Returning

For my followers I want to apologize for being absent. I have been in technical hell. First I couldn’t get into the site. Finally got that fixed then the system would not let me respond. Now I’m back. Thanks for your patience. Charley


Comments

Returning — 141 Comments

  1. Hello Charley,

    I’m in Florida and I have a small potted avocado tree that I keep in the back yard. Earlier this summer the leaves all turned brown starting at the tips and most of them fell off. The branches which had been green also turned dark brown from the tips and the brown color began to move inward toward the trunk (taking the leaves as this change spread).

    This eventually stopped and new growth began after a couple of months in October, but now that diseased part looks to be spreading again.

    Here are a couple of pictures: https://imgur.com/a/IeM3B

    Have you seen this before? What can I do to stop it and save this tree. Thank you!

    • Pete, What is the source of your irrigation water. From your first comments it sounded like tip burn. If your source of water has chlorides the tree will pick them up and the salt causes the tips of the leafs to turn brown and eventually drop. When I looked at your photos I can tell you have a lot going on. You didn’t say where you are in Florida. Generally speaking there is a lot of humidity there which is conducive to fungus. Also it is not clear what kind of plants are around the avocado tree. You could try spraying the plant with fungicide but the visible damage to the structure appears to be too far along. I would suggest you start a new seedling and when you plant it in a container use a larger one. Good luck.

  2. Hi Charley,
    I want to start Avocado farm back in my home country in India. Would like to know about soil , water and other factors for cultivation. Please let me know your availability ?
    Thanks,
    Subba

    • Subba, The general conditions are a Mediterranean climate, no freezing temperature and not too hot in the summer. The soil should be well drained so the roots are not in stranding water. In the summer a mature tree will require about 450 gallons of water per week.

  3. Charley,

    I’m a student at the Utah Valley University studying a dual major in Marketing/Accounting. I was gifted 60 acres including hillsides (Jalisco,Mexico.) I wanted To know how many trees I could plant in one acre?

    Also, I wanted to know if you are willing to consult with me and possibly so some shadowing.

    • Tony, The number of trees per acre depends on the spacing. The current popular strategy is high density. I have been planting trees 12×12. This yields a little over 300 trees per acre. There are some growers who have planted 10×10. Of course you can vary the spacing to suit the situation. One consideration will be the slope and the need for equipment use in the orchard. The nature and tempo of the business on my end does not allow time for shadowing. Sorry, Charley

  4. Hello, Mr. Wolk,

    We live on a 13 acre ranch in De Luz and would be interested in talking with you about consulting, if you would send us your information.

    My grandpa has been running this grove as his retirement hobby farm for ~25yrs. Now he is 81, widowed, and getting tired.

    The rest of the family hasn’t thought much till now about the grove’s commercial potential (some years it barely breaks even; last year was good), but my husband and I are interested in knowing if it may make sense for us to continue what my grandpa has started. My husband comes from a grain farming family in Alberta; he knows a lot about farming and next to nothing about avocados.

    We just finished the process for organic certification last month.

    If you would send us your contact information, we would be glad to speak with you.

    Thank you!
    Emily Jackson

      • Hi Charley,

        I’m glad I have come across your site – I live in Cyprus (Pafos) and I have 120 trees that are approx 30 years old and just planted another 150 trees – my issue is that my trees bear fruit in large quantities every second year. Is there something that I am doing wrong? or is this from natural weather conditions?

        Thank you

        Andrew

        • Andrew, You are doing nothing Fruit trees are alternate bearing. One year a large crop the next year a smaller crop. The amplitude of this swing in production can vary because of different cultural practices and weather conditions. But the trees will still have alternate bearing. The important consideration is that you don’t reduce the care of the trees because you have a small crop. Hang in there. Charley

  5. Hi Charlie. My name is Frank Fasel and I live in San Juan Capistrano. I have 3 acre citrus/avocado grove. Trying to re-establish avos. after a bout with root rot and gophers. Stumbled upon your website while doing some research. Your name had a familiar ‘ring’ to it. Long story short, I just put it together. I too was born and raised in St. Louis,Mo. graduated from S.L.U.H. but in 1957. Played baseball and soccer. I too am a former marine…….@15 years active and reserve duty. The USMC brought me to Pendleton and El Toro. Looked you up in the 1955 yearbook (The Daughin). #81 on the football team. I had several friends on that team. Will contact you later with avocado questions. Semper Fi.

  6. Im starting an avocado farm of about 150 000 trees now i do not know how to identify the seeds for rootstock. Im in zimbabwe

    • Frank, I don’t know how to identify the seeds after they have been removed from the fruit. Usually the fruit is committed for seeds so you know what you are going to get. If you are going to propagate 150,000 trees I would expect you have identified a source of seeds.

  7. Hello Charley!

    My wife and I are looking to move to Southern California and start our own avocado farming operation and would love to pick your brain. We would love to talk to you and get a lay of the land. Please email us at your convenience!

    Many Thanks & Semper Fi from a fellow Former Marine!
    Nick & Hope

    • Nick and Hope, Sorry for the delayed response. More to do than hours in the day. I’ve sent you my contact information. Look forward to talking to you. Charley

  8. Hello Mr. Wolk,

    I’m very interested in farming and especially avocados, I’m sure you’re a very busy man and I would like to pick your brain on how to gain farming knowledge through formal education. Thank you. Semper Fi.
    Osvaldo

    • Osvaldo, You can start by going to the University of California Extension web site. They have some printed material, video, and references. I don’t know where you are but you might want to check the Community College for basic science courses, soils, biology, plant physiology, etc. Good luck. Charley

  9. Hello Charley,

    I have some brown spots on my avocado leaves, characteristic of the brown spots is that they first appear on the upper side of the leaf, they can get to 10mm diameter and then that spot becomes a hole!
    When the brown spot is present it is surrounded by a yellow “halo”, this “halo” disappears when the spot becomes hollow!
    The spots appear on some leaves but on different branches and on different trees!
    I am not sure if the information I am giving you is enough, is it possible to send you a picture of it.
    You can email me anytime and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

    Thank you in advance

    • Ash, Tough question. What you describe sounds like a pest rather than a disease. You can examine the impacted leafs and the healthy leafs around them to see if you can see any bugs on the leafs. You didn’t tell me where you are, and how you irrigate the trees. Take the first step to see if you discover any thing.

  10. so what can you tell me about growing avacados in the lancaster california area i have sandy soil and clay mix for land should i truck in dirt or this ok? also its windy here and kind of dry

    • Charles, I am familiar with the Lancaster area. I race at Willow Springs Raceway. I don’t believe you can grow avocados commercially. It gets too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. As you note it does get windy which would have a negative impact on the trees. If you wanted to grow one in your yard you may be able to mitigate the above conditions. Sorry. Charley

  11. Dear Charlie,
    Thank you very much for your answer to my previous 2 questions. I have thought that I have been benefited a lot after participating in your popular blog. This forum also have helped me introduce a new Nepali friend with similar interest in avocado farming in Nepal. We had discussed lot about our business recently.
    My another question to you is can we also post photographs and video of affected parts of avocado tree in this blog? If yes, we could share visuals of different diseases and other conditions of avocado plant. If possible how can we attach them in this blog?

  12. It has been good to find you here.In our country Tanzania-East Africa,avocados were for feeding pigs and was not commercial plant as of today.I currently reserving 100 acres of land for this plant.There are some Americans who came for avocado planting trainings here and the findings was great for those who responded early.I will be asking questions from time to time to improve my avocado knowlegde as I am preparing for my own avocado nusery to accomodate the 100 acres.

    • John, I compliment you on undertaking such a challenge. I have received numerous queries from Africa about growing avocados. In most cases there is no easy source of trees. I would recommend you go to the University of California Extension web site. There is a lot of information there to help get you started. Charley

  13. Hello Charley,
    We are considering building a house on a 5 acre lot w/ mature avocado trees in Fallbrook. We have no experience w/ avo groves, and while the idea is very attractive, we would like to get more info on what we would be getting ourselves into. We plan to review expenses/income w/ owner but also want an evaluation of the grove, info on maintenance, tax implications & advice on whether we should even consider taking this on. Can you suggest some next steps?
    Thanks

    • Susan, Typical operation of the grove cost between $7000 and $8000 per acre per year. For taxes the expense to operate the grove is a deduction from the profit of the operation. A loss could be applied to other income. The value of the first crop is not considered income but is part of what you pay for the property. Reviewing the expense and income from the seller is a good start to give you a point of reference. Those numbers are more significant if they are backed up by the pack outs from the packing house and bills from the water district. Production of 10,000 pounds to the acre averaging $1.00 per pound payment gives you a positive return. Less pounds or less $’s per pound can put you upside down. I will send you my contact information. If you like I can help you with your decision on a consulting basis. Thanks, Charley

      • HI Charley,
        What is your opinion of growing avocados in Arvin, CA? I have a 360 acre almond farm and we need to start replanting. I would like to convert to a crop that can have more restorative farming options and I am exploring which crops would be suited to that and ideally, it would be a crop with similar needs to almonds in the greatest sense to make the conversion more streamline. I am sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. I couldn’t figure out how to post an original question. Thanks for your great site!

        • Anne, I understand what you are looking for. Unfortunately I don’t believe avocados will work. It gets too hot in the summer and you have the risk of cold damage in the winter. The tree would not be happy and in my opinion the risk is too high. Thanks, Charley

  14. Hi Charley
    Can you provide any info on growing avocados in Guyana?
    Any help or direction will be greatly appreciated.
    Max

    • Max, The climate in Guyana should be acceptable with one caveat. The description of the area says it is a tropical rain forest. There may be too much water even for well drained soils. I would suggest you look at some of the West Indian varieties. They do better in wet conditions.

  15. Hi Charley,
    I’m curious to learn if and how avocado trees can be grown to produce fruit in controlled environments (indoors) to mimic natural growing conditions in new areas of the country. I’d like to understand if hydroponic farming methods could be employed for urban dwellers to grow their own fruitful avocado supplies. I’m at dessa.brennan@gmail.com if it’s easier to reply that way. I’m also in Southern California and can meet.

    • Dessa, Yes you can grow an avocado tree indoors. Its structure will be dictated by the size of the container. A comparison would be a bonsai plant. Growing indoors for production is a challenge. The flowers have to be pollinated. The normal/natural way is bees. I know of no one who has figured out how to grow a tree hydroponically. I can’t even visualize it. Thanks, Charley

    • Rose, Sorry for the non response. Your message to the blog was inadvertently skipped. That being said I would be happy to do an interview with you but filling a request on the same day is almost impossible. I will send you my email. If you have a requirement you can contact me, I will try to honor your request. Thanks, Charley

  16. Hi Charlie, what is a reasonable expected return for a avocado orchard after all expenses in southern California?
    Thanks, Mike

    • Mike,
      Your question is not answerable. It depends on too many variables for example the density of the planting(the number of trees per acre), and most importantly is the orchard being farmed correctly. To give you some perspective if you produce 10,000 pounds per acre you should be profitable. Less you can’t make long term. A high density planting will produce more. What those dollars will be depends on the market. Charley

  17. Hi Charley,

    I am purchasing an abandoned grove and am looking for any information on the removal of the old trees and the process of getting a grove restarted. Clearing, planning, preparation? Can I contact you for some help? Thanks very much for the good information on here.
    -Jim

    • Jim, Your question requires more than would be appropriate for the blog. I’ll send you contact information separately. Charley

      • Hi Charley, probably same question here.. We are two novice that are about to buy the property with 450 avocado trees in Fallbrook. Besides the knowledge which we of course have to gain, the first couple of years we cannot be present in US at all times taking care of the grove, therefore would need management that will take care of it. Do you think you can help us? /Nathalie

  18. Hi Charley!

    I have a few questions about the use of a new technology in the orchards. Could you please email me?

    Thank you in advance.

  19. Hello Charley

    I am 20 years old and live in Zambia(Africa). I am currently growing 10 hectares of macadamias but was looking to start growing 25 hectares of avocados. The problem I have though is that I was going to order the trees from South Africa but there is a four year waiting list and is the only known place to get stock so I have decided to graft the trees my self but was just wondering what the best root stock would be to graft a hass or fuerte to. Like I said I’m very young and just looking for a way to beat the system so some advice would be much appreciated

    Thanks

    Devan

    • Devan, You are not the first one to note the long waiting period for trees from South Africa. Right now the preferred root sock is clonal Dousa. That being said if you can’t get trees I don’t know how you will be able to get root stock. Seems you are going to have to grow a seedling from whatever avocados are available to you. Good luck. Charley

  20. Hi Charley,

    I have 2 avocado trees, both doing poorly, both are old trees. One is a Fuerte that used to fruit well, but then it was trimmed several years ago and has not fruited since then. (Lots of fruit drop.) The other is an unknown variety (maybe Hass) which is very large and has never fruited. It appears to be dying.

    I live in Pasadena. Would you be willing to come to my property to diagnose what is wrong, and recommend solutions? I’d be willing to pay for your consulting services.

    Thanks.

    • Vanessa, I attempted to contact you with the email that shows on your posting. Unfortunately the system says it is an invalid address. Sorry

  21. Good Afternoon Charley,

    Your website is very informative and appreciate you sharing your time and expertise with us. I am in escrow on a 40 acre property located in San Marcos, CA. The only information we were given is the avocado trees were stumped around 2015 because of the rising cost of water. The trees have started to grow back but have been neglected. We would love to set up a consultation with you. Thank you, Aimee

  22. Hi Charley,

    We purchased a property late last year in Morro Hills in Oceanside with approximately 300 Hass avocado trees on about 6 acres.
    1/3 of the trees are very large, 1/3 are medium, and 1/3 were stumped about 2 years ago. We were referred to the previous grove manager, but he has been very inconsistent with contacting us and guidance with our grove. We are interested in getting a consultation from you regarding grove management and advice.

    Thanks,

    Jason

    • Jason, I know the frustration of non response from service providers. I will send you my contact information separately. I’m sure I can help you with your grove. Thanks, Charley

  23. Zachary, Growing the avocado indoors is always a challenge. Without seeing the tree the most probable cause of what you are seeing is improper irrigation. Either too much water or not enough. If you are in a cold climate you probably have the heat on. If there are not other plants in the room the heat is sucking all the moisture out of the plant container. If you water it too much and the tree doesn’t use the water the roots are rotting and you see the symptoms on the leafs. Remember the tree prefers to get water use it and dry out a little then get more water. You have to check to see what you are doing.

  24. Hi Charley,

    Really appreciate your website and the great information you share. Could I please get your contact information as I’d like to talk to you as a consultant on an existing grove in Fallbrook? Many thanks.

    • Suzanne, I will send you my contact information separately. We can make arrangements for a consultation on your Fallbrook grove.

  25. Hello Charlie, were looking at a grove to purchase in De Luz – of course water is the largest expense, I thought I would look at drilling a Well what is your knowledge on this ? I got a site unseen estimate of $15-30 a foot – this would depend on the depth + equipment, I also heard that there may be restrictions on drilling up there

  26. Hello Charley

    I need advice, looking to buy a small avocado groove in the central coast 3.5 acres 700, 8 year old trees. Was told by the owner of it that it nets 45k a year. The property has a well on it. It’s been on the market for over 2 years now and that scare me. Question 1: How many years do these trees keep producing? Question 2: My understanding that well water is free just need to maintain the well, is that true? The trees are prune and looks good irrigation is on point with a drip system. My question 3 is what should i look for or ask? I don’t understand why it’s not selling.

    Thanks
    Mauricio

    • Mauricio, The trees will continue to produce as long as they are well cared for. Well water is not free you have to pay for the power to pump the water. The net per acre is high. It appears that the grove is a high density planting or else the tree count is wrong. I would ask for the packouts from the packing house to verify the production. The seller is not obligated to give them to you. If not provided you should be skeptical of the production numbers. I can’t judge why it is not selling.

  27. Hi Charley;
    Thank you so much for your blog.
    I am looking to buy a 20 ac. avocado grove in the Temecula area, but my concern is water and assessment tax. Does this happened everywhere in California or only in certain areas? Do you know if the operating cost per ac. varies from San Diego county, Ventura county and San Luis Obispo?
    If you know any grove for sale in those areas, please let me know.
    Thank you,

    • Maria, The cost of water will vary with the location and whether the water is from a well or from a water district. I’m not sure what you mean by assessment tax. If you are talking about the assessment paid to the California Avocado Commission and the Hass Avocado Board, yes it applies to all areas. The operating cost per acre will vary from one county to another. This difference is mostly attributable to the cost of water. The really best way to find a grove is through a real estate agent. You would need to work with individual agents in each county. Good luck on your endeavor.

  28. Charley I was attached to 3rd Bn 5th Marines in VietNam. I have an avocado grove in the DeLuz area. Trees are older….25-30 years old. Water costs are killing me, and of course the June 2016 heat wave killed over half of this year’s crop. I’m looking for guidance as to what to do….turn off the water, graft, plant new trees, etc. Do you have any advice? could I talk to you as a consultant? Roger

    • Roger, Your question is often asked. The simple answer is that the demand for avocados both in the US and world wide far exceeds the supply. In California we struggle with the high cost of water. So simply you have to take every step to maximize production on the land. This may include replanting. I will send you my contact information separately. Charley

  29. Charley,

    Thank you for your very resourceful blog. I have one question for you please:

    I am considering significantly investing in a phased 3000 acre avocado plantation in Kenya ( http://www.selinawamucii.com/investors/ )

    My worry / concern is the market projection and trends.

    Is there enough international market to make export-oriented large scale avocado growing viable i.e bearing in mind other dominant players like Mexico & Peru?

    Thank you.

    • Nesbitt, I am often asked that question. My reply is that I cannot comprehend the size of the world wide demand for avocados and it is growing. Right now all the suppliers together cannot meet the demand. So from that perspective you have no worry.

  30. Hi,Mr. Wolk,

    I am a reporter from a Hong Kong media,HK01.I would like to invite you for an interview as I am doing a feature story on the rise of avocados.

    Avocados are popular in American in these few decade. I would like to invite you for an interview about the trend of avocado like how it became popular and the challenges faced.

    If you have any inquiries, please do not be hesitate to contact me via email.The interview can be conducted through telephone, skype or email. Thanks.

    Fiona Ko

  31. Hi Charley,

    Your blog is so informative. I am interested in buying an 8-10 acre avocado ranch in the Temecula area. Can you send me your contact information for consulting purposes? Thank you!

    • Stephanie, I sent the contact information separately. Let me know when you find a parcel. I will help you with your purchasing decision. Thanks, Charley

  32. I have a half acre hillside behind my house in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif Would the hillside be a good place to grow avacados?

    • Michael, Hillsides are good for growing trees. They all get more sunlight on the hill, especially if it facing to the west. You need to check the night time winter temperatures. There are some areas there that may get too cold in the winter.

  33. Hi Charley mi name is Marisol I need you help I have a avocado tree on mi back yard is about 40-50 years old
    Recently we put artificial grass the people how installed it cut a small root from de tree .
    The tree was full of leaves and small avocados now all the leaves are falling and the avocados are black and hard like rocks is the first time that happen
    Also I notice ants on the trunk I kill the ants and we put some Vitamins to the tree but still losing the leaves and I don’t see new leaves at all if you can help me I try to find somebody to come but I didn’t have any luck

    Thank you

    • Marisol, The tree needs oxygen. The artificial grass has cut off all the air to the tree. It is suffocating. You may have the tree or the artificial grass. I don’t believe you can have both. Sorry. Charley

  34. Zubin, What you heard is correct. A seedling will not produce the fruit of the seed that was planted. It may produce a fruit from its parent root stock. Probably will produce nothing. It will make a nice tree. You have to graft the seedling. You can go to the University of California web site UCAVO.UCR.EDU. You can navigate trough the site to find the section on grafting. You can use bud wood from your existing trees. Give it a try you have nothing to lose. Charley

  35. Hi Charley,

    My name is Grace and my dad, Hank, owns a avocado farm in Fallbrook, CA. He’s really into buying and selling land as a hobby but never knows how to develop it or do business of any kind. I was wondering if you can help my dad cultivate his avocado farm into a business? Let me know, thanks!

    • Grace, It is not clear whether your Father wants to buy an avocado grove or he already has one. In any event I can help him on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact information separately.

      • Hi there I live in Fallbrook with about 70 trees. Two years ago I bought property and tress neglected with “0” fruit set due to lack of water. I pruned. Fertilized, and properly irrigated with about 100#/tree yield. I had ag lab do soil and leaf sample and they gave me fertilization and nutrient schedule. The trees exploded in growth and continue to. Here it is Sept 1 and one stressed tree set a little fruit. All others are actively growing but no floral buds as of Sept. Could the active growth prevent blossom formation? Could there be and 3xtremely late fall bud break. Lots of axillary buds but I can’t determine if vegetative or floral. Have any ideas why no blooms or fruit set?

        • John, Join the long list of disappointed California avocado growers. The crop statewide is small. Almost all had the same experience. There are many theories. I personally believe it is the accumulation of salt from the previous years irrigation. It has just caught up with us. I’m not buying the weather theory. You must continue to care for your trees so that they are in good shape for flowering and fruit set in the spring.

          • Hello Charley! I have a question regarding your consultation services. I own 20 acres of undeveloped land in Newberry Springs Ca, 92530. Currently in Newberry Springs there are pistachio farms and pistachio processing plants. I have tried to gather information on line regarding the variety of pistachios, nurseries that sell the trees, water rights and other farm start up information-but, cannot find any pistachio farms. I don’t want to buy an existing farm because I don’t know why they are selling it. My question to you is ” Do you provide farming consultation services for starting a pistachio farm?”

          • Jose, Sorry I can’t help you with pistachios. I would think that the University of California web site should have the information to help you. I also believe there is a pistachio growers group here in California that should be able to help. Try contacting them.

  36. Hi Charley,

    I have a question regarding the agriculture business as a whole. Where do you see the future of farming moving towards? Is hydroponics something that you see taking over? Is it possible to implement hydroponics into the avocado growing business? I am a chef and am deeply passionate about the ingredients that I use. Currently living in Mexico right now studying the cuisine here. I have come across an avocado that had an edible and very soft leathery type skin. The flavor was incredible. I was told this was the “original” avocado before it was changed through selective breeding. Is this correct?

    • Daniel, Farming in the US is pressured by ever increasing cost of production. The producers look for more ways to be more efficient and produce more product. I don’t believe hydroponics will take over. There are more operations using this method. Also more green house operations. Most producing vegetables. I don’t know of any development of hydroponic systems to grow trees. I don’t know of any avocado to eat the skin. The “original” avocado may be in the eyes of the observer. While there has been some varietal breeding done it is very long term and with marginal success. Hope this helps. Charley

  37. Good day Charley

    Hope you are well.Please can you help or assist. Scouted the web for a Avocado production step by step flow diagram. Want to start at selecting a field, taking in consideration the soil, climate, varieties, the propagation, tree care, fertilization and pest management through to production, harvesting and then the maintaining of the groves
    Basically a step by step guide with the risk at each steps that needs to be consider.
    If I draft the flow would you kindly look at the step that I have missed.We are a packhouse that manage 32 farmers. this need this tool to make my life easier.

    regards
    Engelinda

    • Engelinda, I would recommend you go to the University of California web site for avocados UCAVO.UCR.EDU. You can navigate through the entries. They have an avocado guide for land selection to operations. It is written for California. You should be able to adjust it for your situation.

  38. Good Morning Charlie,
    I am interested in acquiring an established avocado orchard in the San Diego area. Can you help me assess the health of the trees on the property I am currently looking at? I can give you the information in a PM.
    Thanks

    • Martin, Yes I can help you evaluate a grove you may be considering for purchase. I do that on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact information separately. I only have a potential email address from the blog. It is very long so I hope it works. If not you can try another post on the blog. Thanks, Charley

      • I recently stumble upon this knoledge…unfortunately in our case it appears we made all the mistakes in this business..our fam went for thus for acre spot by a resort lake place near the water table off close ro the 76 pala.not directly, , I can send the address , I know the previous owner watered by timer,, our valves got knocked out by a car. so we went to manual.. but something was always off… all our trees avocado trees were producing , but they appear to all have little holes drilled into the trunks.. more than half died.. our irrigation situation got so bad (probably leaks) we went 7-8 months without water to shower clean or cook.. I don’t wanna suspect foul play , yet the statements paint a different picture… is there anyway to be sure it’s even worth starting the process over… I can send the spread sheet , thanks for even reading this .. you actually help . does a well x troll on the property mean possible well? sounds stupid but everyone says it’s just a pressure tank… thanks for any info you could ahare

        • Oscar, The situation you describe is complex and has many undefined conditions for me to respond. It requires a physical inspection and analysis. Charley

  39. Hi Charley,
    Thank you for the great information. I am looking at some property in the Fallbrook area with a 5+ acre avocado grove. I would be interested in retaining your assistance as a consultant. Can you forward your contact info?
    Thanks!

    • Steve, I can help you evaluate a property you may be considering for purchase. I do that on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact information separately. Thanks, Charley

  40. Hi Charley, I’ve been told there are no dwarfing rootstocks for avocado, but how about using an interstock of a smaller scion variety like like [..? You’ll know better than me which varieties are small, but I read Holiday is smaller than most varieties?]. So you might graft Holiday onto Dusa, and then later graft Hass or other variety onto the Holiday stem about 4 – 6 inches above the first union. This has approach has been practiced with apples for example to use a vigourous rootstock say for replant orchards but get a dwarfing effect using an interstem from a dwarfing rootstock, so why not try the same approach with avocados?

    • Eddie, That’s an interesting concept. At the time the Gwen variety was developed it was believed to have dwarfing characteristics. It seem to be smaller during development, but when planted commercially it didn’t seem to be a smaller tree. My understanding is dwarfing comes from the root stock not the varietal on the top. I could be wrong so I am going to pass your suggestion to the Research manager at the California Avocado Commission. Thanks for you interest. Charley

  41. Hi Charley, Great website! I’m located in Laos (SE Asia) and planning to develop an avocado industry here. The soils and climate in my area are very good for avocado – a few hectares were already here about 20 years ago and are doing well. I will supply to Thailand initially but as production increases, I’ll be looking to China. I’m writing a business plan to seek investment and I need to cover the packing operation. Can you recommend a company that supplies avocado packing equipment? In a recent post, I saw you mentioned a price of US$0.80/lb – I assume that is before any packing and if so, then roughly how much would packing add to the costs? Thank you.

    • Eddie, I personally do not know the names of manufacturers of packing equipment. Over the years being in the packing houses the packing equipment is just there. While I see it I just take for granite. You might want to contact a packing house to ask what equipment they are using. I also believe a web search should turn up something. The cost of packing in Laos will be determined by the cost in Laos. For example can boxes be sourced in Laos or will they have to be shipped in? Hope this helps. Charley

  42. Hi Charley-
    My in-laws just moved back into their home in Escondido. They have 2 acres and one acre is a fuerte avocado grove. They have been gone and renters living in the home for 9 years. Before they left several of the trees were dying and they had several grafts done and the moved not long after. Now they are back and most of the trees and grafts are dead- well the tops of the trees are dead and new green growth has sprung up from the base of the dead trunks and a few are even producing fruit. Also- much of the irrigation has been destroyed (no clue if it was tenants or landscaper).
    I’d like to get some information about trying to help/save the grove as some of it currently looks like Halloween-town! Is there a professional we could have come out and give us advice on what to do? Is there a class I can take or book you can suggest that will help me help them?
    Thanks for your time!
    Sarah

    • Sarah, The University cooperative extension is currently conducting a six week school on growing avocados. I don’t know if you can join in now. There should be books and hand outs from the school that should be available. That being said what you describe as the current situation does not warrant consideration for recovery. You will waste your time and money and frustrate yourself. If you want to have an avocado grove take everything out and start all over. New irrigation on high density spacing and new trees that are on root rot resistant stock. This will be a far better use of your time and money. My company can provide that service should you decide to do that. Charley

  43. Hello Charley,
    Thank you for your blog as I have found it very interesting to read. I am wondering how I may contact you as I have been looking at land in the San Diego and Bonsall area. One of the parcels already has trees planted that are producing fruit; however I do not know how to assess the value. What I am looking for is a parcel of land where I can both build an avocado farm and experiment with growing coffee and make a profit. I am very concerned about water but like the area very much. Additionally, I would like to build a house on the land. Do you help people assess land, zoning and current avocado trees and what profit may be calculated if they were to purchase the land?

    • Catherine, The best solution to help you look for a parcel of land is a local realtor. I can help you evaluate an orchard on land you are considering for purchase. I do that on a consulting basis. If you purchase an orchard, my company can furnish management and cultural work services. I will send you my contact information separately. Zoning and land value is the purview of the realtor. Good luck on your search. Charley

  44. Hello Charley
    I’m looking into starting a 13 acre Avocado and Banana farm in the Jordan Valley, I’m thinking about benefiting from the Banana trees over the first three years until the avocados start producing?
    any tips ??

    • Nayef, Let me begin by saying I do not like multiple crop plantings. In almost all cases what you need for one crop is not good for the other. I assume you are inter planting the two crops. An alternative would be to plant one section to banana and another section to avocado. When the avocados are in production take the bananas out and replace them with avocado. If you inter plant the water requirement for the two plants will be different. This presents a huge design and operational management challenge. My experience with bananas is that they are rapid growing and would crowd and shade the avocados. This will impact the development of the avocado trees. I guess I’m suggesting you really take a close look at the advantages and disadvantages of what you are considering. Charley

      • thanks for your reply charley i really appreciate it
        would your recommend planting the avocados under shade netting since the summer sun is quite harsh here. most farms in the area are moving towards Medjool dates since the climate helps date fruit to grow significantly in size.
        can you provide a remote consultancy service helping me develop my avocado farm??

        • Nayef, You pose an interesting question. Planting the trees under shade netting may be a consideration to get them started. If you are going to leave the netting up it has to be high enough to give the trees room. You will also have to plan on a regular pruning strategy. All that being said if the summer sun and heat is so intense maybe the area is not suitable for avocados. I will send you my email separately so you can describe what you have in mind for remote consulting.

  45. Hi Charley,
    We just bought a house in Northern CA that has a mature Haas avocado tree that we believe has dothiorella canker disease. We have tried scraping off as much of the white and red gunk as we can but am wondering if there is some sort of spray that will help or what else we can do. It is in the trunk of the tree and pretty bad and we hate to lose the tree. Thank you for any advice.

    • Lori, You are taking the right approach. The next thing to do is either spray the wound with a mild cooper spray or apply a weak copper paste. You should be able to get those products from Home Depot or your local garden store. Since I haven’t seen the extent of the damage I have no way of knowing if the tree will survive. No matter you will need to be patient. The healing will take time. Charley

  46. Hi Charley,

    I have an odd question/set of circumstances that I hope you can help with. I live in MD, not a typical avocado climate, however I found a pit, spouted in my compost pile 7 years ago and decided to let it grow to see what would happen. I potted, repotted and transferred from outdoors (summer) to indoors (winter) for 7 years, untill I could no longer fit it into my house. The ceilings were too low, or the tree had become too tall. I work at the George Washington University in DC where they have a building with a tall atrium, that gets sun. I moved the tree in the back of a pick-up truck last early fall and it remained inside all winter. It did not enjoy the drive or the new environment because it basically lost all it’s leaves but then in early spring started to revive and grew new leaves. So now for the bad part, it went outside a few weeks ago and last week someone found it snapped off at the base of the trunk, lying on the sidewalk. Not sure how it happened, wind (I doubt), students rough housing, more likely. The grounds crew is heartbroken as am I, since I had it for 7 years. They have the trunk end sitting in a bucket of water and the pot with the root base just sitting outside. I just found this out today, they were afraid to tell me. So it has been 6 days. Is there anything we can do to save the tree?

    • Nancy, I don’t believe you can save the tree. It just didn’t have enough root system to support the growth on top. You can start over but this time put it in a bigger container. Very quickly you should have it in a container the size of a half wine barrel. Also don’t let it get too big. It is OK to prune it. You need to keep it smaller because you have to move it in and out. Good luck. By the way I went to GWU grad school.

  47. Hi Charley,

    I have a couple of old avocado trees in my yard in Pasadena, CA. They are not doing well and I don’t know why. One’s branches are dying. Another has a lot of fruit drop. Who can I contact to come out to my place to help me diagnose? I’m willing to pay for the consult.

    Thanks.

    • Francis, I don’t know who could help you up there. You might try to call the University Extension Office. If they don’t have someone they may be able to send you to someone. If they have a master gardening program, they might be able to help. Most cases of avocado tree problems in the landscape is irrigation. Either not applying enough water or applying it incorrectly. For example running the water for a short time every day instead of a long time once a week, or using the lawn irrigation for the trees. I hope this helps. Charley

  48. I am interested in buying a property (4-20 acres) that has avocado trees and some flat areas for building on. I am interested in San Diego county area. Wondering if I could speak with you about my responsibilities as a farmer and month to month costs .

    • Julie, I will send you my contact information separately. We can talk briefly about your interest in getting into the avocado industry. Thanks, Charley

  49. Hello Charley,

    I want to invest in Avacado grove. How do you decide how much it is worth. How do California industry keep up with Mexico and other country?

    Appreciate your response.
    Thanks

    • Mayur, How much the avocado grove is worth is different for every property. Factors that would be considered are the grove condition, production history, location, slope, roads, well, water district etc. California has a premium product that is in demand by consumers. The off shore producers have a lower cost of production. The demand for the product is there. Everyone can make money if the flow of fruit to the market is even and steady. Unfortunately the current market situation is depressed because Mexico has been shipping more fruit than the market can handle at this time. Thanks, Charley

  50. Hi Charles. I live in New Zealand. I have a little orchard with an avocado plant. It was not growing at all for three years and I was thinking of removing it. This year a fast growing shoot with somewhat similar leaves (but much bigger) have started growing from the bottom of the plant. I am not sure whether it is a ‘sucker’ requiring a removal or the actual avocado plant has finally started growing. Any advice?

    • Khan, You didn’t say where you are in NZ. You also didn’t say whether the tree was grafted to a varietal. Not growing for three years is very unusual. It sounds like it was really dead and it has thrown out growth from the root stock. This would easily show if the growth is coming out at ground level. I would also suggest contacting the Avocado Growers Association in Taranga. Good luck. Charley

        • Chulan, I believe the best way to begin to learn about growing avocados is first read the available material. The University of California web site is a good place to start. You can also contact the San Diego County Farm Bureau. They have formal farm tours coming up. You should also contact the California Avocado Society. Occasionally they have grove tours. These tours will be beneficial because there is comments also

  51. I just found your blog. I live in La Mesa and have room for about five or six trees. I bought a few little Lowes/HD trees, researched a little, planted them all, and within 6 months, they were all dead.

    I have probably a million questions, but my first is, do you have a good resource you can point me to? I’m particularly interested in the basics, but also improving my soil quality. Is mixing native (clay-y) soil with sand, vermiculite, and compost/manure a good plan? Do you have other tips?

    Thank you!

    • Jake, Your best bet for information is the University of California web site UCAVO.UCR.EDU. You can navigate through it to get the info you want. Regarding the trees dying, it was probably incorrect irrigation. Either too little or too much. It also could have been the right amount of water applied incorrectly. Also were the trees planted in a basin or on a mound? If you planted them in a basin odds are you drowned them. Good luck. Charley

      • Hi Charley, My daughter is doing a science project. I found your blog through a Google search. She is researching how long it takes avocados to ripen in different environments. My question is what is the spam of time we do not see, the tree harvest to store. What is the typical amount of time the avocados travel? This would play a part in her research. thank you for any info you can share with us. Thank you, a Science project mom!!

        • Angie, There is no simple answer to your question. The basic measure is where was the fruit grown and where is it going. Fruit grown in California being sold in California will reach the consumer in less than a week. Fruit from Mexico is transported by truck going to any of the US markets will probably be more than a week. Fruit coming from South America and New Zealand is transported by sea. The voyage usually about three weeks. So obviously fruit quality and time to ripen will vary widely. I trust this helps. Thanks, Charley

  52. Hi Charley,
    Great to have you back! I have been reading on avocado farming and it appears quite promising. You mentioned that the Hass variety is not elite. Which varieties would you recommend for medium to large scale farming. How does the GEM variety perform compared to Hass?

    Muriuki

    • Muriuki, The way you asked the question I assume you are planning on planting. The GEM will perform similar to Hass. You would need to find a handler who would commit to handling the marketing of the fruit before you plant. If you are looking for diversity from the Hass you could also consider the Reed. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  53. Could i text you a picture of my 3 avocado seeds i put in mason jars about six months ago…is it a good idea to transplant in potted soil now or do i did to take them to a nursery somewhere to marry them? to grow avacados…i forgot the term. Thank you…

    • Doreen, It is not clear what you did with the seeds. It sounds like you just put them in the jar. You didn’t say if you put water in the jar. No matter. To get the seed to root you have to put tooth picks in the seed so that you can have the seed in the to of a glass of water so that half of the seed is in water and half is in the air. After a while the seed will grow roots. Then you can plant the seed in a container using potting soil. Again after a while a seedling will grow. Eventually you will be able to plant the seedling in the ground. You need to know that the seedling will not grow the avocado variety you started with. It may not grow any fruit or it may grow some kind of fruit from its parent. The seedling has to be grafted with the variety to get fruit. Good luck. Charley

  54. I’d love to connect with you and get your opinion on a lot of questions i have about getting avocado farming started. I’d really appreciate if you can reach out to me on my email. Thank you !

    • Sidharth, You can ask your questions on this blog. Then others can benefit from my answers. Also I believe I have an email from you that is on my “to answer” stack. I should get to that answer shortly. Thanks, Charley

  55. Hello Charley,

    We just got a 2 1/2 acres with around 50 avocados in Oceanside. The water is been off for a year. Do you a counsel on how to get the trees back? You can email me anytime Thank you in advance.

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