am a beginner to avocado farming, I have 30 avocado trees. My question is how many cases average are collected from one tree..?

    • Patrick, I never think of production in terms of cases per tree. If you had that number it would vary from year to year looking at the tree. Production is normally expressed in pounds per acre. You didn’t say where you are or what kind of avocados they are. I’ll assume they are Hass, they are in California, and they are planted 15×20. The state rolling average is a little less than 6000 pounds per acre. The goal is 10,000 pounds per acre. You have about a third of an acre. You can calculate what you might expect for production. Good luck.

    • Hi i am from Zimbabwe and want to do this farming so far i have planted just 11 trees and by the end of this rainy season i am hoping to have planted 1000 trees,how many years does it take for a tree to produce fruit and how much can be expected from one plant,

      • Tendai, We generally mark commercial production in year 4 to 5 after being planted. That being said we have planted trees with fruit on them. Commercial production occurs when there is enough fruit to sell to a packing house. Also you realize that an avocado tree grown from a seed has to have a variety grafted to the seedling. I don’t think of production per plant. We usually measure production per acre. That will depend on tree spacing and cultural care.
        Good luck on your venture. Charley

  81. i am from Lao people border with Thailand and China. i Just so interested of growing the Avocado, but i do not know which one is the best tree that i should planted. we easily to find for the three that planted by seed. and it very hard and expensive for the three that they cut from the three and planted and than we can harvest in the next three years. so, for your suggestion which one is the best choice.

    • Ms. Vatsana, If you are asking about which variety the predominant variety is Hass. If you are considering growing a tree from a seed you need to know that seedling will have to be grafted to produce a commercial crop. It may or may not produce any thing. It won’t produce the fruit that produced the seed.

      • Sabai Dee Ms Vatsana, I am starting to grow avocado in Laos. My Lao business partner just planted a couple of hectares last week. I don’t know if you will see this message or be able to contact me via this blog but if you can contact me, I can give you some advice about what variety to grow and where to get grafted plants. Regards, Eddie.

  82. Charley

    I own land in Honduras. and would like to grow avocados in large or medium scale have about 100 acres that can be farmed .I guess i am not familiar with
    farming. the land is been used for cattle but is not very profitable at this time. This land is located in a hilly area don’t know the quality of the ground and what type needs to be for avocado farming .can you help with me some ideas???Thanks

    • Hector, The simple answer to your question is that the land should be well drained so the trees aren’t in standing water. The bigger consideration would be that water is available to irrigate the trees. Even if the land receives adequate rain fall. If it doesn’t come at the right time you will have to irrigate. Good luck. Charley

  83. Hello, my father owns about 20 acres of avocado trees in Michoacán Mex. He rents it out, and the renters have turned it to “organic”, whatever that means. The renters are wanting to buy, but my parents believe they are being low balled, as they are offering about 400,000 U.S.D. I have 4 other siblings and we all live in the United States and my parents in Mexico. I guess my question would bexpect, in your professional opinion, should we sell to the renters for that price? And how could we as a family profit from that land from the United States if we decide to not sell?

    • Ann, Organic simply means they are using no commercial fertilizer or chemicals to produce the crop. The only way I know of to determine if the offered price is appropriate is to have a Mexican appraiser give an opinion. The challenge is to find one who won’t be influenced by the tenants. By comparison the offer is $20,000.00 per acre. I would suggest you check with an attorney or the Mexican Embassy to see what the rules are to get the money from Mexico to the US. Good luck. Charley

    • Ann. im a chicago native living in michoacan as well. iam currently taking care of my fathers land and it depends where you are situated. but tht price is really low.

    • Ann. im a chicago native living in michoacan. iam currently taking care of my fathers avocado orchards and it depends where you are situated, but that price is really low to me.depending on age. i assume they are older threes since they are organic, but the hectaria is arlund 50,000 usd. or 1,000,000. pesos.

  84. Hello,

    I want to plant 5 hectares of Avocado near Marrakech Morocco. I have no experience in growing avocado but do have vignard experience.
    I wanted to know what are prequesites for water supplies, temperature for a succesfull project.

    • Reda, You need to have a reliable water source to provide 450 gallons of water per mature tree in the summer. The growing area cannot have freezing temperatures. Preferably summer temperatures can’t be too hot. Too many days at 100 F or higher will impact production. Good luck. Charley

  85. Hello Charley. I am looking at some land in the area. It is around 5 acres and has 350 avocado trees. I am trying to get an idea how much water these trees will need and the cost per month to water them using city water.

    Based on my research I estimate that each tree will require ~10gallons/day. This is 3500 gallons or 4.7 HCF/day (1 HCF = 748 gallons) Each HCF is approximately $5.50. So looking at ~26 dollars a day for water or $772 a month or $9,300 per year.

    If each tree bears ~50 pounds of avocados and buyers are paying $1/pound that’s 17,500 revenue minus water costs of $9,300 that’s about $8,000 profit. I will do most of the labor. Does this sound right? are my assumptions correct? anything I am missing?

    Just trying to figure out if this land purchase makes financial sense. I plan to build a “tiny home on it and was hoping the avocados could offset some of my mortgage costs.

    I know there are lots of variables. Do you have any recommendations? Can this idea work?

    Thanks!Jared

    • Jared, Your calculations are logical but your data is incorrect. To be commercially productive the avocado tree needs about 450 gallons a week in the summer. To be commercially successful your goal should be to produce 10,000 pounds per acre. Typical operating cost for a grove is $7500.00 per acre. These numbers will help you analyze the property. Good luck. Charley

  86. Good afternoon Charley, I have a couple questions regarding avocado groves in South Texas. I have 5 acres and would like to plant avocadoes. Which type of avocado would you recommend for planting in this weather of South Texas? Also, what would I have to do to start a small avocado grove business down here? Does it require permits or other state issued licenses to start up an avocado farm in South Texas? Thank you Charley

    • Ovido, There used to be a lot of avocados grown in Texas. Most commercial orchards were in the Rio Grand valley. Fuerte was the dominant variety. I don’t believe there is any commercial production left. I don’t know why but I suspect the loss of popularity of the Fuerte and competition from across the boarder. Hass will give you a quicker entry to the market. You could consider Reed if there is not too much wind. I suggest you check with the local Ag Commissioner for permit and license requirements. Good luck. Charley

  87. Good morning Charley,

    With current growing practices (keeping trees shorter) and proper winter temperature care (growing inside greenhouse) would it be possible to plant avocados trees in the ground in growing zones 8 or 7?

    • Brad, There are too many micro climates in zones 8 or 7. The tree can’t take freezing temperatures and has difficulty when there are a lot of days over 100. You will have to look at the weather records for a specific area to decide.

      • Hello Charly,

        I am close to finishing my undergraduate education, and I have been considering starting my own avocado business in Mexico. However, after weeks of research, I still have not found a reliable answer to my question. My question is, would you be able to provide an estimate of how many dollars it would cost to start a healthy orchard of 10 acres? Considering factors such as land, machinery, supplies, and anything else that would be included? Also around how much would it cost to maintain such an orchard? Thank you in advance!

        • Luis, I am not familiar with development cost in Mexico. I can only give you the numbers for California. To develop a high density grove here will cost about $30,000.00 per acre not including land cost. This would include clearing, grading, irrigation installation, the trees, stakes, wraps, and labor. Operating cost will be in the range of $6500 to $7500 per acre per year depending on the water source. This will give you some basis of comparison. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  88. Hi Charley

    Writing to you from Australia, I was wondering if you could give me some indication of feasibility. I was looking at purchasing a hobby farm in Northern Tasmania but not intending to move there anytime soon. What I was thinking was that I could plant a bunch of trees as seeds and more or less walk away and let nature run its course (checking in now and then but primarily focusing on work). Would they grow? (I’ve been getting a lot of flak about this idea but I don’t see the problem, it happens in nature all the time) and would it just be a matter of cleaning up in 7+ years when I wanted to settle?

    Best Regards,
    Alex

    • Alex, You pose an interesting question. Planting seedlings in an orchard then grafting them later after they are established is not new. Usually the seedlings come from a nursery who knows the source of the seeds and would have heat treated them to reduce pathegens. If you plant the seeds, I assume you would plant them on the spacing of the future orchard. If you just plant them randomly, the work to move them may be greater than any savings in the project. Additionally while I have visited Australia I am not familiar with the weather in Tasmania. There has to be adequate rainfall at reasonable intervals, a mild climate, with no serious wind events. If not the trees won’t survive. Avocados are grown in Australia. There is a national growers organization that I would suggest you contact. They may have some information to help you with your project. Good luck. Charley

  89. Realized that I may not have been clear about my Actual Question. Trying to estimate water costs, and if any kind of offset might be realized by harvesting. Sounds like you don’t think we’ll find anyone to harvest 150 trees (too few). To estimate water needs, I looked at Evapotranspiration Rates from Moorpark weather station #217 for the June to June recent year, a total of about 58″. Guessing at 40% of ETo for Avocados (where you can please help with advice) that comes out to 23″ per year. Is this a reasonable way to think about it? Thank you!

    • Polly, You haven’t said what the tree spacing is. Whatever you have about an acre plus of avocado. You need to apply about 3 to 4 acre feet of water to the trees to expect reasonable production. Again if you can’t anticipate harvest you can’t afford to apply the water.

      • Thank you very much for answer, Charley – the trees are approximately 15′ on center, but of course your point about not being able to harvest is well taken. It would sort of end up being a hobby, and the fruit would most likely be given away to friends who were willing to U-pick.

  90. I have a young orchard (<1 year planted) in Michoacan, MX – a little less than 15 hectares. Would you recommend planting inter-row crops to boost a young farms' revenue production? (I've read minimal support for the practice helping weed control, as well, but nothing published – all more anecdotal)

    If it's best to avoid planting inter-row crops at any point, early or otherwise, why? If you think it is a good idea, are there any examples in particular that you like more than others (and for specific reasons?)? Are there any that are absolute no-nos?

    As always, appreciate your candor, experience, and expertise.

    • Hoda, My answer is simple. In my experience inter planting another crop with avocado doesn’t work. It is difficult to find a crop that has the same or similar water requirements as avocado. The avocado will probably dominate any other crop and shade it out. The other crop will interfere with cultural operations for the avocado, pruning, harvesting. Short version it doesn’t work. Plant more avocados at closer spacing to increase the density.

    • Thinking of investing in “avocado land” aka Temecula.Do avocados turn out a decent profit to sustain myself?.The city life is starting to seem monotonously robotic. Thanks Charley!!

        • charley,
          Do you have any numbers on amount of labour required per Acre or any other way of expressing labour requirements. Sure they will be different during harvest but what about the rest of the year.
          regards and thanks in advance.

          • Bert, You pose an interesting question. I never think about it that way. The labor requirement is a moving target depending on a number of factors. All of the following will impact the labor requirement: the age of the trees, the slope of the land, the amount of winter rain, harvesting. Depending where you are it will cost about $7500.00 per acre per year to operate the orchard. This ought to give you some insight to your question.

  91. Hello Charley – so pleased to find your blog and appreciative of the time you take to answer questions. I am a landscape architect helping clients with newly purchased property near Camarillo, California. There are probably 150 Avocado trees on approximately 3/4 acre, in two portions of the property. The owners are very concerned about water costs and are in favor of removing about 90 of the trees from about 1/2 acre. I want to use care and science to help them make the decision, especially because we will have to replant the land with something else, and even planting with widely spaced native shrubs and groundcovers will entail its own costs, at least during establishment.

    • Polly, You are absolutely correct about removing the trees. Once you get them out you have to put something else in their place. You didn’t mention the condition of the trees. That would influence the decision. Also without seeing the land I have a hard time understanding why take out 90 trees. My instinct says all or none. Good luck. Charley

      • Thanks again for thoughtful information. The trees we are considering removing are in a strip on an upper slope (4-5 rows, 15′ oc), and the keepers are in a strip downslope, away from the Main House (3 rows, 15′ oc) and behind some Citrus. So we’d save about half the cost of watering them all, especially if we replace with native hydroseed mix, a few native trees and shrubs. Will be in touch next time we have an orchard to consider.

  92. Hi Mr. Wolk,
    I recently purchased a property in Ramona with 280 avocado trees that were stumped about 3 years ago. The trees were maintained by the previous owner and look healthy. The property has a well. I am completely new to avocado farming and have a couple of simple questions:
    1. When should I fertilize the trees and how
    much and what type of fertilizer would you recommend?
    2. Currently, the trees are being watered on 100% well water but the previous owners said sometimes it’s mixed with Ag water due to high salinity of the well when low. How is the salinity checked and the proper mix determined when necessary?
    Thanks for your help!
    Mark

    • Mark, When you fertilize the trees by hand application the material is usually applied in Feb and Jul. We typically take leaf samples in Aug to determine the nutrient level which gives us the data to determine the fertilizer program for the next year. Absent that information I would make a judgment based on how the trees look. Obviously I haven’t seen your trees. So to get started I would apply one pound of 15-15-15. That will give the trees some nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. From there you can get the leaf analysis for next year.
      You can’t determine how to mix the water source until you know what the chloride level is. You should test both sources well and district. Locals labs can do that for you. Remember we have salt in the district water. Another option is to apply a leaching irrigation. You run the water twice as long to flush the salt below the root zone.
      Good luck. Charley

    • Is there a reliable irrigation well drilling firm in the local ( San Diego) I can work with to install a well in Escondido ?
      Thanks

      • Vincent, I couldn’t figure out which Mark you were replying to. I use Stehley Brothers well company in Valley Center.

    • Im Paul from Kenya i m in the process of planting 600 avocado trees by crafting with fuerte trees what are the major challenges in starting?

      • Paul, The first hurdle will be a successful graft. Grafting is an art and science. Many say more art than science. After that you just have to take care of them until they reach production.

  93. Wayne, I don’t know if I can answer your question. You must have a lot of land to plant avocados over 45 feet apart. The reason I can’t answer the question is that I don’t know of any body or any country that plants tree like that. Even in New Zealand where they have many orchards on wide centers from planting and from cultural practices I don’t believe they have them that far apart. I suppose on could assume that if the tree has that much room it will continue to fill that space to get more sun. That being said I don’t know how you would get into the tree to harvest the fruit especially if it is on a hillside.

  94. Charlie
    I am a real estate agent in Temecula and I have a customer with a 40 acre grove and adjoining 10 acres that they need to sell URGENTLY- below market. The grove is stressed and as I understand it the grove has been mismanaged. There are 2 wells but only 1 is functioning. I am looking for an immediate buyer. Please let me know if you know of someone looking for a great deal. Thanks Vinny 951-970-8159

  95. Charley,

    i am in canada. [For the record, a single Haas avocado costs $2.50 at the grocery store – on sale you can get them for $2.00 per avocado. i think this price is outrageous]

    i was so angry at the prices i decided to sprout and grow my own indoor tree. I did. and then i sprouted another – and tended to it like a small child. I got such a kick out of sprouting them, i continued. i get the pits for free from a Sushi Bar. I now have about 150 plants sprouted and growing at varying different stages of growth.

    my question is what the heck do i do with all these trees? i have tried to give them away – and got rid of about 10. It is too cold up here to transplant them outside – and my heart is unable to kill any of them.

    do you have any suggestions?

    i have 10 additional “pits” in water that will sprout soon.

    rich

    • Rich, First instead of only looking at the price of the avocado you should compare it to something. How much do you pay for a big bag of potato chips. Whatever the value of the avocado will be greater by weight and for sure in nutrition and health. You are right not too many people want a seed rooted avocado tree. It won’t produce fruit with out grafting and few would want to use them for indoor house plants. I would suggest calling a close friend and ask him or her to take them away and don’t ask what they will do with them. Good luck. Charley

    • You need to buy some land and get a water supply to it then (u can yry one in your backyard first.) build a green house oit of painters plastic and it should give the tree plenty of room to grow if it can survive for 5 years under that u should be ok just prune it low and eventually u are on the same level as the martian.

      • Andy/Rich, Rich here is another view. If the tree survives 5 years in Canada in a plastic green house patent the process you could become a millionaire. Chjarley

  96. Hi Charley,

    I’m volunteering in Tanzania. The place I’m volunteering at we already have about 50 acres of avocadoes. It will be my job to teach our agriculture students how to plan a business using avocados. Which will eventually be a source of income for the AG School. Also we will be planting about one hectare of avos each year. Do you have any suggestions on where to find business plan samples and a curriculum that I could use to teach students? Thank you in advance for your help.

    • Melissa, The best source for the information you are looking for is on the University of California Cooperative Extension web site. The information is for California but you should be able to adjust it for Tanzania. The address is UCAVO.UCR.EDU. Once on the site you may be able to navigate to other areas of interest.

    • My wife and I are looking to plant Hass avocados on 50 acres in Kenya for export to Asian markets. Any idea how many trees per acre with the required spacing between trees? Your help on this is highly appreciated.

      • Aradi, If you plant the trees 12 feet by 12 feet you can plant about 300 trees per acre assuming the terrain is reasonable.

        • What is the latest industry standard for plant spacing? Are they playing with growing as hedge crop on spacing such as 10×25? What spacing is required if you want to maintain access for machinery in between rows? Thank you for your time and consideration.

          • Tristan, As you might know in California the current strategy is high density planting. That strategy requires annual pruning possibly starting in year four to keep the trees low and open. In recent years I have planted 12×12 on off set centers. Some have planted 10×10. I visited a grove in Ventura California that was planted 5×14. They wanted the wide rows for tractors and sprayers. The space for machinery will depend on the slope and what machinery you anticipate using. Good luck. Charley

  97. Greetings Charlie. I have a small 4 acre hass grove in valley center I’m looking at planting some new trees to fill in some open areas, where can I purchase some good stock trees 5 gal from here in north county? Also can you forward any info about the latest and greatest irrigation monitoring systems… Thanks for any help you can offer. Damian

    • Damian, Currently Maddock Nursery on Ranger Road in Fallbrook and Persea Nursery on East Mission in Fallbrook produce avocado trees. I don’t know what their availability of trees is. The Avocado Commission recently held a workshop on irrigation monitoring systems and venders. That information is on the Commission’s web site.

  98. Hi Charley. Great site! So I am considering buying an 18 hectare established avocado plantation in Andalucia, Spain. This would be a retirement project for me and my wife (We are in our 50s). The farm has its own water sources (well and reservoir)for irrigation. Wondering if you can comment on Avacado growing in Spain and the economics of an 18 hectare farm. Many thanks!

    • Rich, Your project sounds interesting. I know that there is commercial avocado production in Spain. I understand that domestic consumption is not very high. I also find it interesting that Spain is viewed as an exporter to the European market. As for as the economics I have no information. You would have to gather information on the cost of production and the market. You also need to verify where you have to deliver the fruit to access the market. There may have to be some consideration for transportation cost. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  99. Hello,

    I found a nice property on temecula with 10 acres of avocados on it, my original plan was to acquire the property and build a custom home on it but now that i see 10 acres of avocados, i might want to see if i can actually make some money off the property. what is worse case scenario cost wise to maintain the grove and what is the wholesale $ per acre sold. cost divided by sale to see what the margin would be. please. thank you!

    • Juan, A budget number to operate the orchard is $6500 to $7000 per acre per year. The revenue will depend on the amount of fruit and its quality and size. If the grove produced 10,000 pounds per acre and you averaged $1.00 per pound on size and quality you would have a margin of $3000 per acre. You can make your own projections by varying the pounds and/or the price. I trust this info will help in your decision. Charley

      • Hi Charley,
        First, such a great blog – thank you!
        My question – I have seen you comment a few times that it costs around $7000 per acre per year to operate an orchard. Could you provide the categories you are considering when determining those numbers? (examples: water, labor, fertilizer, land cost, etc.).
        Thanks! Mike

        • Mike, That number is for operating cost. It does not include land cost or debt service. It does include water, fertilizer, labor and management.

  100. Charley

    My husband and I are looking at a property with over 250 Avocado trees in San Diego. The trees were all stumped and are growing back.
    My husband and I are not sure what questions to ask about the grove and business side of it. The grove does has a “manager” but we haven’t gotten clear answers on how the grove is managed or what the profit from the grove actually is.
    Do you have any advice on questions that are best to ask in a situation like this, you seem to be the guy to ask!
    There are two trees we may need to move. Is it at all possible to move a avocado tree, do they have people who specialize in it? Since they were stumped a few years ago, they aren’t too large. I can’t see cutting down a tree, but I have a horse and they can’t eat the tree or they can get very ill.
    Thanks for a great blog!

    • Stephanie, You have an interesting situation. Let me see if I can help. First if you can’t get clear answers to your questions, be cautious. The questions you should ask are: what is the cost of water and what is the production history. Both of these should be provided by the record, water bills and handler pack outs. The seller has no obligation to give you these. On the other hand if not provided be suspicious of the off hand numbers provided. Finally ask for the total cost to operate the orchard. Moving the trees is not economical. The cost of moving the tree is not what is on top but what is under ground, the root system. I have horses they have always been around avocados. The information about animals get sick from eating avocado leafs pertains to pregnant animals. Goats, cows, horses for some reason I really don’t understand the avocado can cause them to abort. If you get the property just prune the branches away from the corral. If you have a mare then remove the trees.

  101. Good day Charley,
    I’ve relocated myself from LA to Malaysia at the moment and I’ve few lands that’s empty. They have nature fresh water pool supply. Weather are 28 degree night to noon 36 degree top. All year round tropical forest. I would like to plant some avacado trees to try if they work. I’ve no experience at all. I wonder what do I have to watch out for. Lands from 4 acres to 10 acres. Much appreciated. Thank u.

    • Darren, Your situation sounds interesting. I assume the temperatures range you noted rleyis centigrade. That range is fine. You said you have fresh water but you didn’t say whether you anticipated having to irrigate. If you have to irrigate how will that be done? The soil needs to be well drained. The tree can’t be wet all the time. The trees should be planted on mounds to help them get started. Don’t plant in a basin. I have no suggestion on where you can obtain trees. If the source is out of the country you need to find out what the regulations are to bring live plant material into the country. Hope this helps. Good luck. Charley

  102. Hello Charlie, I’ve been looking for some time for the right grove in DeLuz – I think I found it, like anyone else I would like to get the best Yield. What can you tell me about going organic – for what I read it takes 3 years to get certified. In short what would be the pluses and minuses.

    • Scott, Your initial research is correct. The normal process for organic certification is three years. Products grown organically command a higher price in the market. That being said organic cultural practices generally cost more. The question is does the higher value cover the higher cost of production. In my opinion long term the answer is no. That being said I admit that I have friends that claim it is the only viable alternative. Tough decision!! Charley

  103. we bought 10 acres vacant land in Temecula (15 and 79 Temecula pkwy on eastside) do you think Temecula weather will allow to grow Mango trees or do you know anyone suggest layout for planting assorted plants, this is just for fun and future retirements. please advise

    • Mike, Congratulations on your purchase. You pose an interesting question. I’m taking the location literally almost. 15 and 79 could be the south or north 79. That being said in either case you have to be concerned about the winter low temperatures. Mangos are a tropical plant and will not do well if you freezing winter temperatures. It does get cold in those areas. You would need to look at what is growing on the adjacent properties. You can also put minimum reading thermometers on the property in the winter to see how cold it gets before you start planting tropical trees. Charley

  104. Dear Mr Charley Wolk,
    I’m really interested in getting into the business of avocados in my country, the thing is I’m currently saving up to buy a land to start growing, in the meantime I’m planting in my home. I was wondering what temperatures should I be looking for to plant avocado trees and how many trees could I be able to plant by acre? Also, what advice can you give me? I appreciate your help!

    • Marcelo, You didn’t say what country so it is a little difficult to answer your question. The low end of the temperature is easy. You cannot plant if the winter temperatures will be freezing. When you have summer temperatures that are over 100 for extended periods of time the trees will survive but production will be negatively impacted. A 12×12 high density planting will yield about 300 trees to the acre. Remember the tree is tropical so you have to have an abundant reliable source of good quality water. You have to look at the irrigation requirement for mature trees not just planting the new tree. Good luck. Charley

  105. Charley,
    This is a very informative blog and I am most certainly glad i found it. I am looking for importers. Do you think you could assist with links? especially in Europe and the US?

    • Tonnie, I’m afraid I can’t help with your request. Other than an internet search I could only suggest that you contact the California handlers who handle imports to the US and in some case do business in Europe. Hope this helps. Charley

  106. Hi Charlie, I’m looking to buy a small avocado farm – three to five acres, from Fillmore to Carpinteria. I’ve looked at the listings online and don’t see small properties. Do you have any suggestions to find this type of property? Do you have a client with a small property looking to sell?
    I find your blog to be a great resource. Thanks for your help.

    Susan V.

    • Susan, You have a challenge. The reason is that the majority of the avocado groves in your area of interest are in larger parcels. I would suggest identifying a realtor in the area who handles ag properties. They would be the best source of knowing if there are properties like that on the market. The other alternative you may have to consider is to locate a desirable property and plant the orchard. One of the advantages is that you could put it in at high density. Good luck on your quest. Charley

  107. Hello Charley,
    I have 5+ acres in Fallbrook with a water well at 300ft deep. Currently, I am not growing anything on the land. I have no agriculture experience either! But I need to do something with the land and make some money! I wanted to see if avocado grove is the right choice. I would appreciate your thoughts and if you can give me some quick profit and loss analysis, e.g number of trees per acre, production/ acre, cost per acre and profit per acre.
    thanks much for your help.
    Rod

    • Rod, You should have the water from the well tested. Water from that depth is probably loaded with salt. I believe avocados are the best choice. Demand exceeds supply. Downside is the water is expensive. You have to plan on developing the orchard with high density spacing. You should budget $25,000 per acre for development cost. At 12×12 spacing there will be about 300 trees per acre. It will cost about $6000 per acre to operate. Farmed correctly the you can be confident of producing at least 15,000 pounds per acre. Even if you only average $0.80 per pound that still leaves you a possible $6,000 per acre margin. I trust this will help in your planning. Charley

      • Charley, You say it cost $6000 to operate per acre. Does this cost include paying the handler or does your profit of $6000 pay the handler? Is this figures based on city water or owned well water usage.
        We are considering purchasing some property in the DeLuz area.
        Thank you. Enjoying your blog!
        Sandee and George

        • Sandee, The $6000is an estimated cost. The handler’s payment is in the quoted price for the fruit. So the price quoted is after he takes out his costs for labor, equipment, and material(boxes). The estimate for operating cost includes the cost of water. The water cost will vary with the district and the elevation.

  108. Hi, Charley: Introduced by a broker for investment purpose, we purchased a 20 acres avocado grove in Fallbrook, Ca in 2013. Without any farming experience, we hired a grove management company to take care of it but the water and management expenses are so high, we are having a hard time to keep the grove at this point. Lately we learn from another grower that we can apply government grant to set up a water conservation system to reduce water expenses. Do you have any information regarding this? Need your professional opinions

    • Cathy, Making a profit now in avocados requires taking every step to increase the production per acre. I’m not sure to what your friend is referring. I am the Chairman of the California Avocado Commission Water Committee. We are working to get financial assistance from the MWD for the growers for irrigation control systems using sensor technology. There will be a grower workshop about the program on May 17 at the Grand Tradition in Fallbrook. I would encourage you to watch for the announcements and plan on attending.

    • Billy, I don’t really understand your questions. One was trees per acre and the other avocados per acre. My inclination is the tree question was for planting and the avocado question was for production. It doesn’t make any difference the operative word is “need” for what?

      • I’m pretty sure he means “how many trees should you plant per acre?”. But you’ve already answered this many times elsewhere on this page so I don’t know why he’s asking!

  109. Dear Mr. Charley Wolk,

    I recently discovered your blog, I enjoy reading all the comments and valuable information you have. I also really love farming especially avocados. I want to get into the labor contracting business, but I can use a second opinion from someone as knowledgeable as yourself. If you can please email me I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks,Rey

    • Rey, Agriculture labor contracting is a very regulated industry both Federal and State. to begin I would go on line and look for the info in the Department of Labor web site. That will give you the broad perspective of the requirements. I will send you my email separately.

  110. Charley,

    My neighbor has one avocado tree in her yard. It must be about a 100 feet tall, It over towers the house and is almost a tall as the giant palm tree on the street. It is covered in avocados. For 3 years I have heard them dropping and just going to waste. How can one person safely harvest a massive tree without any experience? I have a basket picker, but that only extends so far, and it will just barely get the lowest hanging avocados. Can I higher someone professionally to come in and harvest it? The tree almost looks as if it was never pruned.. but then again I wouldn’t know. I am amazed how large this tree is and how high the fruit hangs from it. My neighbor said I could help myself if I find a way to harvest it. I would love to harvest the entire tree and share the wealth.

    Best,

    Chef Owen

    • Chef Owen, You do have a problem. You didn’t say where you are. Although I don’t believe it would make any difference. To get experienced labor to harvest one tree probably is not going to happen. To harvest the fruit in the top of the tree requires an extension ladder and a picking pole. If the tree is really 100 feet tall that would still not get you to the top of the tree. I would not recommend hiring casual labor off the street. The liability is too great. You are probably just going to have to let them fall. Sorry, Charley

    • Hey Chef Owen we have a few big trees like that here in Kenya so what we do is lay hay at the bottom of the tree when its ready for harvest then a few of my cousins climb up the tree and shake the branches. The ready and almost ready fruits fall amd land on the soft hay and doesnt break. You should try it, just be cautious and dont climb so high.

  111. Hello Charley,

    I am contacting you because I am currently looking into purchasing a 5 acre property with an avocado grove in De Luz. I am going to build a custom home on this property and I am looking to get some guidelines from you so I can choose the right property for me.

    I am currently looking at one that says they produce about 90k lbs of avacado production a year and they have all of the proper paper work to prove it and show me what they make off of it.

    What should I look for or ask the seller when shown this paper work or proof of production?

    • Arnoldo, Any offer of production should be backed up by the packing house records. You may ask for them but the seller has no obligation to give them to you. Obviously if they don’t want to furnish them one has to be hesitant to accept the production offered. For example the offer that they produce 90K pounds a year is outstanding to unbelievable. Or else the parcel is bigger than 5 acres. If it were 10 acres that would be good. You should also ask for the cost of production and specifically the water bill. A look at the trees and this information will give you a good idea of the reality. Let me know. Thanks, Charley

  112. Hi Charley. I hope this is an okay forum to ask for advice on tree problems. I live in La Habra, CA and I have a well established avocado tree that appears at risk of falling over. The trunk is growing at an angle and the tree appears to be growing very healthy in the direction of the trunk. Unfortunately the other direction which would tend to balance out the tree appears to be unhealthy. I’ve had two large branches fall off under the weight of the crop in the last year. Now the tree is very sparse in one area and very full in another which is only making the crooked growth worse.

    I can’t tell if it’s a tree issue which is causing part of the tree to suffer, or if its simply a result of the crooked angle of trunk. I do tend to get leaves which brown around the edges, and some leaves that drop, I’m not sure if it’s serious or not. A few avocados have issues, but most appear healthy. I get large crops annually.

    I don’t know whether my best course of action is to diagnose and treat a disease / problem, or whether there is no disease and I should only trim back the top to prevent it from falling over. Spring growth has started so I probably already missed the ideal time for trimming.

    Do you have any advice, or can you point me to a specialist I can hire in the area?

    • Mark, Since you used the term tree singular I assume the tree is planted in your yard. you didn’t say how old the tree is. It sounds like the tree is planted in an area where one side of the tree gets more sun than the other. Over time the tree will keep growing to the sun until it is out of balance. The leaves with brown edges is from the salt in the irrigation water. Several times during the irrigation season you have to double the amount of water to wash the salt below the root zone. The avocado tree is an evergreen in the sense it always has leafs. To do that the tree is constantly growing new leafs and dropping old leafs. You can prune some of the top and full side of the tree and pull the tree more vertical. You can’t get it straight in one year. You have to straighten it over a couple of years. You can contact the University Cooperative Extension for either help or a referral.
      Good luck. Let me know what happens.

      • Hi Charley,
        Regards to water. I am thinking of getting a well drilled. Is the cost beneficial? How much of a saving would I be paying compared to public water. I am in the Ventura area. Does well water have as much salt as public water?

        • Tonio, Generally well water will cost less than district water. The cost benefit will increase with the size of the parcel. The well cost is the same no matter how many acres are served. The amount of salt will depend on where you are and how deep you drill to get the water. You should check carefully and investigate before you commit to drilling a well. There are some areas in Ventura County where the well production is greatly diminished. Good luck.

      • Charley you were right on many fronts. The tree is in my yard, and I suspect it was simply growing in the direction of the sun. I trimmed it down on two occasions and it looks a lot more stable. There’s plenty of other growth in multiple directions. I will continue to adjust it gradually over time.

        • Mark, I’m glad to hear you were successful. You are right to continue to work on the tree over time. Thanks for the feedback. Charley

  113. Can you point me in the direction of avocado farms that are for sale? Prefer California or Florida but open to any great opportunity.

    • Lisa, The best source for properties for sale is the real estate companies. You should be able to find them on line in the areas your are interested.

  114. Hi Charley
    My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a 10 acre lot in Temecula. Currently the lot has 350 mature trees and additional 100 planted in 2012. We found out that the current owners expense (water and management) was over $20,000 last year. Based on your experience does the profit usually cover the expense?

    • Bruno, The simple answer to your question is that an avocado grove properly farmed will be profitable. The $20K you say was for water and management. It is not clear if that include the other expenses eg. fertilizer and cultural care. Did the sellers provide any information on the revenue. The best information is the pack outs from the packing house. If you need help let me know. Thanks. Charley

      • Charley, they claimed an average of 45,000 LBS. a year within the last 5 years. Low end was 12K LBS and High was 95K LBS. They said that the management fee was $700 per month and last years water was $17,700. Does that seem reasonable? I’ll call the management company to see if they will give any more info. What is the packing house? How do I get in touch with them.

        • Bruno, You can see the numbers don’t add up. When you ask a question about what’s included in the expenses, the answer is $700.00 per month management and $17,700.00 for water. That’s more than $20K. The production goal for a grove planted on standard spacing of 15×20 is 10,000 lbs. per acre. 15×20 is 15 feet between the trees and 20 feet between the rows. You can see the production is below that goal. Another way is if you produce only 4500 lbs. per acre you have to budget a large subsidy. The packing house is the business that packs and sells the fruit. Only the seller would know who packed the fruit. You should not imply that these comments should cancel your purchase. It may be they simply not farming it correctly so they have poor production. Depending on the price it may still be a good buy. Good luck. Charley

        • Bruno,
          I am interested in knowing what you found out. My wife and I are considering a similar adventure as you are. The farm has 450 mature trees. We are just beginning to get this going.

          Charley, I’d be interested in a private conversation with you about our situation.
          Thanks, Andrew

          • Andrew, I hope Bruno got more info. Although no info is actually info. I will send you my contact info separately.
            Thanks, Charley

  115. We have been growing avocados for 17 years. We have 2505 trees. We have yet to make a profit!!!! Can you tell us who we can trust to manager our grove? Thank you and have a GREAT and very Bless day.
    Sincerely, Nick.

    • Nick, You didn’t say where your grove is. If you have not made a profit in 17 years something is definitely wrong. If the grove is in San Diego or Riverside County I believe I can get your grove profitable. That is dependent on your providing the resources for me to farm it correctly. I will send you my contact information separately. Charley.

  116. I am looking for advice on properties to purchase. The goal would be to purchase a property with a future plan(1-3 years) to build a custom home. Until we build our house(and after) we would love to have an income producing property. I see a lot of avocado land in the De Luz area. Is this a possible investment idea? Is there someone you know of(or you) that helps consult and find properties for this intent? Any information is appreciated.

    • Chris, Yes the scenario you describe is often used by buyers. You should use a realtor to find a property for you. After You find it I can be retained to evaluate the grove. I do have a client who has a property for sale. I will send you my contact information separately.

  117. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my questions about the Fallbrook PUD water allocations and cutbacks. With the increased rain in N. CA, is it possible that more imported water will be available to growers so they have enough to keep their trees from dying? Or is there the possibility that the new water allocations in July will be less harsh? Or that the water prices could drop due to a lessening of the drought?

    • Suzanne, The rain in the North has helped. First it allowed an increase in the State Water Project allocations. This means MWD will get more SWP water that they can blend with the Colorado River water. Since the Colorado water is high in salt the blend will improve the water we get so there will be less salt and therefore better for the trees. More water may cause MWD to reduce or eliminate their 15% cutback. That means we would then have a full allocation for the summer irrigation. This increased amount of water will have only a little effect on the drought. The drought impact statewide is to extensive for it to go away in one year. I don’t anticipate that more water will have any impact on the price. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks. Charely

  118. Hi Charley,

    My name is Raz. I’m looking to grow avocado for profit in Togo (West Africa). Togo has a tropical climate. Do you think the soil and climate is suitable for it. Which variety will be good?

    Also, can you connect me to some partners?

    Thank you.

    • Raz, If the soil is well drained and the temperatures are not too high the trees should do fine. I know of no partners for you but this posting may find someone who is interested. Others have made contacts this way. Best of luck. Charley

  119. Hi! I’m visiting your website for the first time- excuse me if I am repeating a comment. We just bought a house in Fallbrook on 3 acres with avocado trees. We are not familiar with avocado tress (yet! We hope to learn more about them). The trees had been neglected and some are really dry.. I have heard of being able to trim them back in a certain way and they will grow back. Do you do this? Or do you have recommendations for a local company that can provide this service? Or any other company/service to help manage or maintain the trees? I’m just starting my search -any insight will be greatly appreciated.

    • Tina, Congratulations on your purchase. Welcome to Fallbrook. The simple answer to your question is that my company can help you with all of your concerns. Don’t start cutting them until some one looks at them to evaluate the best course of action. I will send you my contact information separately. Look forward to helping you. Charley

  120. Hello Charley, My name is Derrick I live in Carpinteria, CA. I am about to start grading rows for 100 new Hass trees (Dusa root stock) I will be adding a ton of mulch and free wood chips from a tree service on top of the mounded rows. I am planning on adding 20# of gypsum around each tree before mulching. I don’t think I will fertilize for the first time until 2-3 months after planting, at a rate of 1 ounce per tree of nitrogen for the first year over 4-5 applications. I am just wondering if you have any advice for my first year of fertilizing and any input on sprinklers, amendments, or any advice would help.

    Thank You

  121. Dear Charley,
    I know you are on the Board of Directors at the Fallbrook PUD. I am very concerned about the PUD letter that just informed water users
    that effective July, “Any underuse credits can no longer be carried
    over to the following month.” This seems so unfair–to be penalized for going over the allotment, but not receiving credit for being under the month allotments as is currently being done. There are so many detriments to growing avocados in CA now–being flooded with cheap Mexican avocados that is driving down the price; the CA Avocado Commission doing nothing about foreign competition that has none of the restrictions we have here; and now the PUD penalizing growers who are trying so much to conserve water, and now being penalized for conservation. Water costs are through the roof, and will drive many CA growers out of business. Also, CA growers are forced to pay mandatory dues to the CA Avocado Commission that are taken off the top at the packing houses before the grower gets any money, but CAC is doing nothing to stem the flood of Mexican avocados that are killing CA growers. Where is the fairness, and who is CAC representing? It doesn’t appear to be the CA growers who are forced to pay their wages.

    • Suzanne, You raise a number of issues. Some are even implied and are far reaching. So I ask for your patience For me to answer them. The announcement by the district that under use of allocation would not bet carried forward after June 30 is merely a statement of the contract for the water. Growers in San Diego County had an opportunity to participate in the Special Agricultural Water Rate (SAWR) offered by the County Water Authority (CWA). This program provided a lower rate to Ag user. This was possible because participants did not pay for the cost of investments CWA made for emergency water supplies. The conditions of this lower rate is that participants only had access to imported water. If the Metropolitan Water District imposed any cut backs for any reason, participants had to accept that cut back. This program was implemented by signed contracts. You signed one when you entered the program. The other condition imposed was that on June 30 all allocations would be returned to zero. If you were over you would have to pay the penalty charges. If you were under, you would lose that allocation. Obviously one would want to manage the irrigation so that you use the water rather than lose it.

      You allege that CAC is doing nothing and imply has done nothing. Since I was a Commissioner and Chairman during much of this time I want to briefly review the efforts for the record. CAC’s efforts delayed the entry of fresh Mexican avocados into the US for at least two years. Then they were allowed to ship only to the 19 north eastern states for only six months of the year. It took another two years for them to have access to all of the US market for 12 months. These delays allowed the market to assimilate this additional fruit so the market stayed strong. To expect that fruit flow can be controlled by tariffs is unrealistic. In todays world the international attitude is to lower trade barriers to include lowering or eliminating tariffs. Because of the expensive media market on the east coast, especially New York, CAC could not afford east coast advertising. Mexico has resources and initially could only go to the east. They built the demand in East.

      CAC initiated the effort to form a federal marketing order. This creates the system to collect assessments from the importers of Hass avocados into the US to build demand for the fruit. The result of that effort was the establishment of the Hass Avocado Board (HAB). This system collects upwards of $40M for advertising and promotion of the fruit. In advertising this is not a lot of money, but for a fresh fruit product it is huge. The industry’s ability to have an increasing market in the face of an increasing supply is the envy of other fresh products both here in the US and internationally. Remember last year over two billion pounds of Hass avocados were sold in the US market. You may not have like prices recently but stop and think were they would be had there not been the effort by CAC for the California grower.

      Since you live in Fallbrook you can call me if you would like more information.

  122. Hello,
    I’m curious on why some avocado seeds grow trees that produce more avocado’s, and why other seeds don’t. I’m thinking about planting my seed because I think it would be really cool to plant a seed that reproduces more fruit! How do I get a hold of these seeds? Is it just about luck or is there places I can buy modified seeds? Thanks a bunch.

    • Bella, The seeds come from the fruit. That seed planted will not grow the fruit that it came from. The seedling has to be grafted to get a varietal. So the difference in production is not the seed. Your planted seed will give you a nice tree but not necessarily fruit.

      • Hi,
        I am from Shimoga district of Karnataka state in India and I have an interest in growing non conventional fruits like avocados on a large scale using less water. The climate and soil is best suited for the crop. Can u guide me where can I get good variety of plants, cost of plants and the yield, international market for the crop. Also can I get u r contact number.

        • Subash, I believe the best and closest source of plants would be Morocco or Spain. There was a California nurseryman who set up some operations there. I have no contact information for you. You will need to do a web search. You will also need to check what government protocals exist for shipping the live plants. The yield will be dependent on the soil, climate, and farming practices. The international market is undersupplied at this time and I don’t believe it will be satisfied in my life time. India is already being investigated by the current world producers. I will send you an email separately. Good luck.

          • Hi Charley thank you for your wonderful advise. I am a prospective farmer from Eritrea, East Africa, plan to plant avocados thru irrigation. I would appreciate if you email me best improved variety source of plants closer to the region. Thank you.

          • Rigbe, I would suggest that you contact the Westfalia Company in South Africa. They are a long time farming operation and not only produce avocados but I believe they have some nursery operations. I do not have an address for them but it should come up on a search.

  123. Hi Charlie,

    I think you’re exactly the person I need to talk to.

    I’m interested in purchasing a house in Fallbrook that includes approx. 3 acres of avocados, 10 year old trees. It’s currently professionally managed. My problem is that I’m not able to get much information from the selling agent about the expenses.

    I was wondering if you might be able to give me some ballpark figures on the costs associated with a grove of this size. The water district is Rainbow. I’m not interested in making money off of the grove, but I don’t want to go into debt because of it either. Any advise you can offer would be appreciated.

    Thanks for your time.

    • Cindee, Your situation is not unusual. My experience has been that when there is little information from the seller regarding expenses and revenue from the grove it means that the numbers would not be favorable. To give a ball park it would normally cost about $6500.00 to $7500.00 per acre per year to operate the orchard. If you don’t have the production numbers, it is hard to forecast whether the orchard is paying its way. Good luck. Charley

  124. Youssef, I’m afraid your question is not answerable with the information you have provided. You have given the sell price for the fruit but have said nothing of the cost to produce it. To get to your answer you must determine the cost for water, labor, fertilizer, fees, marketing, hauling. You then have to estimate the production per acre or hector. The comparison will you give you an indication of how large you have to be to be profitable. Remember the larger you are the more advantage you get from economy of scale.

  125. I am interested in purchasing a small avocado grove in Temecula. I do not see your contact information anywhere on this blog. Sounds like you do some consultation work from what I gather. If so, can you contact me? I am nearby in south Orange County.

    Thanks,
    Eugene

      • Hi Charley, I am looking at an avocado farm in deluz and would like to know your consultation cost to meet me there and check the grove. Please send me an email. Thanks, Steve

  126. I am Rao from karnataka state, India.I got you through search .Can you say which variety is suitable for south Indian states in India.whether soil and climate is suitable .Because i want to cultivate variety of fruit plants in my land .It is a health & profit oriented thought.Can you help me regarding avocados farming, very thank full for your advise.

    • Rao, I believe the climate in the south Indian states would be acceptable for growing avocados commercially. You can get a crash course in avocado farming by going to the University of California web site UCAVO.UCR.EDU. They have a site that will take you through all the phases of growing avocados. You will have to convert some information to your local conditions. If you get to the point of planting I would suggest searching on line for plant material in Australia. They would be the closest. You will also have to check to see if there are any government regulations on importing plant material. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  127. Hi Wolk, I’m a student in Kenya, East Africa and I’m committed in starting avocado business this year. Kindly connect me with business partners for the same since there are a lot of avocado farms here but farmers have not yet been able to market them.
    Thanks for your attention.

    • Philip, I will post your request for business partners. I have done this before and another reader had interest in the project and responded on the blog. Hopefully you will get the same response. Good luck. Charley

  128. Hi Charley, I hope you can point me in the right direction. We are looking to buy a 10Ha Avocado orchard and are new to the growing scene. We want a lifestyle change.

    Can you point us to any guidance where will get a useful bank of questions we should ask the vendors?

    Many thanks

    Andrew

    • Andrew, You didn’t say where you are. I would recommend going to the University of California web site at UCAVO.UCR.EDU. There is plenty of information that should lead you to the questions you need to ask.

  129. I’m looking at 35 acres of grove in Valley Center. It’s in real bad shape and need to know if it would be possible to bring it back. Would love to talk to you and get a consult. Hope to get your contact info and hear from you soon.

    • Adam, What you describe is common on a lot of properties. Bringing it back will depend on how long it has been neglected and its current condition. In some cases the money is better spent to replant. I will send you my contact information separately.

    • Adam, I tried to send my contact info to you using the email address on your blog comment. If you can send in another comment to confirm the email address. Thanks, Charley

  130. Hi!

    I want to know if avocado tree is growing in Romania(East Europe) if the climate in the summer is the maximum +39C and winter is -20C (but not always ) if I can say the climate in the last years has many changes and here now in the winter instead having at least -5C or -2C we having +14C.
    I already have in my house a small tree of avocado 1700mm height and it has 18 months old. I was thinking if this kind of tree it can growing in this climate I will try to put seeds for more trees and grafting them for good avocado fruits. My question is if everything is ok for planting in this condition of climate, who can send me some avocado tree branches for grafting my tree. There is a way for someone to sending me this avocado tree branches for grafting? if is possible!?

    Thank you very much!
    IAN

    • Jan, The tree would be happy with +14C. The problem is you can not be comfortable that the temperature will always be that high. What you state as normal would damage or kill the tree. I would suggest doing a computer search for avocado nurseries in Spain. They are closer and it should be easier for them to ship the material. I hope this helps. Good luck. Charley

  131. I am Neol from the Caribbean Trinidad and i want to import some top quality avocado seed to start an orchard in my country. where can i get seed for sale to import?

    • Neol, I know of no one who is selling avocado seed. I would suggest you check with the agriculture agency in Trinidad to make sure there are no restrictions to importing the seed if you find a source.

      • Charley we are looking to buy a small orchard in the San Luis Obispo area. We where wondering if you can do an inspection of the orchard?
        Ron

        • Ron, Yes I could do an inspection for you but it would be cost prohibitive. I am in San Diego County so you incur the cost of my travel time. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone working up there. You might check with the County Farm Bureau office they may know someone local who could help you.

  132. Hi my name is Tomas I want to go into the Avocado farming business i have over 3 acre of land in Guatemala would avocado grow there or would it have a hard time growing water won’t be a problem.

  133. Hi Charley,

    I have a property in Central Uganda, East Africa. Am thinking of starting an avocado grove with specific interest in hass avocado. Am scanning for information on whether there are any different variety lines under hass and which would be the recommended ones for tropical climate. Secondly, what are the specific risks I must factor into my planting – when it comes to maintaining a grove.

    • John, The avocado’s native environment is tropical. Your challenge will be finding trees to plant. Water is the most important and the soil must be well drained. I have no information on native pest that may attack the avocados in your country. Good luck on your venture.

  134. Hello Mr. Wolk,
    My brother-in-law has 1 acre in Ventura County. He has about 50 trees all together. But from what I see he needs some help maximizing the potential of his land and the trees he already has. I would like to see if we could talk and possibly receive a consult. Thank you very much in advance for your time.

    Joseph M.

    • Joseph, I believe it would be faster and more informative to talk to the Farm Advisor in Ventura County. If he cannot visit the property he may be able to recommend someone locally who can help. If that doesn’t work get back to me to see if I can help in another way.

  135. Hello Charley

    I live in Africa and just gone through your blog. So interesting. So much land and climate we have here but less people realise that we could as well make a fortune by growing Avocados. I have decided to start a portion of Avocado farming on my land. I have plenty of water around and feel that would not b a problem as my farm borders a big river…if youv ever heard of the Kafue river in Zambia.

    Thanks for this great insight.

    What I may wish you to help with is a simple analysis of profits against the size of farmed land etc.

    Many regards

    George from Zambia

    • George, You may want to go on the University of California web site ucavo.ucr.edu. If you navigate in the site there is information on avocado production in California. I believe you can take the information and adjust it for Zambia. It should give you a general idea of what to expect.

    • Good day George,

      I am based in South Africa with ventures in Mozambique. We are farming on 100 hectares of various avocado varieties. Did you get the information you required? If not maybe i could be on some assistance.

  136. I need to know where I can buy bulk wholesale avacodo trees or seeds that are of the cold hardy types like Joey ect..

    Can you point me to a supplier nursery?

    • Daniel, I know of no nurseries who are marketing seeds. You didn’t say where you are located. You might be able to contact an operation that is producing guacamole. They would have a lot of seeds that they dispose of probably to animal feed.

  137. Dear Charley,

    Your post on avocado growing is very educating. I am Ugandan, my country lies astride the Equator. I have interest in growing avocado variety Hass for avocado oil extraction. I read a lot of literature on Avocado production and oil extraction.
    In Uganda we have the Hass and Fuerte Varieties introduced way back in the early 1990s, however, our small scale farmers did not adopt the technology, these varieties have basically remained on research shelves!
    I have keen interest in moving these elite varieties forward, I guess farmers will begin to realize the benefits once oil extraction begins. I am establishing 10 acres of avocado Hass variety to begin with and hope to expand slowly, I am looking for someone to partner with in this initiative. Please guide

    • Grace, Your situation sounds interesting. For the record Hass and Fuerte are not elite varieties. You also need to be aware that producing oil is not simple. It requires close attention to detail to produce quality oil. Maybe someone will see this post and contact you to partner. Good luck. Charley

  138. Hi Charley. We are looking at a 46 acre avocado grove in Ramona. However, we don’t know anything about avocados… We’ve been looking for property for a while and we feel the grove is a good price and figure if it could also make us some money, that’s an added benefit. There is a gentleman that is interested in running all aspects of the grove and giving us a % of the profits, however we don’t know anything about him, what the grove should be capable of producing, etc. We are interested in getting more info from you regarding your consulting services. I don’t know if you would be interested in taking a look at the grove so we could get your thoughts and input? Thank you very much!

    • Teri, The situation you describe about someone willing to run the grove and share the profits requires reviewing the details of the agreement to judge whether it is a good deal or not. I will send you contact information separately if you choose to have me consult for you. Thanks, Charley

      • Charlie,

        I’m in a similar situation to Teri. However, the farm is about half the size and is advertised, via a realtor, as being “income producing”. Would you please send me your information in regard to consulting services as I would like to seriously consider purchasing this farm if you think it would be a reasonable buy. Thank you! Ryan

  139. am George from Kenya. quite an interesting discussion. here we do avocado farming purely for export. fuerte. hass and figaton varieties. God is good coz we don’t irrigate or spray them with anything, they just grow. our main challenge remains price. we sell them at throw away prices. to put it in good perspective one us dollar is equivalent to 100 Kenyan shillings yet we sell one avocado at two to four shillings. otherwise it is one of our economic cornerstones. thanks.

    • George, You didn’t say how large your growing operation is. If there is very much volume, it sounds like the exporters have control to dictate the price. You didn’t say where the fruit was being sold. Obviously you are not being paid a price anywhere close to the world market. My only suggestion is the growers should form a coalition to form their own export company to handle the fruit. Good luck. Charley

    • Hello George – I’d like to get in touch with you if you would be interested – to investigate our importing your avocados at a better price than that which yuou are currently achieving. Where I live in Central Asia until recently avocados were unknown – now imported avocados are becoming increasingly popular (- we have very cold winters and so growing our own is out of the question) and they are certainly not cheap! If you are interested I will come to Kenya to discuss in person.

      Looking forward to hearing from you. Alexandra.

      • Alexandra, I recently planted 400 trees for the Hass Variety. I would like to discuss, if you are interested, importation to you. Please contact me on email [tonnie.munene@gmail.com] or cellphone +254735318280.

        Thank you!!!

  140. I currently have some property in DeLuz with just over 100 young avocado trees. I have room to plant more (200-800) and would like to get more information about your services. Thank You.

    • Hi,
      I’m looking at buying some property in the DE Luz area. Some of the locations I’ve looked at had hacked a bunch of trees down, is this due to PSHB? Or any other invasive species? Have the local growers encountered much of this?
      Thanks,J

      • Jeremy, The trees you saw cut down may have been done for a variety of reasons. They could have been cut for irrigation reasons. Some growers have mandatory water cutbacks. To comply they stump part of their trees so they can stop watering them for one season. The trees may have been too tall so they are cut to lower the tree height. Some have been cut because the grower is going to replant to high density spacing. At this time there have been no reports of PSHB finds in the De Luz area.

  141. Hi would it be possible to get in contact for me to ask you a few questions over the phone? Sort of like a short interview? I am researching how avocados are grown in the United States for my food systems planning class. Thank you!

  142. Hi Charley – I’m looking to get into Avocado propagation in the Bay Area. Most likely going to graft Hass Acovados for sale. What sort of permits or requirements are needed in California? Please send your contact information separately, and look forward to getting in touch.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    • Chris, The only requirement I know of is a nursery license. That being said there may be local requirements tied to environmental concerns. I will send you contact information separately.

  143. Hi Charley,
    I’ve been following your blog recently – would be interested in your thoughts on is it a good time if you have some $ to invest, to look at groves. I may be working with a realtor in the Temecula/Fallbrook area soon, would really appreciate your advice – and perhaps consulting help with assessing prospective land.
    Thanks,
    email: dr_chavez_37@yahoo.com
    Victor

    • Victor, Avocados are a good investment. What has to be considered is not only the purchase price of a property but also the allocation of resources to farm it correctly. Many are deterred from investing in avocados because of the cost of water. The up side is the demand for avocados is greater than the supply. California avocados have an additional advantage in that they are the preferred choice. I will send you contact information separately should you need help in purchasing a property. Thanks, Charley

  144. Hello!
    I just bought some acres. My plan is to grow Hass avocados, but I don’t know where can I purchase the plants. In Northern California near to Sacramento.
    Can you help me?

    • Ignacio, I know of no avocado nurseries in the Sacramento area. The closest nurseries would be in Ventura County. Brokaw and C&M are two that you should be able to contact on line or by phone. If you are planning to plant in the Sacramento area you need to verify the possibility of cold damage.

      • Hello Charley, Great blog, would never have expected less from you. Please let Ignacio know that we tried on a small scale planting avocado trees in Sacramento. It does not work, too cold, save your money.

  145. Hi Charlie, informative website. I am a beekeeper in Canada, and I have been allocated a hectare in the Philippines, next to a river that floods regularly. No water restrictions. The family is well connected in the area, so laws and regulations won’t be a bother. I’d like to grow avacados.

    I read an article a couple years ago, that said in some parts of Mexico, you can make $100,000 per year from an acre of avocados. Last week I talked to a man from Mexico who is in the industry and he said that is correct. This sounds very different from your comments. Can you fill me in? I love avacados, but there is a big difference between $3,000/acre and $100,000/acre.

    Also, I’d like to consult with you; maybe it is still worthwhile to put the hectare into avacado production, even if $100,000 is unrealistic.

    Also, I’d like to know about the different avacado species. The people there regularly plant seeds, and the resulting avacados are large and delicious. What is the reason for using the Hass variety and grafting?

    Also, if you have an avacado grown from seed, and it produces good fruit, should the resulting seeds also breed true and produce good fruit? Or is it always roulette?

    • David, Do the numbers. If you make $100,000 per year from one acre of avocados, what are the combinations of pounds and price that would yield $100,000? If you produce 20,000 pounds which is excellent You would have to be paid $5.00 per pound to get the $100,000. Sorry it doesn’t pass the laugh test. You would need to investigate where you would sell the avocados before you plant them. The Hass variety is preferred because of its taste and it ships well. I don’t know of any variety that will produce the same fruit from seed. You might get fruit but what is not predictable. You have to graft to get a variety. You would also have to investigate where you would get trees. The alternative would be to grow the seedling and graft them yourself. All in all an interesting challenge. Charley

  146. Hi! I am a university student in the USA, originally from Pakistan. I noticed that avocados and citrus growing areas overlap quite a bit in USA, and while we have loads of citrus orchards back home there are no avocados (on the other hand demand is slowly growing especially in high-end restaurants). Pakistan (punjab province) has a semi arid climate with summer temperatures reaching 45 C (110 F) and winters as low as 0 (33 F). Land is irrigated with canal water, and rainfall is not too much (25 inches per year mostly in summer monsoon). I wanted to ask if this climate is suitable for avocados, and if yes how should we go about it as there are not too many nurseries producing plants over there (what is the best source to start an orchard)?

    • Hasan, The conditions you describe are suitable for growing avocados. When those summer temperature get to the high mark you have to put plenty of water on the trees. If they are stressed they will drop their fruit. The challenge for you is finding trees. I don’t know what the regulations would be to ship plants into Pakistan. Additionally I don’t know where you would go to get plants. I assume they would be shipped by air and someone would have to on the ground to accept the plants and immediately care for them. Good Luck. Charley

  147. Hi Charlie,
    I have 5 acres of land in Lima Peru and my cousin is asking me to go in the avocado business,what are the greatess risks in it?
    Thank you

    • Sheyla, I suppose if I were to pick the greatest risk it would be the weather. You always are concerned about the market, pests, water, and labor. The market now is impacted by conditions world wide. I understand the other elements in Peru are not threatening at this time. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  148. Hi Charley,

    I live in Simi Valley, Ca. I have a hill in my backyard where I can plant around 8 – 10 avocado trees. Will they survive in Simi Valley? Can I sell the avocados to to local markets? Thanks

    Greg

    • Greg, Planting in Simi Valley would require checking the minimum temperatures in the winter. The trees could take 32 degrees as long as the duration is not too long. Remember to look at the past weather over a few years. You don’t want to be OK for a couple of years then get a cold blast that could damage the trees. You could sell the avocados at road side on your property. The alternative would be to get a permit to sell at Farmer’s Markets. This is usually a no fee permit. Good luck.

  149. Charley,

    Can you please send me your contact information regarding some purchase feasibility information? You may want to add a “contacts” section on your site so that you can be reached by others as well.

    Thank you.

  150. Hello Charlie,
    I am Pastor Solomon in Sierra Leone, West Africa and has an Agricultural organisation called “GOOD HEART FARMERS” Last year i traveled to South Africa and saw the need to start an Avocado farm.I will like to partner whoever is interested in farming in Africa as water is not a problem here and the land is very vast. We have tens of thousands of hectares of land in Sierra Leone with no Agricultural activities on them every year.

    • Solomon, Your situation is very interesting. The world wide demand for avocados would cause interest in a possible venture in Sierra Leone. That being said I believe it would take a person devoted to finding qualified investors. The land has to be evaluated. The Country’s tax laws need to be examined. With those preliminary steps then one could search for investors. On the other hand someone reading the blog may step up to take the challenge. Good luck. Charley

      • Hello….I have gained an interest in growing avocados and have some seeds that were sitting around in my kitchen for about 2 months that ended up sprouting roots and an off white/pale green shoot inside as well. The roots are dried up and brown (I took pics of this as well) and Im afraid that the seed is no longer good or wont grow….is there anyway i can trim off the dead root or should I throw it away? Also….the biggest of the old seed, has some sort of brown fungus ir mold looking growth on the bottom of the seed near the brown roots, and some white shoots inside… I researched and followed the method of sticking toothpicks in the seed and placing them over a cup of water but I was just wondering if those seeds stand a chance….Also, is the toothpick and water method the best way of growing avocados from seed? These are organic seeds and I live in the Caribbean btw. Thanks for your advice.

        • Bri, Expending effort on the seeds you describe is a waste of time. Get new seeds and use the tooth pick method. Remember the half of the seed has to be in the water. Charley

    • Pastor Solomon,
      I’m quite curious about the possibility of planting avocado orchards in Sierra Leone. I’m a commercial packer from Mexico, we planted avocados here in the 1960s when technology wasn’t widely available, I’m certain a few of our experiences would help the case of Sierra Leone.
      Let me know is there’s a way we may exchange contact OK information to talk further on the venture. Best regards

  151. Great blog Mr. Wolk, I’m new to the sport, but want to buy 30 acres in Riviera Tx and grow avocado’s. I expect 10-15 acres to be planted with Lula’s. I have mentors who hail form Weslaco, San Diego, and Devine Tx who are growing now. The property has great water, and sand loam soil with low to medium salinity due to being coastal, Can I get in contact with you for consultation?

  152. Hi Charley, Im an avicado grower in Guatemala. I have 150 , 8 year old, trees and 150, 2 year old trees. Im harvest twice a year. One in June and the other in October. Im mostly selling my product to a guy who distributes the fruit, among other things, to restaurants.

    Im looking to selling my fruit on my own. SonInwold like some help from you

    Any ideas on packaging?

    Hope you can help me.
    If someone needs help on something, just ask

    Regards

    • Luis, You pose a challenge. You didn’t say but your question Implies there are no commercial produce packing houses in your area. If that’s the case it seems like the alternative is for u to do what the man your selling to is doing. You could investigate getting boxes and packing material to size and pack the fruit. You would need to have a sales effort to sell the fruit and transport it to the customers. Good luck. Charley

  153. Hi Charley, What a great site this is~ I have two small avocado trees growing in my yard, (about 14″ tall) and, as we generally get about one week of freezing weather in the winter here in Santa Rosa, I wonder whether they can tolerate that amount of frosty nights. Thanks for your reply.

    • Jane, Potential cold damage to avocado trees is a function of not only the temperature but also the duration. So the tree could take cold down to 30 degrees F for a short period of time but not all night. If the cold is forecast you can diminish the possible damage by turning the irrigation on and let it run all night until the temperatures come back up. The heat given up to turn water into ice heats the tree. Good luck. Charley

  154. Hi Charley!

    My girlfriend and I planning to grow avocado trees in Europe (Portugal and Hungary), my question is, is it possible to grow a farm in a warm house. Which type of avodaco is cold or winter hardy (hass, mexicola…?).

    Best regards,

    Ervin

    • Ervin, I know of no application of growing mature avocado in a green house. There are a couple of draw backs. First the tree will get too large if they are in the soil. You can control that by pruning. But you would have to prune so much to keep them under control that the plant will just keep producing more leafs. The bigger problem is pollination. I can’t visualize how you can get the house open enough to get bees inside or if bees would work if the hives were inside. Depending where you are it may be too cold to open the
      green house for bees without damaging the tree. My suggestion would be to find a location where the weather would be friendly to the avocados. Charley

  155. Hi, Charley, I own a couple of acres in Montecito which were planted in mostly avocados when we bought the property 38 years ago. The trees are not doing well, and over the years I’ve removed many of them and added some stone fruit trees. We also have about 10 cheramoyas. I am considering planting about 20 Duca avocados…but my main question is irrigation! I have galvanized pipe running through the orchard, and have spinners on the trees. It has been suggested that I switch to PVC pipe with a drip system ring (or two) around each tree. The system would be on a timer and automatically water the trees, adding a little fertilizer each time. Can you comment on any of this?

    • Janice, The simple answer is yes it would be better to replace the metal pipe with PVC. That being said you need to look at the entire orchard to design a system that will satisfy your plan for the property. The different trees have different water requirements so that would require looking at where and how many valves you need to efficiently apply the water. You don’t need to remove the galvanized pipe. Just abandon it. It won’t hurt anything. Remove the risers so you won’t be tripping on them. I would suggest you use low pressure, low volume sprinklers rather than drippers. The tree will be happier. Good luck. Charley

        • Richard, Most of the sprinklers are comparable in performance. So your decision may be influence by your application. For example are you putting the sprinkler on a riser that requires a base? Or is the application on above ground hose with an attaching spike? You also want to pick one that gives you the flow rate and throw distance you need for your plants. Most irrigation supply companies can help you with the choice.

  156. Hi Charley,

    My husband and I have just fallen in love with a 20 avocado property in the De Luz Hills, Temecula. We know absolutely nothing about growing avocados, but are still very interested in the idea. It would help us greatly in this decision to consult with you. Could you send your contact info.

    Many thanks,
    Morgana

    • Morgana, Yes I can help you with a property evaluation for your purchasing decision. I will send you my contact information separately.

      • Dear Charley
        I have enjoyed reading your posts and reply’s.
        I am making the move from San Francisco to Los Angeles and have interest in pursuing an avocado property, but require an evaluation.
        I look forward to hearing from you.
        thanks
        Nisreen

        • Nisreen, Your move will certainly offer some challenges. I can help you with evaluating avocado properties. I will send you my contact information separately. Thanks. Charley

      • Family just bot property on Sleeping Indian with 80 older trees.
        Property was in foreclosure and there has been no irrigation for at least a year. Irrigation System not working currently. Funds limited due to major remodeling costs but anxious to make a decision on keeping or removing the grove. Unfortunately we have no idea what we are facing financially to repair and regenerate the grove. Can you give me an idea about where to start? and tell me about managed groves. Many thanks. Not a Marine but a Submariner.
        Bob

        • Bob, I am familiar with the groves in the general area of Sleeping Indian. The quick answer if there has been no irrigation for at least a year don’t waste your money attempting to recover the orchard. Your money is better spent removing the trees and planting new at a high density. With Grove Management you pay to have a company operate the orchard for you. You would provide general guidance or objectives. Good luck. Charley

  157. I have an old avocado tree, probably 25 y/o, which is loaded with fruit this year, at least in comparison to the previous 10 years that I’ve lived here in Vista. But it’s dropping many of its leaves and I don’t believe it should be dropping this many at this time of year. Also, I’m finding many leaves with holes in them that are still on the tree. Don’t know what’s causing that condition. I suspect the dropping leaves may be caused by insufficient water, but am not sure. I’m told it is a a fuerte. Can you offer any suggestions for correcting these two problems, please. Thanks.

    • Howard, You didn’t say how much water you are applying or how you are applying it. And yes I agree it is probably an irrigation problem. If the trees don’t have enough water they will be stressed. The tree’s reaction to stress is to let go of something. In this case it is old leafs. The holes are caused by some pest. Other than the damage they are still healthy so they stay on the tree. By the way a Fuerte tree in Vista is probably older than 25 years. Also a mature tree in the summer should be getting about 450 gallons of water per week.

  158. Hello Charley! A friend of mine and I are aspiring avocado farmers, and we happen to be doing a report on avocado farm employees such as avocado pickers. We were wondering what the average avocado picker’s educational requirements are, their average salary, if they can be promoted, their average hours, their job requirements, and if there are fringe benefits. If you could get back to us, that would be a huge benefit to our report. Thank you!

    • Kinsey, The University of California compiles that information on a regular basis. You should be able to access that on their web site. That information is better than my antidotal observations. Thanks. Charley

  159. Hi Charley,
    Trying to determine a price on an avocado orchard….how much value ( per tree) would you give to mature trees that had to be trimmed back for the drought but will be thriving soon??? Thanks for your input….
    Sue

    • Sue, There is no simple answer to your question. Trying to determine the value when they are just growing back from stumping is pure conjecture. To make a reasonable projection would necessitate seeing the trees before they were cut. Usually we talk of orchard value by the acre rather than per tree. A number of years ago the
      cooperative Extension and some grove managers compiled a process to assess tree value to trees damaged or destroyed by fire. I believe it was published so you should be able to access that on the Extension web site, UCAVO.UCR.EDU. Good luck. Charley

  160. Hi Charley,
    I’m looking at buying a 6 acre grove in Fallbrook – what would you charge to come out take a look and give your opinion?

  161. Hi Charlie,
    I am looking at purchasing a property with over 1200 avocado trees on it in Fallbrook. Could you please email me so I can provide you with a phone number to go over some questions and have you evaluate the OPERATION. Thanks

  162. Dear Mr. Wolk,

    I started growing avocados last October and now have about 25 little trees the tallest beings about a meter long. The last month the leaves of about 10 of my trees have started going brown from the bottom of the plant upwards. I tried using plant food twice but4 weeks later they are only getting worse. I live in Greece, the temperature is currently 35 degrees celsius during the day and I water them every second day. Is this normal? Could it be disease, bad watering etc?

    Thank you for your time looking forward to your reply.

    • Spiros, You didn’t say where you got the trees. If you grew them from seed you will have to graft them to get an avocado varietal. It sounds like the trees were stressed. In most cases the problem is water. You said you water them every second day. You didn’t say how much water. The best situation is to have the trees planted on mounds and irrigate them slowly for a good amount of time. This will allow the water to penetrate deeper without running off. Try it to see if you get a response. Good luck. Charley

    • I’m growing a holiday avocado tree which is dropping fruit prematurely. I live in Crest el cajon. the tree looks beautiful.I water twice a week pretty much a deep water so I think I’M watering enough. I did just recently trim the tree back because due to branches on the ground and I think maybe that might have something to do with my fruit lost could that be so

      • Glenn, Fruit drop in some cases is normal. If the tree is loaded with fruit it will drop some to maintain balance. It will drop the least critical for example the smallest fruit rather than larger fruit. The tree will drop fruit if it is stressed for example heat, wind, cold, not enough water. You said you water twice a week “pretty much a deep water.” I don’t know what that is. For example if you are letting a hose run on it that won’t provide adequate distribution. A mature avocado requires about 450 gallons of water per week in the summer, preferably applied in one application. The pruning should not cause fruit drop if the other elements of stress are not there. Check your irrigation practices probably the cause of the drop. Good luck. Charley

  163. Hello Charley,

    I am currently living in the greater Orange County area am interested in purchasing avocado producing property in De Luz with the intent of making that investment my primary source of income. I have no experience in managing property but do have experience in business management and am looking for a career change. Would it be possible to meet with you to discuss in a general sense purchase opportunities and options, operational costs, management costs, yields, selling prices, profitability, etc… to determine if this is something viable?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

    Ron

    • Ron, I would be happy to meet with you to discuss the avocado industry. We can do that on a consulting basis to help you with your investment decisions. I will send you my contact information separately. Thanks. Charley

  164. H Charley, I’m not sure i’m submitting my question in the correct place, so I hope you’ll get it. I live in Rolling HIlls Estates, CA. I drove to Fallbrook to buy a Reed in April of 2014. I planted the tree according to directions, it sits on a bank with a large well around the base for watering. Last year it produced about a dozen good sized avocados. I forgot to water it once and a lot of the leaves turned brown on the lower halves. The tree eventually dropped all of it’s leaves and since then has grown new ones. It was covered in hundreds of tiny fruit 3 or 4 months ago which all dropped off. The tree looks good now, but I’m not sure what happened. Do you think this could be because I forgot to water in once and it really got dried out? I bought a small Bacon about six months ago. It is near the Reed and doing very well. Some people tell me to water the Reed a lot and some tell me not to overwater.

    • Julie, What you describe sounds like watering problems. First you should plant the tree on a mound not in a basin. The tree needs water but it does not like wet feet. If you were irrigating correctly missing an irrigation would not have been a problem. What you are describing sounds like the tree was stressed and then is recovering. You didn’t say how you were irrigating and for how long. Since you said had a large well around the base for watering I assume you are using a hose to fill the basin. Remember the trees native environment is a rain forest. It likes a large area to be wet so it can send its roots out for water. I would suggest you invest in a sprinkler stand to connect to your hose. Water your trees slowly for a long period of time so the water goes deep. A mature avocado needs about 450 gallons of water per week in the summer. Following this process will make your trees happier and they will produce more fruit. Good luck. Charley

  165. Hi Charley,

    I’ve been following your blog recently – would be interested in your thoughts on is it a good time if you have some $ to invest, to look at groves. It’s sad to see so many of them being let go, I’d like to save one. I may be working with a realtor in the Temecula/Fallbrook area soon, would really appreciate your advice – and perhaps consulting help with assessing prospective land.

    Thanks,

    Luke

    • Luke, Avocados are a good investment. The good news is that there are not enough avocados to fill the demand, not only in the US but also world wide. The bad news is that water is very expensive and avocados need ample water to be productive. Be careful looking for a grove to “save.” If it is in really bad shape it your money may be better spent by removing the stressed trees and replanting to high density. Yes I can help you on evaluating properties for purchase on a consulting basis. I will send you contact information separately. Thanks. Charley

  166. Hi Charley
    I’m looking at buying a home with an avocado grove. I’m coming from the Midwest and don’t know anything regarding avocados. Unfortunately, time is of the essence so I was wondering if you could email me your contact info. so I could ask some questions- possibly get a grove analysis? This would be our retirement home and we just want to make sure we don’t make any big mistakes. Thank you in advance.

  167. Hello Charley,

    I have been doing some research on the Hass Avocados business and I really like it. I have talked to some producer in Costa Rica. Last week I did my business plan and I wanted to talked to someone who could give me another opinon beside the one I got in Costa Rica. If you could help me I will really appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Bernardo Medina

  168. Hi Charlie
    We have a 1 acre grove in Fallbrook with about 40 Mature Haas Avocado trees. The rest of the grove is Oranges and Macadamia nuts. We have been selling small amounts of fruit via mail order and to a local restaurant. I am thinking it is time to harvest most if not all of the remaining fruit. Unfortunately I am not at the grove this summer and so will need to hire someone. Here is my question.

    Which will provide us the best result. 1 We have had someone come by and offered to pick the fruit into banana boxes at $ 35 per box, OR 2 Have a local packing house drop off a bin and hire one of the local guys at 10 or 12 dollars and hour to pick the fruit. I would order 1 bin and hope to fill it. Our fruit size is from 40’s to 60’s.

    • Phil, I understand your frustration. The answer is to sell to the person who came by and offered $35 per box. The price seems to be in range. You should have someone there to verify the box count and collect the money. It should be a cash deal not take the fruit and pay you later. I don’t believe a packing house will bring you a bin in hopes of getting a partial fill. It is not only inefficient for them to deliver one bin and pick it up but they have to shut the line down to run your small amount of fruit. Charley

  169. I may want to use your consultation services regarding proper irrigation of an avocado grove. Can you email me your contact info for a quick phone call?

    • Joe, Notwithstanding water considerations Avocados are a good investment. WE have the unique situation of having more demand than product. I am considering the world demand and all of the producers. The secret is aggressive farming to maximize the production per acre. It is not a crop for gentleman farmers. My suggestion to get started is to go to the University of California web site UCAVO.UCR.EDU. That will give some basics to help you with your planning and decision. Thanks, Charley

  170. Charley,

    Any insights on the viability of avocado farming in Northern South America (Guyana)? My family has acreage there, 100+ acres and I think this would be a great crop to utilize the land, particularly because of ample irrigation.

    Thanks,
    Nick

    • Nick, Having ample irrigation surely makes you the envy of all the growers in California. Remember the tree needs well drained soil. Assuming the conditions will be good for growing avocados, remember you have to have a market to sell them. 100 acres is more than you can sell at road side. Good luck. Charley

  171. Hello Charlie, I’m looking at buying a 5 acre grove in Temecula – what would you charge to come out take a look and give your opinion ??

  172. We have two avocado trees, (Haas and Bacon) it is over 90 and 100 degrees here in the San Fernando Valley, how will this affect the production of fruit.
    Some of the avocados are dropping. Is this natural because of the heat ? – We are using a mister throughout the tree (one of the trees) to try to lower the temperature. If this advisable ?
    Thank you,
    MIke

    • Michael, If you have provided adequate irrigation to the trees they will be able to handle the heat. Depending on how much fruit is on the tree they will drop some if there is too much fruit. If they don’ have enough irrigation they will drop fruit. I’m not sure whether the mister will change the trees evapotranspiration rate. Remember a mature avocado tree in the summer will require about 450 gallons of water per week given in one application. Continue to observe the tree as we move through the summer.

  173. Hi Mr. Wolk,
    My girlfriend and I live in Virginia but want to move to Temecula after we finish graduate school. She still has about 3-4 more years left. Do you think it would be feasible for us to buy a property now (or within a year or so) with trees on it and try to manage the farm from a distance for a few years until we are able to move out there? There must be companies out there that people hire to help with maintenance of the trees and harvest of the fruit? The prices seem good right now and we are afraid if we wait to get started prices may go up and we may never get the guts to do it.
    Thanks,
    Tom

    • Tom, Your concept is solid. I don’t know what you have in mind to manage from a distance. That’s tough other than general direction. Yes there are management companies available for the daily operation of the orchard. That is what my company does. As you move forward let me know if I can help. Thanks, Charley

      • Hi Charley I recently been introduced to the art of cooking with avocado leaves and was ready to use some I grabbed off a tree on the side of the road, but I found out that some species of leaves are poisonous. I’m try to find some Mexican avocado leaves Which are safe. Thank you in advance

        • Derek, I do not know that avocado leaves are poisonous to humans. The poisonous information you may have heard is that avocado leaves can be poisonous to lactating animals. On a ranch we don’t want to have mares, does, or heifers to have access to the trees and eat the leaves. It probably wouldn’t kill them, but it could cause them to abort. Mexican leaves won’t be any different than California leaves. Good luck. Charley

        • Derek, I do not know that avocado leaves are poisonous to humans. The poisonous information you may have heard is that avocado leaves can be poisonous to lactating animals. On a ranch we don’t want to have mares, does, or heifers to have access to the trees and eat the leaves. It probably wouldn’t kill them, but it could cause them to abort. Mexican leaves won’t be any different than California leaves. Good luck. Charley

  174. Hi Charley-I really appreciate your blog. I recently attededan investment conference where one presentation was on investing in a 1 hectare hass avocado farm in Panama with 200 trees. Land is 40K and crop maintenace csts after 4 yrs. Is $6500 per yr. Irrigation, crop maintenance, harvest, packing, shipping, findind buyers all included. Avocados organic. They predict a 20 per cent annual return. Does this sound realistic? How many pounds of harvest might I expect given 200 trees? How I was excited at first but I am now wary given cost of land and annual crop maintence fee no matter what harvest yields. Thanks for any information you can provide that might help me make an informed decision.
    n

    • James, I don’t know about the economics in Panama. I can only comment on the numbers applied in California. The land price seems a little high for bare land. We are planting high density in California so 200 trees are spaced too far apart. You say maintenance costs are $6500 per year after 4 years. What about the first 4 years? Also the $6500 would not buy packing, shipping, and marketing. So my bottom line is the situation requires more research.

  175. Hi Charlie!

    My family and I are considering the purchase of a property in Fallbrook. It’s a 15 acre property with 200 avocado trees. We really don’t know anything about growing avocados, but would love to learn. Here is my question, before we move forward with putting an offer in on the house we would like to meet with you at the property for a consultation/analysis. We understand there are numerous factors involved in getting a realistic idea of operational costs/potential revenue, and we would be so grateful to recieve your expert advice! Can I get your contact info so I can give you a call in the near future to set up a meeting? Thanks again! Rachel

    • Rachel, I can evaluate the agricultural aspects of the property. I will send you contact information separately.

  176. Hi Charley,

    I’m a student at the University of Southern California. I am launching my own growing company in Michoacan, Mexico. I have relatives that have been growing Avocados for years now. I want to see if it’s possible to get your guidance and feedback on a new idea i have. Would you mind in sending me your contact info so we can have a conversation.

    Thanks in advanced and i hope to hear from you soon.

  177. Hi Charley,

    I own a property in Sherman Oaks, CA that have three avocado trees that are 15’ – 20’ (feet) tall and approximately 60 years in age. This is my first year that I have owned the property.

    In March the avocado trees began to bloom avocados. Each tree has 500 to 1500 avocados growing. Yes that is right 500 – 1500 avocados. One of the avocados trees that I estimate are growing 1500 avocados, in the last 3 weeks the tree leaves are turning brown, and approximately 1/3 over 500 avocados have fallen from the tree branches. The tree continues to grow new leaves at the top of the tree so I don’t believe it is a watering issue. I water each tree the same amount of water 10 minutes / 3 times a week. I recently watered the trunk of the tree and when I did a herd of small ants came out of the tree bark.

    Can you help me diagnose what the problem is with the tree? If it would help you diagnose the tree issue I can take photos of the tree and leaves and send you the photos.

    Thank you

    • Jerry, A mature avocado tree requires at least 450 gallons of water every week. The trees you describe probably need more. When you water for 10 minutes 3 times a week you probably only wetted the leaves on the top of the ground. There is no water reaching the roots. Those ants won’t cause any damage to a tree that old. The leaves turning brown is caused by inadequate water being available to the tree. I can’t tell you how much to water because I don’t know what kind of sprinklers you have. Find out what the flow rate is for the sprinklers and calculate how long it has to run to deliver 450 gallons. Put the water on in one irrigation. You have probably lost the crop for next year but you can get the tree set up for next spring. Good luck.

  178. Hi Charley, we are interested in growing avocados, but at this moment we know nothing about the process, so we appreciate finding a site where you can tell us what we need to know. We are looking at land in Columbus, NM. We would have to drill for water and build from ground up. We want it to be a sustainable business with other things, like maybe bamboo and fast growing trees for lumber. Is this just a pipe dream or could it work? Is it warm enough there? Would Avocados grow in unknown soil? We thought we would ask for a grant to pay for the endeavor. Could you share your thoughts about this? Thanks jkh

    • Jim and Kathleen, Your idea sounds very interesting. I will give you a few comments to help. You will have to check the weather records in Columbus. Remember the avocado is a tropical plant and cannot handle freezing temperatures. It also needs a lot of water. So you will need to have good wells. The tree needs well drained soil. Nutrients can be added. Assuming growing conditions will work you will still need to pack, ship, and market the product. I don’t know about growing bamboo or lumber. Good luck.

  179. Charles,

    I am looking to get an inspection on some property we are purchasing out in Temecula. There are about 1,100 trees on the property. We want to get a general inspection on the crop, cost to get fully operational, as well as the costs if we needed to completely clear out the land.

    If you have any contacts for an inspection like this I would appreciate any help.

    Thank you

    • Dillon, I can do that for you on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact info separately. Thanks, Charley

  180. Charley,

    We just purchased a new 5 acre land in Temecula and is thinking of planting new avocado grove. Does it make economic sense to go with other avocado varieties(such as REED) vs HASS trees? Thank you in advance.

    • Jack, Growing multiple varieties is always worth considering. You spread your risk in the market place and is some cases the cultural risks. The Reed would be a good choice in a varietal mix. It is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Right now Whole Foods would buy every one in sight. Other considerations could be Lamb Hass. Just keep in mind that you only have 5 acres. The more you diversify the more you give up economy of scale. Getting some one to come and harvest one acre will be difficult. Additionally the handlers don’t like running small lots in the packing house. Think it over. Charley

  181. Hi Charlie, I’m moving to Palm Coast Florida in few months. Can you tell me if its good place to start avocado plantation? Thank you

    • Dorothy, The temperatures should be fine in that part of Florida. You have to sure the soils are well drained because of getting much more rain than the growing areas in the west. The avocado tree likes water but it also is not happy with having wet feet all the time. Good luck. Charley

  182. Dear Charley ,

    i growth some seedling avocado , after one year i transfer them out door for check temperature and soil condition, after 6 month they are alive but all leaves fall from trees and wood still are green without any new leaves, can you help me that problem is temperature or humidity or soil Please? thanks

    • Kaveh, You don’t say where you are when you put them out doors. You don’t say but it sounds like you have them in containers. It sounds like you are putting too much water on them. Remember the plant has to dry out after irrigation. Stop watering and see if they don’t flush new leaf growth. If they do adjust your watering so they dry out before you apply more water. Good luck’ Charley

    • Mabaso, I have no idea. There are avocado packers in South Africa. I believe they would be willing to help you.

  183. I live near the Mississippi coast, & have a 4FT Joey Avocado tree planted 2FT away from my driveway. I’ve allowed room for a 4FT trunk at ground level: I plan to cut a half circle into the driveway, & install a tree crate. Any idea what the trunk can mature to? More importantly;do you know if this coldest hardy variety would pollinate better with another avocado variety? I can’t find this information!

    • David, I do not recognize the avocado variety joey so it is difficult for me to answer all your questions. First I can’t envision planting any avocado tree only 2FT from a driveway. I assume the driveway is not paved if you can cut a half circle in it. Trunk size is usually measured at the diameter. Allowing for a 4FT trunk would be an enormous tree. I can’t answer your question about pollination. Charley

  184. Hi Charley, I am looking into a property with a home on it, and 15 acres of avocado trees. Basically a functioning farm for over 30 years. I would like to consult with you on the well, the overall status of the farm and soil. Can you please send me your contact info. I am in a bit of a rush as I need to put an offer in soon. Thank You

  185. Hi. I recently purchased a house in El Cajon with 1.5 acres and 30 plus avocado trees. The grove is old and was planted in the late 1950’s and early 1960s with the Fuerte variety. About 25 years ago (?) most of the trees were cut off and had Haas grafted on. A few Fuerte’s were preserved. The grove has been in steady decline in recent years due to drought. Currently less than half the trees are producing. The previous owner was not really into avocado culture and tree management. I am new to this (1 month now) and am looking for some consulting to help me with management of the grove. Would you be able to help me? I have a lot to learn about watering, fertilizing,pruning, etc. Thanks.

    • Tim, I suspect those trees are the remains of a very old commercial avocado grove. I also suspect that what you are observing is not the impact of the drought but the trees have root rot. It is a fungus that can come from other plants usually ornamentals. I believe you should go to the University of California cooperative extension web site to get the basic information about growing avocados. The address is ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf. From there I would try to answer your questions. Consulting on 30 trees really is not appropriate. Ultimately you will probably replace the trees. Thanks, Charley

  186. Hi Charley,

    My girlfriend and I are interested in growing an avocado tree or two indoors. I have a few questions (I’m a complete newcomer so these may test your “no question is stupid” policy…).

    It seems from reading around that it is indeed possible to grow avocado trees indoor in some type of container system. Do you have any recommendations for such a system? Is it possible to get fruit from an avocado tree using artificial lights? What kind of lights are necessary?
    Is it possible (and are there any advantages) to grow avocado trees hydroponically?
    If so, is it possible to transplant a purchased, grafted Avocado tree from soil to an indoor hydroponic system?

    Thanks, we really appreciate your expertise!

    Best,
    Mike

    • Mike, Interesting questions. Usually folks ask about growing the tree in a green house. The simple answer is yes the tree would grow inside. We have student projects where they grow a tree from a seed. That being said I don’t believe you could grow a tree inside with a goal of producing fruit. First it has to get big enough to have old enough wood to produce flowers. Next those flowers have to be pollinated usually by bees. Generally speaking plants can be manipulated by controlling light. I know of no commercial trees being grown hydroponically. So we come full circle to the point that I don’t believe indoors will work. Charley

  187. Dear Mr Wolk,

    I am from the Czech Republic and it seems that there is now cash crop. Would avocado tree survive here? I have read some information and I found that some cultivars may survive up to -12°C.

    So my question basically is if I plant avocado tree here, would it survive through winter with snow and temperatures that can drop to -10°C and then give me fruit during summer?

    Thank you very much for any information.

    Miroslav

  188. For those of you failing to find the “how to grow avocados” paper from the link posted twice recently, try ucanr, not ucan.

  189. Buyer beware!! My husband and I retired to Fallbrook 4 months ago. Two of our four acres were sold as 187 Hass producing trees. It turns out we have less than 100 trees because the previous property owners cut back on watering and many trees died or are producing very little fruit. Shame on us for not doing better due diligence up front. The fruit was harvested today and produced only one bin. Our plan was to give all net proceeds to local charities and our church. Before we invest too much more, I would like to have someone come out and look at the property to determine the cost to either build it up or “call it a day”. Would you mind recommending someone to us? Thank you.

    • Julie, I’m sorry you have this initial disappointment with avocados. I can look at the orchard and give you an opinion. I do this on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact information separately. Chgarley

  190. I am new in Avocado farming; I just conceived the idea as a backward integration to my cosmetic business. The idea wan an award and am now at the early development stage of the business idea. I want to start Avocado farming and oil extraction in Nigeria.

    I need complete mentorship and guideline.

    Please help.
    Tope

    • Amujo, The best place to start acquiring knowledge about growing avocados is at the University of California cooperative extension web site. ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf This will give you the basics. Remember you will have to adjust some points because it was written for California. Charley

      • Hi Charley, unfortunately the UCAN document seems to no longer exists at that address. My wife and I are returning soon to New Zealand from Los Angeles and are considering buying a small avocado orchard in Tauranga, 2 acres. We know nothing about growing avocados. Is it a lot of work?

        • Todd, Try using ucavo.ucr.edu. I don’t know what happened to the other address. There are a lot of folks in Tauranga who can help you. The New Zealand avocado growers association is located in Tauranga. If you contact them tell them I said hello. Two acres will keep you busy. A lot of work is in the eyes of the beholder. Good luck. Charley

  191. Hi Charley

    I have been thinking of starting hass avocado farming in Kenya, kindly email me the do’s snd dont’s, number of trees that can fit in one acre and production per year, how long they take to mature if planted from scratch…My email address is johangfitouts@gmail.com. Thanks.
    Mwangi John

    • John, As I have suggested to others the best place to start building your knowledge of growing avocados is the University of California web site, ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf/ Just remember it was written for California so you may have to make some adjustments. Thanks, Charley

    • Dear Charley,
      I am thinking to buy a 20-30 acre land in the Fallbrook/Bonsall/Temecula area to build a orchard and a house for our retirement. Will dig a well if there is none in the property. We will fly there from Illinois this July 4 week to take a close look at the area.
      My question is:
      What is the logic/procedure when looking for a property? Should I get a permit to dig a well, for suer to get water in the well before I am able to get a permit to build a house? If so, when should I make an offer? By the way, should I jump into farming in CA considering the drought conditions in CA now?
      Thank you very much for your time and help, I appreciate. Jane

      • Jane, Let me answer the well questions first. Wells here are different than those in the Midwest. The water is in between plates rather than in a big lake under the ground. The well driller will get the required permits. If the property is not served by a water district the county will require evidence of a water supply before issuing a building permit. You can make an offer and put conditions on the sale eg. water and perk test for a septic system. I will send you my contact information if you need more help. Thanks, Charley

      • Hi Jane,

        We have approx 84 acres for sale in Fallbrook. We have an avocado grove on some of the acreage. It is a beautiful area and a beautiful piece of land. Please reply to this post if you would like some additional information or would like to see the property. Linda

        • Linda, I’ll post this so if there are any interested folks they can contact you. Occasionally I have people contact me looking for groves. I’ll send your way. Charley

        • Hi linda we are currently thinking about moving to fall brook. are you looking to sell your land as a whole or could buildable parcels be purchased. please let me know.

          • Hi Ira,

            We would need to sell it as a whole, it can however be split into 20 acre parcels. Let me know if you have any other questions or if you would like to see it.

            Thanks,
            Linda

  192. Charley,
    I’m looking into buying a 4 acre avocado grove in temecula and I have very little knowledge about avocados. Can you send me some information about farming avocados. thank you.

    • Abel, I recommend going to the University of California web site, ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf. It has solid information and covers all the facets of growing. Thanks, Charley

  193. Hi Charlie, I am looking to start a small business with a little avo farm my family has. There are about 100 trees bairing avo’s.I would like to start my own small business venture. I would really appreciate if you could give me any tips moving forward?

    • Jean, Your question is interesting. You didn’t say what kind of business venture you wanted to start. I assume you mean direct marketing the crop. You didn’t say where you are so that makes the replay a little challenging. The easiest administratively is to just get certified by your County as a grower so you can sell at Farmer’s Markets. Hopefully you are close to more than on market so you can sell on more than one day. While this is administratively easy it takes a lot of work and time. If you don’t go all the time customers will have to discover you each time you do go. Additionally market managers want to have regular vendors. The other alternative is mail order but that takes more time to get established and will require more investment in advertising. You can also try swap meets for a selling venue. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  194. We are buying a house in Fallbrook on 4 acres. It already has 100 trees on the property (we’re still on the east coast so we haven’t verified that’s the exact number). I’ve been doing some reading online about growing avocados, but I think in the best interest of time it would make sense to have someone come out and look at the trees and give us their impression. Could you send me your information on your services? Thanks.

    • Sarah, I am sending you some information on our services separately. If you have more questions, you can use the email. Thanks, Charley

      • Hi Charley, I am a realtor and one of my clients are purchasing a land about ten acres, I believe has 400 Avo trees, since in January 2015 we had that big snow storm in Murrieta California, obviously it hit some groves including Avo trees, if some trees look half a dry and brown but some green would they come back alive and how long does it take, plus do you recommend to do agricultural lab test? Can you explain about the water take of each tree which in our case we do have a irrigation system.
        Thanks for your help

        • Nazik, If there are only 400 trees the parcel is not fully planted. The general statement would be that the cold damaged trees will come back. Without seeing how much damage was done to the trunk it is hard to say whether it worthwhile to wait for them to come back. The tree will produce new growth on all of the branches not killed by the cold by Labor Day. I don’t know what you have in mind for a lab test. They are either cold damaged or not. You don’t need a lab to tell you that. A mature avocado tree needs about 450 gallons of water per week in the summer. If you have more questions let me know. Charley

          • Hi Charley,
            you mentioned that a grown tree requires 450 gallons. I’m working on planning for water consumption for a whole cycle. How much water would you recommend when it comes down to a small tree during the summer. I’m assuming that during the other seasons I would have to plan accordingly to rainfall levels. How much water would you recommend for trees during the other seasons per week?

          • David, You pose an unanswerable question. The conditions are constantly changing. For example: what is a “small” tree?, what is the weather? If you are just learning about the trees I would suggest you look at the wide range of sensors and software programs that can monitor soil moisture and tell you when to irrigate. With such a system you will be applying only the amount of water the tree needs.

    • Karz, I believe the best way to get started is to go to the University of California web site. You can get the basic information about growing avocados. You may have to adjust the information to apply to the conditions in Tanzania. The basic information is there. The address is ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf. Good luck on your project. Charley

  195. I am leasing a home on an avocado farm that is also for sale. I have no avocado experience, but this land looks like a good investment and want to pitch it to a wealthy relative. It has over 3500 mature trees and 1500 stumped due to water issues (even though it has seven wells). I need to get a good business plan put together before I present a proposal. I would like to get your contact information to investigate the costs of having your company manage the groves. Thanks, Steve

  196. My mother lives in La Habra California and has two avocado trees that are loaded with fruit that she cannot pick. I was hoping you could recommend someone or a business that can come to her home and pick them for her and pay her a fair price for them. One tree is of the bacon variety and the other she claims is Elsie (they are very large and creamy). Thanks for your help. David

    • David, You have a tough situation. I don’t know of anyone who would come to pick two trees. If they would I’m not sure they would be willing to pay for them. Just getting there and then getting to a place to sell them would quickly consume any potential profit. My only suggestion would be to go to a local farmers market to ask one of the venders if they would be interested in the fruit. Good luck. Charley

      • There are some of non-profit organizations that will come and pick excess fruit from private properties and donate them to food banks or services you can link to

        Here are a couple (in case this post doesn’t accept links, just remove the spaces)
        Food Forward (www. foodfoward. org)
        Neighborhood Fruit (www. neighborhoodfruit. com)
        SoCalHarvest (www. socalharvest. org)

        just google a search for something like, backyard fruit picker charities

        Hope this helps

        • Jackie, Thanks for the info. I suspect that there are other readers who will be interested in this information. Charley

  197. Hi Charlie I just now found this site.

    I’m in Vallejo California and we are up on the side of a hill.

    Three years back I came to the conclusion that our house/lot meets the criteria for growing avocados. Initially I planted a Wurtz. It grew 5X in size (mostly horizontal) in 3 years and had nice fruit.

    I planted a Mexicola in a more horizontal part of the lot and it also grew about 4X in three years with nice fruit.

    But the results for other areas of the same lot have produced failures. I had a Zutano only about 15 ft from the Mexicola. It also started to grow and was about 2X. With the recent heavy rain the leaves started to dry up, fall and then the tree started to turn grey/black and die. So I planted two Hass on each side of it about 15 ft to either side. Those trees died within 6 months. So I planted an additional Wurtz directly opposite the existing Wurtz at essentially the same angle of drainage and so far it is doing just fine. My question: is it wise to replant new stock at the three sites that apparently had root rot. If the rot came as a result of the heavy rain, it might have been a single event that likely might not return for a year or two. On the other hand, if once infected the site is toxic, I would like to know this and not waist my money.
    Thank you, Fred Rowley

    • Fred, Your questions are interesting. I need to make some assumptions. First root rot cannot come in rain it self. The rain can move the fungus. So if there is a home above the avocado trees with ornamental landscape plants that could be carriers the rain could transport the fungus to the avocados. I don’t know what the soil condition is. Also I don’t know if you planted the trees in basins or on mounds. If root rot is the problem, I’m not sure it could have impacted the newly planted trees so quickly. All this being said it sounds like there is some other problem effecting your planting. I believe you should locate a local ag lab and take soil and root samples from each hole and see what the analysis shows. It may be there has been a chemical dump there previously.
      Let me know what you find. Charley

  198. Hi Charley,

    Great site, thanks. Is there a site that posts weekly/daily wholesale avacado pricing information for Southern California?

    Thanks!

    • Matthew, There are prices in the LA Times business section. These prices usually lag a day or two. There are also prices in the California Avocado Commission web site, avocado.org. These will give you a start and there are links that may provide more information. Thanks, Charley

  199. Hi Charley –

    We own a small avocado grove in San Bernardino. We have about 600 trees of mixed varieties. We have our own water sources from two springs and a well. We are thinking of selling our property with our 5500 sqft adobe home but are not sure how to price the water portion of our property. We have spoken to a real estate agent but he is unsure of how to price the water also since this is a one of a kind property – no comps available. The property has 9 planted acres with an additional 22 acres that have not been planted yet and have not have irrigation installed at this time. The 22 acres have olive trees planted in one area. Any ideas you have would be appreciated thank you.

    • Tim, I understand your challenge is to put a value on the water on your property. I assume the springs are running into a reservoir and the water is pumped from there to the orchard. I also suppose the well could also be flowing into a reservoir. If you have meters on the water being delivered to the trees the task is easier. If not you would need to calculate the water used from the flow rating of the sprinklers. If that is not practical than an estimate can be used. Once you have the usage then go to the water district and ask how much it would cost to buy that much water. I trust this will help. Good luck. Charley

  200. We have a very large avocado tree in our backyard that is about 30 years old. We are selling our house and I was wondering if this tree would increase the value of the house? By how much (basically how much is the tree worth)? It fruits about 300-500 avocados every winter.

    • Heather, The value of avocado trees are normally in the context of commercial orchards. I don’t know that one tree would necessarily add value to a home sale. Depending on its health the eyes of the buyer it could be a deterrent to the sale. Hope this helps. Charley

  201. Hi Charley,

    Really appreciate the blog and the information. My GF and I are in negotiations to buy a 13 acre orchard near ojai that is already planted, irrigated, has a great water supply and produces great organic fruit. It is already set up with a service that harvests the fruit intermittently when the prices are right. He has 5-6 different varieties of Avos planted.

    My question is, how much work is it to maintain something like this and how easy is it to step away for a few weeks to a month here and there for vacation etc. We love the concept of the orchard, but are also big surfers with a previous frequent travel history, and are a little unsure how tied to the land we will become. The current owner has a orchard hand that helps, and we would likely do the same. But wondering how easy it is to get it set up such that you can take off for a while and travel.

    -S and H

    • Scott, I am often asked that question. I don’t believe you will like my answer. If you are going to manage the operation it will require your full attention. Can you leave for a month? Yes if you have a work plan for tasks to be accomplished while you are gone and whoever you leave is competent. The orchard hand is exactly that a working hand. Usually they are short on technical knowledge and not good managers including their own time. I am sure you will enjoy the land you are acquiring. Save yourself some aggravation and money. Hire a competent management firm to operate the orchard. It will cost you less money and you can leave whenever you want for as long as you want. Thanks, Charley

  202. Hi Charley,

    We are living in Wildomar, Ca. We have about 1 acre lot, and we are thinking of planting about 10 avocado trees. We are curious if avocado trees can grow well in this area. If they do, what avocado type are the most suitable for this area?

    Thanks in advance

    Daniel

    • Daniel, The Wildomar area in general is suitable for growing avocados. That being said there are many area there where is gets too cold. So you want to be sure it does not get too cold on your property. You can get a minimum reading thermometer and watch over a winter. You can look at the other plants on your property to see if any have sustained cold damage previously. If you are going to plant 10 trees that is more than needed for your personal use. I assume you are going to sell them at road side or a farmers market. If the area passes the cold test I would suggest you plant more than one variety. Hass, Reed, Fuerte, and Lamb Hass might be a start. This would give you fruit over an extended period.

  203. Hi Charlie,

    Thank you for all the information you have been providing us with. I am looking into buying a 20 acre land that has about 800 avocado trees that are bearing fruit and 700 that are newly planted. I have been following your blog for quite some time now and couldn’t wait to have my own avocado farm.I am very excited in buying this property and have a lot of questions about it. I will really appreciate it if we can exchange emails, or even have a short call just so I can see what you think about this property.

    Thanks,
    Leo

    • Leo, I can help you with your decisions on buying an avocado property. I will send direct contact info separately. Thanks, Charley

      • Hello I was wondering if you can help out! My father gave me a big peace of property and I want to plant avocado trees. Can I contact you direct.

        Thanks

        Ernie

      • Charley, I purchased a home in Bonsall with a small grove (about 75 trees) one year ago. I haven’t had them picked yet and not sure how that works. I have a ton of questions…. Do you provide consultations for small grove owners too? Thanks!

    • Hello Charley,

      Given today’s high cost of water in De Luz, would you recommend starting an avocado grove? I have been told to anticipate a 5% increase in the cost of water each year.

      • Nick, Based on my experience and additionally the number of phone calls I receive from investors avocados is still a good deal. The caveat is you need to plant high density. More trees per acre cost more on the front end. You have to commit to annual pruning after year four. And overall you have to farm it correctly to produce enough fruit to pay for the water and make a profit. It is still doable. I will send you my contact info separately. Thanks, Charley

  204. Hi Charley,

    I’m looking at buying a house that has over 50 acres of avocados. I found this blog and would love to e-mail you more to discuss the whole operation. I don’t even know what to look at when it comes to avocados. Just want to pick your brain and I also read that you’ve talked about a managing company to help out the land?

    Thanks,

    Christopher

    • Christopher, Your prospective purchase sounds interesting. My company can help you. I will send you direct contact info separately. Charley

  205. Hi Charley, thanks for taking the time to put up the info on the blog. I write to you from Kenya. Is there any chance you have an info pack that you can share with prospective farmers? I know it might not be completely relevant as I am halfway across the world, but I’m certain it would be a huge help. Thanks

    • Richard, I suggest you go to the University of California Extension Service web site, ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf. Go to Avocado on the site. They have a pamphlet on growing avocados. It is oriented for a new grower. Just keep in mind it is focused on California. You will have to adjust as necessary. Thanks, Charley

  206. This is a different category of question/ comment.. I am searching the web to try and find a reliable distributor of avocados, preferably organic, for an upstart food enterpreneur business, that seeks to do justice for the land and the workers. Any recommendations?

    • Marla, I’m not quite clear what you are looking for. On the one hand I would say all of the California avocado packing houses are distributors of avocados. Most of them have an organic offering. On the other hand you may be looking for a wholesaler/distributer locally for your business. In either case I would suggest starting with the phone book or an on line search to get some contacts. Then a dialog would be appropriate to determine if they meet your criteria.

  207. I know that fertilization should not be done when avocado trees are blooming, as the fertilizer can cause the blooms to drop. When is the recommended month to begin fertilizing triple 15 this year in the Fallbrook area groves? Is late January too early? I’ve heard that it should be done when the weather warms up, and either before blooming begins, or after the fruit is set. Is there a month after the fruit has set that is safe for fertilization which will not cause the young fruit to also drop off?

    • Suzanne, Yes you can knock the flowers off with too much nitrogen during the bloom. With warmer weather the tree can take up the nitrogen more efficiently. I assume the material is being hand applied. You will just have to watch the trees and the weather. I have years where I delayed fertilizer application because of rain forecast. I was concerned that the material would be flushed below the root zone. Wish I had to consider that now. Rule of thumb is apply nitrogen in Feb and Jul. That being said look at the trees.

  208. I’ve read that the application of calcium nitrate can improve soil conditions in avocado groves which have decomposed granite soils, and helps offset the problem of high chlorides/salinity in Fallbrook PUD irrigation water. I was intending to use 5 lbs. of triple 15 fertilizer (low sodium) 3 times a year along with 3 lbs. of calcium nitrate applied separately in June and September. Do you concur with that?

    • Suzanne, Since I don’t know how old the tree are and have not seen the grove I can not concur with what you have described. It appears to be too much. The best approach for determining fertilizer requirements is to have a leaf analysis done which will tell you how much nutrient the trees have. With that information you can decide how much nutrient they need. I know of no process in the soil that would let calcium nitrate improve soil condition. It is often used to lower soil ph to maintain the optimum level ph. Neither have I heard of CN helping with high salinity,

  209. I have a 6+ acre avocado grove located NE of Fallbrook in an area of decomposed granite soil. I read in your blog that each mature avocado tree needs 450 gallons of water per week during the hot summer months, irrigated once per week for an average of 14 hours to achieve the 450 gallon requirement, and depending upon the emitter capacity. You’ve also said that by watering once a week the soil can dry out, which reduces the environment for root rot. I’ve also read from others that the tree roots are shallow, and may require more frequent irrigation during the hot weather than once a week. Do you still believe that the once a week irrigation is ok during hot weather, as long as the tree is getting 450 gallons of water per week? I intend to irrigate at night to decrease rapid evaporation during hot weather. I have used organic gypsum to decrease the chance of root rot. Is there a downside to using gypsum on a grove with my decomposed granite soil type?

    • Suzanne, Be careful about taking rules of thumb or guidelines as gospel. If the weather cause the trees to need more water when it is very hot, then give them more water before the week is over. I can remember times during extreme Santa Annas that the trees were going into wilt with the water running. If you want to be more precise you should investigate installing moisture sensing devices in your grove. They will tell you the moisture content in the soil so that you decide when to irrigate. Irrigating at night is better. As you said it reduces evaporation so the trees gets more of the water you apply. The only root rot prevention from gypsum application I can think of is improving soil drainage so the roots aren’t wet all the time. if you have good DG you are spending money for minimum cultural value. It is what I call a feel good.

  210. Charley,

    I am interested in getting started in avocado farming. I do not live in California or have any experience with agriculture in any way (college graduate with a degree in homeland security/ terrorism). I was wondering if there was a way to get into the business without buying a farm such as working for a grove management company or a cooperative.

    Much thanks.

    • Shaun, Working for a company in the avocado industry is a good way to get started. That being said it will require an individual search effort on your part to find the employment. I know of no central place to get the information. You might consider a classified ad in the County Farm Bureaus news letters. Good luck. Charley

  211. Charley,

    First off thank you for your service to our country in a uniform and an even bigger thanks for what you are doing here. i have an enormous amount of respect for you and the time you offer to others while seeking nothing in return, a true hero.

    Like the previous post have no farming experience, yet, but am I am attempting to purchase a 4 acre grove in the De Luz area. Thanks to your information so many of my questions have already been answered in reading your comments and studying all the info the UC Cooperative extension has. The grove is currently manged by Sierra Pacific farms.

    My intention is to use this to learn and then if things work out a much bigger grove in the future.

    I wonder if anybody with a grove this size will sell their fruit at local farmers markets. I am wondering if off-setting the high water cost with selling at a higher margin is a possibility. I would do this myself as I previously had a kettle corn operation at several local markets here where I live in LA. I would utilize vehicles I already own for transport to the markets.

    I look forward to speaking with you more in the future and hope you have a great New Year.

    Scott

    • Scott,
      Thanks for your complements. The four acres is a good size to learn. If you intend to do the work yourself you must accept it will require a lot of time. Yes you can sell the fruit at farmers markets. This also will require considerable time. The trees properly farmed will produce quantities that would require you attending a market almost every day. You can store the fruit on the tree, but there is a limit on how long. Good luck on your new venture. If you need help let me know. Charley

  212. Hi Charley,
    I have 2 Haas in my backyard that I planted about 10 years ago when we bought our new home in Alta Loma. They are fairly prolific trees and they both yield 200-300 fruit a year. Since I have a hard time consuming all of this fruit on my own, I thought about setting up a card table in my driveway and selling them to passersby (along with other fruit and citrus from our yard.) To your knowledge is this something that I can do spontaneously or do I need some kind of permit or other official authorization? Thanks, Roy

    • Roy, You are allowed by state law to sell what you produce on your land. You can’t go to a busy intersection but you can sell from your land. The only point you have to check is whether the City has an ordinance that forbids the sales activity or requires a City permit. I trust this helps. Let me know how it works out. Charley

  213. Hi Charley,

    I recently purchased 5 acres in De Luz and have about 300 avocado trees. I have no experience in avocado grove management. I enjoy going to the property but am limited in my ability to do much of the work because I live over an hour away. I am working with the grove manager that managed the grove for the previous owner. He was recommended by the seller but I sometimes wonder if I should trust his estimates on labor, fertilizer, weed control, pruning, picking, injection etc. I don’t have a good sense if he is overcharging or even using materials for his own grove. For starters, do you have average costs that can be used per tree for some of these items? Perhaps we can arrange a consultation so that I can be more informed about my specific grove situation. Please let me know. Thank you!

    • Tom, I don’t think of operating cost on a per tree basis. I normally think of the operating cost on a per acre basis. In today’s economy that is about $5000 to $6000 per acre per year. The main variable will be the water source well or district. I will send you contact info separately. Thanks, Charley

          • Mike, I am not sure what you mean by getting started. You didn’t say where the land is. If you mean just getting information to understand the scope of the project you can go to the University of California web site ucan.org/sites/gardenweb/files/29079.pdf. This will give you enough information to see what the sequence is in developing your project. After this if you have more questions get back to me. Thanks, Charley

      • Hi Charley,

        Great forum, a lot of useful information. We are thinking about buying a house with about 300 avocado trees on property. I heard that you can hire a grove managing company to do all the work (I am absolutely not familiar with avocado growing). Would you be able to recommend any of such companies, so that we could estimate the income from the grove?
        Thank you in advance.
        Kate

        • Kate, Congratulations on considering a property with avocados. Yes I can recommend a company, mine. That’s what we do. I will send you contact info separately. Charley

          • Dear Mr. Wolk:

            I have never posted on a site before. I am interested in your company (as set forth in the entry above)to manage an avocado grove in Ventura County. Would you please provide me the appropriate contact information so that we might have a quick chat to see if it’s what your looking for? Thank you!

          • Mary, I am located in Fallbrook in San Diego County. I would be able to help you. I would suggest calling the Ventura County Farm Bureau. They should be able to provide you with a list of Farm Mangers working up there.

  214. Hi Charley! I am currently trying to purchase a parcel of El Toro rootstock. These trees are 10 years old and located in the DeLuz area. I am curious of your opinion on this rootstock for this region. Thank you!

    • Margaret, Normally we talk about the variety of the avocado grove first then the root stock. Also I believe you may mean Torro Canyon root stock rather than El Torro. Most root stocks have unique characteristics in particular soils and micro climates. The Torro Canyon has done well provided you respond to its characteristics where it is planted. Charley

  215. Hi, I am thinking about buying a 20 acre avocado grove in Fallbrook, CA. I am just trying a new phase in life I suppose. I know zero about what it takes to own a successful avocado grove, What questions should I ask? I’m sure it will take a while just to get down the basics so, where should I start? Thanks in advance!

    • Mark, If you have a parcel you are interested in you should ask to see the production records from the packing house, the water bills from the water district, and the bills for the operational expenses. Many sellers will offer a P&L but the records are better. I would also suggest you go on line to the University of California Cooperative Extension web site. Dr. Bender the tropical fruit advisor is having an avocado growing school starting in Jan. There is a fee and the school last several Sat. I believe it would be valuable for someone just starting.

  216. Hi Charley,

    I am working a project about the movement of Haas Avocados from California to my local grocer in Atlanta, GA. Do you have any suggests where I can look up how the fruit is picked, packed, shipped and distributed?

    Thanks!

    • Marisha, I don’t know where you could look up how the fruit moves from California to Atlanta. So just let me explain the process to you. The growers either use their own employees or contact labor to harvest the avocados. They really aren’t picked but the stems are each cut by hand to get them off the tree. The fruit is put into large plastic bins which hold about 900 pounds. The bins are picked up by the packing house with a truck that has a crane on the truck. the packing houses are separate businesses. The packing house has packing lines that weigh the individual pieces of fruit and separates them by size. The fruit is hand packed into two layer lugs weighing 25 pounds. So it takes fewer pieces of larger fruit to make 25 pounds. This how the size numbers come about It takes 48 pieces to fill a lug but 70 pieces of smaller fruit. The packing house sells the fruit to the major retailers or wholesalers. The fruit goes to distribution centers around the country. The major retailers use their own equipment to get the fruit to their stores. The wholesalers distribute the fruit to independent retailers. Some fruit goes to restaurant suppliers who deliver the fruit to food service operators. This a simple explanation of the system. If you have additional questions let me know. Charley

  217. my name is Charles and i write from Nairobi,Kenya.I have in stock over 2 million grafted seedlings ready for sale.I will provide all necessary papers from the authorities to facilitate smooth entry to your country.
    Charles

    • Charles, Thanks for the information. I really not interested in getting plant material from off shore even if USDA would approve it. Just to save you some time I don’t believe any growers in California would want to try your trees. Thanks, Charley

      • Joseph, I have no seedlings. I did receive an offer some time back by someone who was selling seedlings. You may have interpreted that I had seedlings.

  218. Hi Charley! I recently came across your blog while researching on growing and selling avocados. My parents recently purchased land in Temecula with over hundreds of avocado trees. I believe the former owner had abandoned the land of trees and now my parents are trying to bring them back. My parents are not experienced with avocado growing and selling and so I have offered to step in and help them. I am still a college student living in Thousand Oaks but I would like to take over the burden from my parents. I just don’t know where to start. Researching online about different permits, licensing, etc is overwhelming. Can you please help me! Thank you!

    • Angela, I commend you for your efforts to help your parents. You have to be careful that you take on a job you will not be able to succeed. First you say that the previous owner had abandoned the trees. It may be that it is not economical to try to save them no matter how hard you and your parents work. You may just end up spending a lot of money and hard work. The only license required is to apply pesticides. My recommendation is for your parents to hire as a minimum a consultant or better a manager. That way they can participate without going crazy. I will send you my contact information separately. Charley

  219. Charley,

    We are looking to move to the De Luz area and buy property with Avocado trees. We have found several homes that we like but need help evaluating the orchards to make our decision. Would you be able to help us with this?

    Also, is there an appraiser that will appraise the value of the home and the orchard separately?

    Thank You

    • Bob, I personally don’t know of an appraiser who is licensed to appraise both the home and the grove. Most would give you the value of the total property. Which actually makes sense because normally you can’t buy them separately. I can evaluate the condition of the orchard. Also after you purchase a property I can help you assign the purchase price to the home and grove. You would need to do this because some of the price can be depreciated. I will send you contact info separately. Charley

      • Charley,

        I haven’t seen your contact information. Please send again. It may not have come through for some reason.

        The reason I had asked about the appraiser is that we are trying to do a 1031 exchange on the property.

        Thanks,

        Bob

        • Bob, I have sent the contact info to the email you have used here it came back as undeliverable. If there is another email send it to the blog. If not try calling 760 728 5176 during business hours on week days. Charley