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



How to grow avocados for profit — 1,157 Comments

  1. Hi Charley,
    I love your blog, it is fantastic and so much information. Do you think I could reach out via email regarding some questions for an avocado grove the Wife and I are looking to purchase in the De Luz area. Of course I will be happy to be billed for your time, thank you again,

  2. Hi Charley,

    I am interested in purchasing land in southern Ca (preferably near Temecula) or buy an existing Avacado grove. I don’t have any knowledge about Avacado farming but want to consider for investment and also would like to build house on the property for future retirement. Are you available for consultation?

  3. Charley,
    Interested in leasing 1.82 acres for an Avocado farmer. Anyone you know who can help me with this? What do land owners typically lease for?
    Live in Nipomo, Ca just North of Santa Maria. Have on well and land is zoned for agriculture use.
    Thanks in advance
    -Randy O.

    • Randy, There is no such thing as a typical lease. They are whatever the parties work out. I don’t believe you will find a professional manager interested in your parcel because of the size. Leases are normally multiyear typically five years. You might find someone locally who would be interested if the orchard is productive. If the property is not planted you are not going to find a grower willing to make the investment. You might find someone who could make it work for a nursery. Good luck.

      • Hello Charley
        My husband and I are buying a house in Fallbrook with 20 acres. The property has 1600 avocado trees. Can you please contact us? We are looking for a Grove manager to assist us with this project. Thank you

  4. I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented on your
    post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for beginners.
    Could you please lengthen them a little from next time?

    Thank you for the post.

  5. First off I want to say superb blog! I had a quick question which
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how
    you center yourself and clear your thoughts prior to writing.
    I’ve had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or hints?
    Thank you!

    • Leigh, I’m flattered by your question. The answer is quite simple for me. I try to leave plenty of time prior to having to write the communication to think about it. Then I “write” the communication several times in my head. I try different approaches. Then when I write it comes quite easily. I do the same thing with oral communications.
      I trust this may help.

  6. Hi Friend, I live and work in the fruit business in Santa Barbara County CA. Would love to get a solid understanding of water demand per acre (or ideally per tree) for avocados (hass or lamb-hass), how many gallons or acrefeet are needed in different stages of life for the trees? Thanks in advance for your insight.

    • Gabe, A mature avocado tree needs about 450 gallons of water per week in the summer time. Relative to the amount of water based on tree age I don’t belief there is a mark in the sand for that amount each year. If you want to have a better idea of the trees water needs there are instruments you can buy that measure soil moisture. Another way to look at water requirements is that a a mature orchard will require about 4 acre feet of water per acre per year. I hope this helps.

        • Anthony, The gem as the best avocado to grow is really a hypothetical question. The Gem is different and you need to recognize the differences and decide. The tree grows straighter. This makes it more adaptable for high density planting. The fruit is larger than hass. Some times this is an advantage. It is ready later than hass. Again some times this is an advantage. The price paid is close to hass. They can handle 100 degree weather as long as you give them plenty of water. no different than hass. Good luck.

  7. Hello,

    If I had $50-100k to invest, would you be able to help me locate a property in So Cal with an existing avocado grove and manage it fully? My husband and I plan to stay working for another 10 years or so, but I want to establish some additional i come sources for later. I don’t care to necessarily live on the land so location is fairly flexible. I just want to find the best place for lowest production cost so we can maximize return as early on as possible.


    • Theresa, I assume you plan on the $50-100k to be used for a down payment. That amount of money won’t buy a grove. I can manage any thing you buy fully. I’m not the best way to locate a property for you. I will send you my contact information and the name of a realtor to find a property for you.

  8. I have an avocado field behind us and the farm has chopped them right down to basically stumps and main branches, is this normal??

    • Matt, Avocado trees grow very tall. The fruit is difficult to harvest and overall production decreases. The tree can be cut and it will grow back. Sounds like that is what your neighbor did.

  9. Charley
    Thank You for supporting this forum and taking time out of your busy day to answer questions. I hope all is well for You and your Family!

    I have been looking for an orchard preferably Avocado but are open to other types of Orchards in Southern California to purchase and work. I am stunned at the amount of dead groves! They seem to be disappearing at an astonishing rate in San Diego County. I recently flew over Northern San Diego area viewing groves. The amount of dead trees, stumps and vacated groves was a shock! I then pulled up satellite images from 2000 and 2020 of Vista, Pauma Valley, Valley Center, and Fallbrook areas. The difference was again shocking. I have researched water rated and they seem to vary drastically from County to County. Northern San Diego rates as high as $2300 an AC-FT low as $1350 an acre foot. Antelope Valley Water $458.00 per AC-FT, Coachella Valley $35.00 AC-FT. I came across Rancho Water District (Temecula) that offers two forms of recycled water at reduced rates of $418.00 AC-FT for Recycled water and $975.00 AC-FT for Recycled Construction water.
    My questions are can recycled water be used on Avocado’s without detrimental effects? Not sure the recycled water is available via pipe to property in that area and may have to be hauled negating the cheaper price, but if it is piped and could work that would save a ton of money. How much does it cost to pump an acre foot of water from a well with 3 phase electricity in Northern San Diego approximately? I know there are variables with depth, well size, pump type etc. Just looking for an approximate high and low to see if we need to primarily focus on well supplied Ag land. Are wells required to be metered in your area? Any charges fees or taxes from the city or county for well water? I am looking to do 100 acres + or – and as thirsty as Avocados are water costs are a major concern. Last question can mature avocado trees be moved. We have a 120 inch tree spade that we have been moving Palm trees with and wonder if it would work for avocado trees with success?
    Again Thank you for you time and knowledge it is truly appreciated!
    Best regards, Drew

    • Drew, Good questions. Some you have already answered. Comparing water rates between water districts is just nice to know information. The rates are different for different reasons. Unless you are comparing the purchase of properties that are in different districts it doesn’t make a difference. You can’t choose which district you want to buy water. Wells in this area have to be down at least 1000 feet. As you pointed out the electric cost will depend on the size of the pump, type of motor, and total lift. Again it does make any difference because the rate will be the rate. There is some opportunity from the operational side if you can schedule maximum requirements to occur off peak. Recycled water can be used if the pipe is there. If the water has a lot of salt you have management decisions to minimize the impact of the salt. I understand the impact of seeing the abandoned groves. On the other hand those properties may be the best opportunity for investment. You buy the land clear it and replant to avocado with root rot resistant root stocks and dense planting spacing. Trying to move the trees is an exercise in feel good. Even if you have the equipment your money can be better spent on other alternatives. I’ll send you my contact information. I can help you on a consulting basis when you are ready to acquire land.

  10. Hello,
    I want to buy some property in Costa Rica and retire there. I would like to be able to make $2,000 to $3,000 a month profit. How many tress would I need to have to obtain this amount? Thanks

    • Luis, I can’t really answer your question. I don’t know where you would sell the avocados and at what price. I don’t know how much it would cost to produce the avocados. With out that information I don’t know what the potential profit is to determine how many trees it would take to earn the money you want. Good luck. Charley

  11. Hi Charley,

    Given the SGMA/limited water usage allowed, it is still possible to run a profitable small avocado grove (10-30 Acres) as business in upcoming 5-10 years?


    • Dan, My answer to your frequently asked question is yes. You have to know how to farm so you produce enough fruit to pay for the water.

  12. Hi Mr. Wolk,

    I am in the very(very) beginning stages of learning about avocado trees and avocado farming. I am wondering if at all possible you may be able to give me a little insight on how to get started and what to look for? My husband and I are planning to move to Florida and I want to start an Avocado farm. I have been doing a ton of reading but I think a little guidance would be extremely beneficial as well.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • Tiffany, The predominant avocado varieties in Florida are different than in California. Most are West Indian. They grow different, look different, and taste different. you can get a good start on avocado 101 from the University of California Extension web site Everything won’t apply to Florida. At least you will have a beginning. I’m sure University of Florida has the information specific for Florida. Good luck.

  13. Hi Charley Wolk
    I am based in MIAMI,Florida area but like to buy a farm land in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC for avocado farming ( possibly for cattle farming as well). I like to use your consultation services (if you offer) for choosing right land to buy for avocado growing, to start orchards and other process for successful commercial avocado growing . Land available near sea with higher precipitation higher humidity ( for example in EL SEIBO ). in other areas land available with higher elevation wheatear is slightly cooler.

    • Adem, I can help you with consulting from here in California. It would only be able to be topo map and analysis of other documents and written material. I have visited the growing areas in the DR. If you want me to visit and evaluate specific properties it becomes expensive but would be more valuable. On site inspections would cost $1200 per day plus expenses. I will send you my contact info separately.

  14. Dear Charlie: Last summer we survived the largest wildfire in California history, the August Complex Fire. As a result of the forest fire we are being forced to log a substantial amount of trees on our land. We don’t know how much we will make until the trees go to the mill. But if we have enough money we want to reinvest it in something that will provide us an income as our social security is not enough.
    So the question we have for you is, Can an avocado orchard in southern California create an income to supplement our small social security?
    We are looking at Hass avocado orchards 10-15 acres in Temecula area.
    Would this be a good investment for us or should we be looking at something else? Thank you

    • Bill, I believe avocados to be one of the best investments both for long term gain and short term income. The caveat is you have to have the knowledge and resources to farm the crop correctly. Without this condition you can lose a lot of money. Let me know if I can help.

      • Hello Sir

        I am writing to you from Iran. I am very interested to start a new business as a farmer to grow AVOCADO. In the north of Iran, we can grow AVACADO. I want to ask some question:

        1- I want to start with garden 1000 m2, please let me know if it is good enough to start
        2- How many years will it take to make a profit.
        I will appreciate it if you could answer my question at the earliest possible.


        • Farveh, Your project sounds interesting. The size of your start will work. Be sure you check the high and more importantly the low temperatures before you plant. Avocados can’t take freezing temperatures. How many years to make a profit depends on the cost to get started and the cost to operate. Also important is how much fruit do you produce and what is the revenue from the sales. I assume you have a market to sell. Since I don’t have that information I really can’t answer the question. If you get the information you should be able to predict the time to profitability.

  15. Hello Charley,

    I have a 24 acre property in Fallbrook, CA and I am interested in starting to grow avocado trees. Would you be available for some consultation?

    Thank you, Sir!

  16. Hey Charlie, I’m up in Northern California interested in trying to grow Avacados. Would you be able to share some information and help me get off on the right foot? I farm vineyards up here, along with Alfalfa, grain hay, and other various grain crops. I’m looking at developing about 20 acres if I can feel confident enough to do it. Thanks for the time.

    • Brandon, Sounds like your farming is interesting. I don’t know of any area in Northern California that could grow avocados. The plant is tropical so it has no tolerance for cold. I believe you are going to have to look for a deciduous tree crop for up there. You might want to consider Fuyu persimmons. Good luck.

      • Good Evening Charley,

        We have recently purchased an avocado grow and farm in Florida. The avocado are ready to be picked and we have had many offers to pick & sell them. Within these offers we have heard various pricing. As we are learning everything from ground up, we understand there will not be much profit this year, but don’t want to be taken complete advantage of. There are approximately 160 avocado trees ready to be picked. I love your site and have found your vast wealth of knowledge extremely valuable. Any insight you have would be absolutely amazing. Thank you.

        • Shakira, Interesting. I can only share with you my experience from California. Be careful of folks who unsolicited offer to pick and sell your fruit. You should first do a little research to find out what the ball park value is. Some will offer to pick the big fruit now and come back later to pick the rest. They won’t be back. Get paid for the fruit in cash and don’t let them leave with the fruit until you get the money. I would check around there should be some small packers, established businesses that could market that fruit for you. That will be better than the drive up wholesalers.

  17. whoah this blog is excellent i really like studying your posts.
    Keep up the good work! You realize, many persons are hunting round for this information, you could help them greatly.

  18. Hey Charley,

    I am looking at an avocado farm in the Carpineteria area. It’s 35 planted acres. About 3500 trees.

    Id be interested in discussing your consultation.

    Can you send me your contact info?

    • Carmine, I can consult for you on a property in Carpineteria but it is a little expensive because of the travel from San Diego County. I will send you my contact information separately. I may be able to help by reviewing records.

    • Eugene, Yes I do consulting so I can help you in a purchasing decision. I will send you my contact information separately.

    • Alicia, I’m in California so consulting would be by phone/email. This process has limited value. Sorry I don’t believe I can help.

      • Hi Charley, I’m currently in the process of buying an avocado ranch in Temecula, Ca. I could use someone of your expertise to inspect the property. Can you drop me your contact information, please.

  19. Hi Charley. I’ve been researching properties in the Temecula / De Luz areas and would like to get your opinion as to the profitability each. Let’s chat!

  20. Hello, Sir! I m Kanan, 23 y.o n hardworking guy so i also wanna run for avocado business but i m pretty new. Just got this idea recently n the would live to be a part of such a wonderful business. Would u like to help me or give directions/suggestions how n where to start first? I m also open to work to u n get some experience to invest my future avocado business. Thanks in advance!

    • Kanan, You didn’t tell me where you are so I can only give you general direction. I would look for an orchard management company and apply for work as a laborer. You could do the same thing by applying to an individual ranch. The last alternative would be to apply for work at a packing house. Either of these will give you a first hand look at the industry. Good luck.

  21. Hi,

    I was wondering if you would be available to consult with us about an avocado farm in Escondido that my client just had his offer accepted. We are doing inspections this week and we need some advice. It’s his first time owning an certified organic avocado farm. Is there a charge for a consultation. Thank you.

    • Summer, Yes I can help you with consulting on the property. I will send you my contact information separately.

      • Hi Charley,

        My wife and I are looking at purchasing an avocado grove in Pauma Valley and wanted to get your thoughts, can you contact me by email about consulting?

        Thank you

        • Matt, Yes I can help you with consulting to evaluate a property you are considering for purchase. I will send you my contact information separately.

    • I’m a landscape contractor. I have a customer with about 4 acres of land that he wants planted. Any idea How much $ he might make per tree, and how many trees would fit per acre? Any help appreciated.


      • Christian, You didn’t say where you are. I assume you are in a location that has the right climate for avocados. Production is normally expressed in pounds/dollars per acre rather than per tree. How much you make obviously depends on how much you spend to produce the crop and how good you are at farming. With high density planting, 12×12 you will be able to plant about 300 trees per acre. Good luck.

  22. Hi Charley,

    My husband and I decided to make an offer on a house in Temecula with 5 acres of avocado trees. We have no idea what we are getting ourselves into but love the location. At this point we would be interested in some profit if possible. Can you please provide us with some info maybe a consultation?

    • Mariela, Your purchase sounds interesting. Yes I can help you on a consulting basis. I will send you my contact information separately.

  23. Hi Charley,

    I am looking at a 40 acres Haas producing farm that average 7500 lbs per acre per year in San Diego county. How would I calculate the estimated annual gross and net income? Thank you for your expertise.

    • Bonnie, To get what I call a budget number I assume an average price per pound of $1.00. The 7500 pounds per acre for 40 acres is 300,000 pounds. That times $1.00 is $300,000.00 gross. You didn’t say where the grove is located in San Diego. If you assume it will cost $7500.00 per acre to operate the operation is break even. If you receive more than $1.00 per pound for the fruit or reduce your operating cost or produce more fruit the operation will be profitable. I trust this helps. If you need more help let me know.

  24. Charlie,
    I am researching and considering starting an agricultural business growing/selling avocados. I am looking at a 20-acre property in so cal. I’m looking to see what a starting cost would be and even if it’s feasible on this particular property, it’s a little rocky.

    Thank you


    • Daniel, I can’t comment specifically on the property without looking at it. Generally speaking the rocky soil could be an advantage because it will be well drained. It may also require some precise irrigation management. If you are trying to put together a development budget I would plan $50,000 per acre. That would cover land clearing and grading also putting in the grove roads. This would provide irrigation for a high density planting and of course the trees, stakes, and wraps. In your planning remember you will have to wait to get trees and you have to wait four years after the trees are planted for commercial production.

  25. Hi Charley,

    I’m interested in buying a house with an avocado grove on it in the Temecula area. Do you buy chance hear of any “for sale” properties? In an ideal world I find a property that already has growing avocado trees on it as well as a house to live in.

    Thanks and let me know if you know of any for sale in the general area. Thanks

    • Eric, I had a property I looked at for another buyer. I checked and it has been sold. I suggest you go to a realtor in Temecula to find a property for you. That will be faster. I sometimes find out about properties for sale but that is a hit or miss deal.

  26. Hi Charley, I am in escrow on a five-acre property in the Pointe Pacifico neighborhood of Fallbrook. There are approximately 300-400 mature fruit trees on the property, and I think most of them are Haas avocado. Metered water. The seller has sold his avocados in the past, but I have no history. I’m not looking to make a profit, but just to break even on expenses. What would you charge to look at the grove and help set me up with management, pickers, etc? Many thanks, Tom.

    • Tom, Since you already purchased the property there is no need for me to look at it now. My company is a management company. We manage the property for the owner by essentially operating the orchard for them. I will send you my contact info separately. When you send me your contact info I will send you a contract/proposal for your approval along with some other information. The contract will take care of your requirements to operate the orchard. If the property has a house on it, we also have a landscape division that may be able to help you there. Congratulations on your purchase. Welcome to Fallbrook. I look forward to working with you.

      • Hey Charley,

        I have 11 acres I just purchased in Escondido with only 3 acres doing well. I’ve been slowly cleaning up and planting a little bit too. I would like to get your input and possibly work together.



        • Terry, Your project sounds interesting. I’m sure we would be able to help you. I’ll send you my contact information separately.

      • Hi Charley,
        I’m interested in buying an Avocado farm with avocado producing trees on it and is wondering if you know any that is selling?
        Also, would you be available for advise and consulting on a particular
        farm? If yes please let me know what the fee would be.
        Thank you,
        Phong Vo

        • Phong Vo, At this time I don’t know of any properties for sale. Yes I am available on a consulting basis to look at a property for you. I will send you my contact information and rates separately.

  27. I am considering buying a 20-acre avocado grove in Fallbrook. Water does not appear to be a problem on this property, but I want to know what type of manpower will be required for harvesting, and maintenance. And what do you think a net annual profit for a reasonably well managed grove would be>

    • Patrick, Commenting on a manpower requirement with out seeing the property is practically impossible. As a minimum I would need to know the age and condition of the trees. A better way to get a sense of the requirement is to use dollars. It will cost between $7500 to $8500 per acre per year to operate. This would include water, fertilizer, harvesting, cultural tasks (weeding, pruning, erosion prevention), and management. I don’t know what is “reasonably” well managed. It is either well managed or not. Profit depends on the amount of fruit produced and the market against the cost of production. Without more information specific to this property i can only say avocados are profitable if farmed correctly. I will send you my contact information. You may want to retain me on a consulting basis to help in your purchasing decision.

  28. Hello Charley,

    I recently acquired a 4 area parcel south Morro Hills, there is a small number of mixed variety avocados, Hass, Reed, etc. On a small scale is there someone that would buy the fruit from me? I have room to expand. Water is not an issue, I have a 400 foot well and it produces massive amounts of water – 500 gallons a minute.



    • Louie, If the quality of that water is good you are very fortunate. I don’t know any one who would be looking to buy small amounts of avocados. You might want to go to the farmer’s market and ask some of the venders there if they are interested.

  29. Hi Charley! I’m interested in purchasing a property with my partner, on 18.5 acres in socal it has an avocado grove with 1200+ trees i’ve got the numbers of this years harvest from the seller but it proving confusing to read. But that aside with that info, how much would the cost to run it be and is it viable that it a least breaks even?
    is there a way i can contact you by email?

    Thanks for getting back to me i appreciate what you’re doing for us!

    i may have asked this on a reply somewhere on accident but here it is attached to me sorry about it.

    • I forgot to mention I have some details about the pack out for this year and was looking for your help to read it! Look forward to chatting!

      • Lucas, Yes I can help you with the pack out. Maybe even answer a few other questions to help you get started.

  30. Hi Charley,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my idea to grow avocado commercially.
    I forgot to mention that I live in Foster City, Bay Area. I am planning to setup orchard in India as it has advantage of future market and less investments costs.

    If temperatures are too pushy in land piece I mentioned, I am open to consider other locations in India for commercial growing project.

    I would like to talk to you and get your services in land selection (based on climate, soil requirements), in plant selection (variety), in importing plants or seedlings etc (accordance with governing regulations).

    Could you please let me know about your terms to provide services (via email). I would like to talk to more about my plan via call.

    Looking forward to talk to you.


      • Avinash, I have hesitated to offer to consult for you long distance. Most of the advice would be based on documents, topo maps, soil analysis, and weather records. I will send you my email and we can discuss it further.

  31. Hello Charles, we are exploring for acres in Temecula for a home and possibility for groves. One listing has Avocado groves and indicated that the grove is under Williamson Act protection. I read on Google that it is have to do with Tax but don’t have a full understanding of the implications to the property:
    1) what exactly is the protection or benefit and cost?
    2) Is it only applied to existing Avocado grove, specific groves, all groves or also including new?
    3) is the act also include other kind of orchard such as citrus, grapes etc?
    4j is the Act applied to all agricultural area or just Riverside?
    5) What Federal, State or local agricultural protections we might have for owning a grove?



    • Phu, The Williamson Act is a method to provide property tax relief to agricultural land. When first enacted the State covered the tax revenue differential loss back to the counties. The State has since removed that subsidy so some Counties no longer offer enrollment. The property owner enters into a ten year rolling contract agreeing not to take the land out of production to develop it into to other uses. It takes a one year notice to get out of the contract and may require paying the deferred taxes. Hope this helps. You may want to contact the Riverside County Department of Land Use and ask the status of that specific parcel. Good luck.

      • Charley, thank you for your kind reply.

        My wife and I are interested in a 5 acres in De Luz area near Temecula that we viewed this weekend. The lot seemed to be an old Avocado grove. We saw many dead trunks and some avocado trees are regrowing from 3-4 foot trunks. If the the land was once an avocado grove, can we plant new avocado trees and other fruits trees on the land? In another word, the soil is still viable or good for plant fruits trees especially avocado. Our primary goal is for a dream home. We also like to plant avocado and fruits trees to keep us busy. However, both will mostly taken 1 acres at most. Do you have any recommendations of how to best use for the remaining 4 acres of a used to an old Avocado grove?



        • Phu, You have several questions. From your description it sounds like the existing avocado orchard should be abandoned. The trees and stumps can be removed and replanted to avocado. You should also be aware that one acre of family fruit trees will be a full time job to take care of it. Let me know if we can help.

  32. Hi Charlie,

    I am planning to grow avocado orchard (in land space of 5 acres) in Indian state with tropical climate. Max temperature can go 47 degrees and min temperature is 7 degrees. Altitude is 1700 ft.

    Can I grow avocado commercially in above landscape? Also what type of avocados suit this climate? Can I grow Hass variety?

    Would you be able to provide consultation services? If so could you please let me know additional details. I hope you have my email id. Looking for your inputs.


    • Avinish, Given the temperatures you provided I would not classify that a tropical climate. Even so the preferred climate for avocados is normally called Mediterranean climate. Your 47 degrees is not acceptable. That temperature for even a short period of time would cook the fruit and damage the tree. I would not recommend a commercial investment given the conditions you describe. I would look for another piece of land or another crop. It is difficult to provide consulting service from a remote location. Charley

      • Hi Charley
        I spent my carreer with a big banana company that you would have heard of but am now planting some avocados in Colombia with a lcaol partner. In avocado trees that I have seen in South America, when the fruit starts to form there are often some fruits on the same tree that are quite a bit smaller than others and end up either being thrown away or paid a low price in local markets due small size.
        The same thing happens in bananas in that the last hands on a banana bunch are too small for export size requirements and so are removed from the stem early in the production process. The removal of these small hands provides excess nutrients etc for the remaining hands which increase in length as compared to banana stems that are not dehanded. My question is, do you know of any research or practice of removing small avocados, relative to others on the same tree, soon after fruit set, and if this will increase the size of the remaining avocados on the tree, as it would in bananas?

        • Buck, I know of no one who is trying fruit thinning to increase size. I vaguely remember some industry research on the practice that concluded it was not economically practical.

  33. Hello charley,

    Currently I am closing a 7.3 acres property in deluz California. I am strongly considering put avocados tree on it. There is a water main on the property already but I am considering digging a well. Would you recommend this?
    Also what type of avocado tree would you plan on planting? How many trees is manageable to plant for someone who already works a full time job?
    How and who would you sell the avocados to?
    Thank you in advance

    • Jon, Long term it is better to consider drilling a well. For a small parcel it takes longer to amortize the cost of the well. The Hass and Gem are the preferred commercial varieties now. There is a two year waiting period for trees currently. The avocados are sold to the commercial packing houses. The number of trees manageable to plant for someone who already works a full time job is zero.

  34. Hi Charlie,

    I am planning to grow avocado orchard (in land space of 5 acres) in Indian state with tropical climate. Max temperature can go 47 degrees and min temperature is 7 degrees. I am thinking to grow avocado commercially and want to get your opinion if it can be done in above temperatures. Also what type of avocados suit this climate? Can I grow Hass variety?

    Would you be able to provide consultation starting from soil check, selecting avocado variety, soil and land preparation to orchard maintenance?
    If so could you please let me know additional details. I hope you have my email id.

    Looking for your inputs.


    • Also the land altitude is at 1700ft. I read one of your comments that altitude itself is not a constraint to grow avocado. But could you let me know if at this altitude and with above temperatures, is it feasible to grow avocado?


  35. hello Charley, first appreciate what are you doing in terms of helping so many people (and im one of them):)

    Charley my main question is Where i can buy avocado trees (cold hardy types)?

    I’m from Republic Of Georgia and we have Zone 8 also here where i can start growing mexican avocados. Locally we dont grow avocados and i hope i can do it

    • Iraki, I’m sorry. I have no idea where you could buy trees. Cold hardy for avocado is relative. There are a few varieties that can take a little more cold than others. Bottom line if you get freezing temperature even if only infrequently you can’t grow avocados. Sorry

  36. Hi Charlie,
    I hope this finds you well.
    I can see you’ve got some avo trees on the hillside. I am thinking through my plan and the idea of terracing crosses my mind. In this case my biggest concern is the space available for equipment mobility. What spacing would you recommend from your experience?

    • Edward, Terracing would only be considered if the land is really steep. You incur the equipment cost to put the terraces in and you are still restricted in space. If was steep enough to consider the terraces you probably couldn’t use equipment anyway. I am suggesting 12×12 spacing terraces or not.

      • Charlie, would you please contact me via my private email (entered on the comment reply form). I would like to discuss the possibility of hiring you to do some consulting work for me on an orchard that I am considering buying. It has about 320 trees and is a few miles west of Bonsall in San Diego County. Thanks – Brad

  37. Charlie,
    I’m considering buying a home with 2 acres of existing Avocado trees in Somis, CA. The trees look like they have had branches cut recently. Do you do in person consulting to visit the property for an hour or so and run through what I need to be aware of with these current trees. Want to know if they are salvageable or maybe they are fine.

    • Brad, The trees having branches cut recently is not necessarily bad. Depends on why they were cut. I do consulting. I charge from gate to gate so you would be paying me to travel to Somis from San Diego County. I would suggest calling the Farm Bureau and ask them for the names of some one local who could look at the trees for you.

  38. Hi Charlie,

    I’m a Cali native and spent most my life 50 miles away from Oxnard. I’ve been hearing Ventura county has programs in place to help guys such as myself get up and started with a farm. Would you happen to have any info in regards? Or know where I can research more about these programs and if I qualify?

    • Arya, I do not personally know of any programs in Ventura County. I would suggest you contact the Ventura County Farm Bureau. They ought to know if there are any programs available. You might also search the web for grants. Good luck.

  39. Hello,
    I recently got a hold of a small plot of land in the country of Gambia. I have 2 hectars. I’m currently thinking about what I can grow to provide for my family living there. Manpower is not an issue in the maintenance of the farm. Logistics for export might be. So my question is can you grow avocado in west africa and is it profitable on such a smart plot of land?

    • Mansa, The important consideration for growing avocados is the climate must be frost free and adequate quality water must be available. You have to investigate where you are considering exporting to see what the rules are. Whether it is profitable depends on what it cost to produce the fruit and what the market will pay for it. I don’t know what hose numbers are for Gambia.

    • Mansa
      Sorry for replying to your comment when it was directed to Charley but I have worked in Sierra Leone , Mozambique, Ivory Coast etc and may know some logistical issues that you would need to consider
      As you point out, if export is your intention, you would need an area much larger than two hectares of avocados because you would most likely ship in a 40 foor refrigerated containers and you wouldnt have enough volume to fill the container. Shipping less than container loads makes the cooling less efficent and you could have spoiled fruit on arrvial at discharge and loose everything. Even if you did have the volume for one container over several weeksm you should find a direct shipping route to EU, to reduce transhipment risk of your continer being left behind in a transit port, as well as several certifications that you would need to sell into EU market. YOu could sell local, maybe to hotels,but dont know if the price would justify the investment and risk. I would suggest groundnuts,or peanuts which do well in Gambia

  40. Hi Charlie ,
    I am in the process of purchasing a property in southern CA that has approx 3-4 acre grove of avocados . The current owner has promised to convey the name /brand that he has been selling under and provide me with his current client list. I want to expand the grove and learn how to do it with a profit , water is not an issue on this property. However, the property tax is 26K a year, are you familiar with anyway to get some relief? I read about an agricultural preserve contract and contacted the county but no one called me back . The property I am purchasing is over 100 acres , has fruit trees, flowers grown for sale , and the avocado grove.

    • Terie, I believe I have looked at this property for another buyer. To answer your question if I am right and I looked at it that means it is in San Diego County. San Diego is still offering property owners the opportunity to put their land in a Williamson Act contract. That contract is a 10 year rolling contract that essentially stops the land from being developed. For that commitment the owner gets a property tax break. There is also a program in San Diego where the County buys the development rights by putting a permanent ag easement on the property. You will have to call the County to get the info. I would expect the department of land use. I can’t help you with the County not returning your calls. You may have to go there and wait. Good luck, Charley

  41. Hi Charley!

    Thank you for all the great information. My wife and I have been looking in the Temecula area to purchase an avocado orchard. None available have high density planting as you suggest and appear to be operating at losses or break even.

    Can we add trees to an existing orchard to make it high density or are we better off finding a new piece of property and starting from scratch?

    Also, the water district is currently offering up to $45k to remove avocado orchards and replace them with grape vines. Maybe Temecula is no longer friendly to Avocado farmers? Any opinion or insight on this?

    Thanks again!


    • Shahab, Yes you can increase the tree density on an existing grove. How it is done depends on the spacing of the existing trees. The profit of the grove is mostly dependent on the farming skills of the operator. I know the Water District is paying owners to take the avocado orchards out and replace the trees with vines. A bad decision by the district in my opinion. You might want to look for an abandoned avocado grove and replant it. There are some potential tax advantages in that approach. You must accept that you will probably waiting two ears for trees. Let me know if I can help.

  42. Hi Charlie–I am grateful for experts such as you. I am a Silicon Valley guy that moved to the Napa Valley and enjoyed vineyards. I had contracts to sell my grapes as I am smart enough to know the winery direction is two parts money and one part ego. I am considering moving to the Valley Center area and purchasing a property with 800+ avocados. I have NO idea as the the P&L of this venture. I am asking the sellers to provide the cost details and if there is any profit in growing avocados. Any advice for the novice before I enter this new area. . . thank you.

    • Bill, I can’t comment on the profit of the property you are considering. Growing avocados is profitable if you farm them correctly. I would even argue more profit than wine grapes. Let me know if I can help with your decision or in the operation.

  43. Hi Charlie,
    You looked over my grove (65 very tall trees) when we purchased our house in Fallbrook in 2017. We subsequently stumped everything in Nov. 2017 and had our first harvest last month. I’m planning to plant the open areas of the grove at 10×10 spacing to get as much of the property high density as possible. I’m planning on 3ft trees. Can you recommend a local nursery to purchase trees (Hass variety?


    • Jim,in my opinion 10×10 for Hass is a push. OK in the beginning but they are quickly into each other You can look at 12×12 and put a tree in between every tree in the existing orchard. The nursery on East Mission south of the Willow Glen intersection propagates trees on clonal root stock. I don’t have their phone number and I don’t know if they have trees available. Maddock Nursery on Ranger Road might have trees. They are in the phone book. I don’t believe he is using clonal root stock. Good luck.

  44. Hi Charlie,

    What a wealth of information! I haven’t been able to find this in the blog yet, so I’ll ask a few specific questions.

    I am in the process of purchasing 7 acres of land that is fully planted with avocado trees(still trying to get the seller to identify the exact kind). I count from the satellite photos roughly 700 trees.

    • What can I expect an average monthly amount of water to be?
    • How do I go about obtaining a contract with a packer (is this a route I should consider?)
    • If I do get a contract, does the packing house come to the property to harvest, or will I need to find labor to pick the fruit?
    • In order to make a fair offer on the property, what can i expect the fruit to be worth, and average monthly operating costs.

    Thanks so much,


    • Mike, Your questions are difficult to answer because you didn’t say where you are buying this land. I’m going to assume it is in California. I find it unique that the seller won’t tell you what variety is planted in the orchard. Water costs will vary from month to month depending on the weather. A mature avocado orchard will need about 4 acre feet of water per acre per year. You can find out from the water district what the charge is for an acre foot of water and calculate the annual water cost. obviously you won’t pay that in 12 equal payments. If you have in mind a contract with a price commitment, I don’t believe you will find that. The packing house may commit to furnishing harvesting crews the cost would be deducted from your fruit value. The alternative is for you to hire the labor or make arrangements with a labor contractor to harvest the fruit. The best information on the fruit value is from the seller giving you the production information for the last few years. He has no legal obligation to give you that. Operating cost will be about $7500 to $8500 per acre per year. An important factor would be in what water district the grove is located and at what elevation.

      • Hi Charley!I’m interested in purchasing a property with my partner, on 18.5 acres in socal it has an avocado grove with 1200+ trees i’ve got the numbers of this years harvest from the seller but it proving confusing to read. But that aside with that info, how much would the cost to run it be and is it viable that it a least breaks even?
        is there a way i can contact you by email?
        thanks for getting back to me i appreciate what you’re doing for us!

        • Lucas, You didn’t say where in so cal the property is located. As a general rule you could use $7500 to $8500 per acre per year to operate. The variables are water source and condition of the trees. Healthy avocado trees farmed correctly will be profitable. I will send you contact info separately.

  45. Hello!

    I stumbled upon your website, and I feel like you may be able to help me out!

    My name is Kelly Murphy and I currently reside in Colorado, but am looking at buying a avocado grove in southern California. It’s roughly 8-10 acres, has fruiting trees, and it currently professionally managed.

    My big questions are:

    Is it even possible to run, living out of state?

    I want to keep it professionally managed, so do I need any from of licenses or insurance or certificates to have them working there?

    I’m assuming there is only income when fruits are sold, how often is that? What does the harvest look like, and whats the income look like per year?

    Thanks in advance for taking time to talk to me!

    Kelly Murphy

    • Kelly, The answer is yes I manage orchards where the owner doesn’t live on the property. I have had all the variations where the owner lives in town but not on the grove parcel, doesn’t live in California, and a few that lived out of the country. You need no license to hire a management company. You should verify that the company has the appropriate insurance. Yes there is only income when the fruit is sold. The avocados can be held on the tree for a number of months depending on the variety. There could be several harvests depending on the market and weather conditions. You should ask the seller of the property for the production records for the past few years.

  46. Aloha
    I will be experimenting with as many cultivars as I can source. I have over one hundred now and a list of another hundred tested by Calif ag. in 2004 and listed on internet. My tree farm is located in Hilo Hawaii, 1000ft elevation. Have not been able to connect with Julie Frink. Thought you could help.
    Michael, 808-597-4717

  47. Hello, Charley!
    Thanks a lot for your time to run this blog. Very informative for ones considering avo farming.
    I’ve got a couple of questions myself:
    1.What is minimum acreage (assuming high density planting of 12×12) considered commercial so packing houses would deal with such grower?
    2.Could you give a breakdown of earlier mentioned operating cost of about $8000/acre? How much is water in this number?

    • Roman, The minimum acreage to attract the packing house really depends on the production. You really need to produce about 10,000 pounds. If you are a good farmer you could probably do it on one acre with high density. You would be better positioned with two or more acres. Regarding the amount of dollars water contributes to the $8000/acre operating cost, here is a way to look at it. If the trees are happier with sufficient water, then you should budget 4 acre feet per acre. If you are buying district water you might be paying $1000/acre-foot. So one half or more is the cost of water.

  48. How to grow avocados for profit –
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    • Vasco, The challenges stabling an avocado grove are locating the right land, ordering trees, and having the capital to do the development.

  49. Charley,

    Fabulous and informative website. I am looking to invest in the avocado sector in the US or internationally. Would you be able to provide me with some guidance.


    • Karthic, Your question is difficult to answer on the web site. There are too many variables. if you determine how much you want to invest or how large a parcel you are considering I could help you on a consulting basis. Charley

  50. Hi and thanks for the great content 🙂 my dad has about 620 acres of land in the Dominican Republic and I’m contemplating getting it setup to produce avocados and export to the US, is this amount of land big enough to attract guaranteed buyers?

    • Ramon, Yes the parcel is big enough to attract buyers in the market. There are currently two major exporters in the DR. I suggest you contact them to see what the current market is. Additionally you want to find out the regulatory requirements for both countries before you begin. You will also need to identify a source of trees early in the development.

    • Ramon,converting 620 acres to tareas the common land measurement in DR your dad has 4183 tareas.
      Avocados is the way to go in my region many traditionally bananna producers switched their crops to avocados. After 2 years 100 tares = to about 15 acres can yield about 84kUSD. Imagine what you can do with 620.

      • JMR, You are correct. The operation could be quite profitable. The challenge will probably getting the trees to plant the parcel.

        • I am entertaining the idea of planting 1 acre of avocados in zone 9a of California, using frost preventative measures in the winter, and selling it via local farmers markets and csa’s.. is this a good idea? Cannabis grows great here, it isn’t often over 100 if ever, and hoop houses are a household item here.

          If at all feasible, My questions would be:

          What variety would do best here?

          Where is a reputable source for avocado trees as far north in California as you can find?( I’m in the Sacramento foothills)

          What is the estimated start up cost per acre in California?

          How long until they fruit, does the fruiting increase with tree maturity, average gross of single avocados per acre?

          Do avocados grow well in red clay, keeping in mind it will be amended to suit their needs otherwise?

          Thank you for your blog!

          • Adam, First regarding the temperature, you can live with the 100 degree summer highs just provide enough water. If you need significant frost prevention in the winter, you need to rethink your venture. The avocado is a tropical plant and cannot take cold for a very long time. If you deal with the cold, you could plant a couple of varieties to support your marketing plan. Fuerte, Haas, Reed, and Gem would give you fruit over a longer time rather having all the fruit ready at the same time. You will probably have to go to Ventura County to get trees. Brokaw, Duarte, and C&M would have trees. You need to know you will probably need to get on a wait list for the trees. If you plant to high density you will need between 300 to 450 trees depending on the spacing you choose. Depending on the spacing you should budget about $30,000.00. Often trees have a few pieces of fruit on them when they are planted. Commercial production comes after the third year. Each year will see increased production. Properly farmed you can expect 15,000 pounds or more from one acre of high density planting. Avocados prefer well drained soil. If you planted them in red clay your irrigation will have to be very precise or you will drown them. Good luck.

  51. Hi Charlie,

    How are you doing?

    I am very grateful for your blog. The site is filled with great questions and insightful answers. My team and I are avocado farmers from Eastern Nepal trying to learn as much as possible about avocado farming and processing practices in California. We are also visiting California this December to tour avocado and Kiwi farms. We will be driving from San Diego all the way to Sacramento.
    Is there any way we could visit you or schedule an appointment with you? And are there any farms you suggest we visit? So far we have Stehly Farm, West Pak, Del Rey Farm, and Rancho Vasquez on our list.

    Thank you so much for your time! We look forward to hearing from you.

    Binamrata Sharma
    Khetipati Group

    • Binamrata, I apologize for the late response. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hors in the day. I assume you have arrived for your tour of California. The list of stops you are going to make will cover the bet. After those there is not much I could add. If you have other questions let me know. Charley

  52. Hello,
    I’m wondering if you’ve heard of Lief Simon and his business of selling hectares of Avocados in Panama?
    He is all over the internet. Do you know if this is a reputable business?
    Thank you,

  53. Hello

    Where is a good place to get bulk Scions ? 500+ Looking for very cold hardy plants what species of tree would that be? Thank you !

    • Adrian, You didn’t say where you are. My general answer would be to contact a nursery and order the scions from them. When they go to cut bud wood for themselves they could add your order. More cold tolerant varieties would be bacon and zutano. Good luck finding that much bud wood for those varieties. Charley

  54. Dear Mr Charley, I have 100 acres of land in Sierra Leone West Africa and am considering using 50 acres for avocado and 50 acres for Cocoa ? My question is to whom can I sell also i am looking for buyer that can support me ,I will like to export to other countries in Europe Thanks in advance for replying.
    Kind Regards
    Narandas Tulsidas

    • Naranda, I have no personal knowledge of an avocado industry in West Africa. You will have to do on the ground research to find buyers. Obviously this should be done before you begin development of the land. I don’t even have a recommendation on where you might be able to buy trees. You will need to investigate what the rules are in the countries to which you might want to export fruit. There are probably regulations and maybe even prohibitions to shipping some commodities. Good luck.

    • Narnadas
      I worked in agriculture in Sierra Leone, near Bonthe District. I wouldnt recommend that you try avocados there. I doubt that you would have enough water in some parts of the year for avocados and with 50 acres you wont have enough volume to fill a 40 foot refrigerated container in a few days to export. Sierra Leone to EU shipping usually involves a transhipment where a container or two can sometimes be left at the dock wating for another ship to finish the trip to Europe. You will need certifications for EU market like Global Gap at a minimum, and frankly you wont get anyone in the MArket really excited about a new avocado source ( which needs to be Hass variety ) if you only have one container, especially when the buyer knows that you wont be able to supply them year round with at least a container a week. My suggestion would be to stick with the cocoa ( improved varieties, like Merced from Ivory Coast as well as improved varieties of palm oil and buy a RENTEC mini mill to process your palm oil for local sales.

      • Narnadas, Here is some first hand information for your consideration on starting a commercial avocado growing business.

  55. Good morning Charley, I recently purchased a 6.5 Acre Avacado and Ora Blanco Grapefruit Grove in Deluz (Temecula) CA. I am new since March 2019. I did hire a grove manager who is helping me. I believe that my investment is going to be a good one. I have upgraded the irrigation system, and have routine fertilization. I want to really bring myself up past a novice status to a serious grower. The grove was developed in 2003. We have bee boxes on the property as well, and the previous owners took time to plant I believe the right plants to keep the pollination going year-round. Any advice and materials you can share would very much be welcomed.
    Tony Dupre

    • Tony, It sounds like you are off to the right start. A word of caution. You said you hired a grove manager not a grove management company. Be careful some of these “managers” do not have the technical knowledge nor management training or skills. They have just been working in groves for a while. I would suggest you visit the University of California Extension web site, The information is complete and you can verify that what you are doing is what the University research supports.

  56. Question about growing avocados outside of Crescent city California, In Hiouchi which is right near the Oregon border. The Marine air is locked by foothills there about 600 feet tall . I live inland by 7 miles from the ocean. I have successfully grown two avocado trees one Hass and the other Zutano. Both trees are about 20 feet tall but it seems that that Zutano is much more vigorous. They are about 3 1/2 years old. I live in a micro climate that in the summertime is about 70 to 90°, The humidity is always in the 60s when dry and 80s to 100% when raining. We get 80 inches of rain here a year to 150 inches. I live on the hillside so the drainage is very good . I have a clay type soil but drainage is very good. I have bought 4 additional acres of the hillside I live on. I have dreams of starting an avocado grove up here . My water is largely free. I would like to include pictures but seems like the site won’t allow it . Just wondered what you thought my chances are growing a whole grove up here?

    • Ryan, The conditions you describe will satisfy the needs of the avocado tree. You didn’t say what the winter low temperatures are. I’m assuming they can’t be too bad because the two trees you have survived. It could be that the difference in vigor between the Hass and Zutano is cold. The Zutano is a little more cold tolerant than Hass. You have plenty of annual rainfall provided it comes at the right time of the year. The trees can’t be in water stress during flowering, fruit set, and fruit development. If you don’t get rain then you have to irrigate. Good luck

      • Hi Charley! What a cool blog. I live in hawaii and want to fill 2 acres with avocado. Is there an “off” season avocado that would be smart to grow here? It’s october and the stands are full of avocado now. Is there a January/Feb avocado? Spring?

        • Edwina, Interesting question. You didn’t say where the avocados came from. If they are imports that’s different than if they were grown in Hawaii. The Sharwill is a variety unique to Hawaii. I can’t remember when it matures. I believe Hass grown in Hawaii would mature in the spring.

  57. Hello Mr. Charley Wolk.

    What’s your advice for those who would like to start growing avocados? where should I start from? What do you recommend I should read? I read you recommended University Of California Extension website, however, I wasn’t able to find anything there. Kind regards and congratulation on the Forum, really nice work.

  58. Hie Charley, A great blog you are running here.I have never grown avocadoes before. This is a venture I want to start. So I am currently doing research on how to start an avocado farm.I need every piece of information and resource on how to go about this venture. I am in Africa,Zimbabwe to be specific and that is where I intend to open the farm. I have no idea on climatic conditions, favourable seed types for my region etc. Infact i need information on All important aspects of commercial avocado production such as production areas, climatic and soil requirements, soil preparation, propagation, cultivars, wind protection, irrigation and fertilization, pest, disease and weed control, harvesting and transport.


    • Brian, For a beginner I recommend going to the University of California Extension web site, There is a lot of information to get you started. You will have to adjust some of it to your local conditions. At least you will have a base line to start from. Good luck.

  59. Hi Charlie.

    First of all thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world. It is greatly appreciated!

    My Partner and i have just bought 10 Acres of land in Northern NSW Australia.
    We are very keen to start an Avocado orchard but are a little worried about the potential of frost affecting our crops.

    The property is located at 800 – 760m Above Sea level in a place called Billy’s Creek.
    There is an extremely large Avocado Orchard 30mins drive from us down the mountain at roughly 400m Above sea level.
    The owner there was kind enough to share a few pieces of information such as Trees dropping fruit in frost, 4ML per acre irrigation requirement and Mounding for the trees with well draining soil being paramount.

    Our block is situated on the side of a hill facing south with the top being 800m and bottom of the valley around 760m.
    We are also in the middle of a rain forest with quite high rainfall of 2000mm per year and our temp doesn’t drop below 5 degrees celcius.
    The block has also been recently cleared and burned off and we are mixing the ash into the soil and also adding cow manure and digging it in to try to bring the PH up as it is around 5.5.
    We also have a River Easement for stock and domestic and will be looking to upgrade that to commercial if possible which i believe would only be granted to us at 10% of our annual rainfall. Alas the maths escapes me on this so i am not sure how many meg that would be if our average is 2000mm p/y..

    I hope this is enough information for you to possibly give us a brief estimation of viability and any this else you would like to add would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Kind regards,


    • Josh, Here are a few comments on your starting an avocado operation. I assume the low temperature is firm and not the average of not dropping below 5 degrees celcius. Also your rainfall has to come at the right time. Your annual amounts are adequate but if is dry when the trees are flowering and setting fruit you would need irrigation. There is an Australian Avocado Association. I can’t remember where they are located. I believe on the east coast. I trust these little bits will help. Good luck. Charley

  60. Hello Charley! Stumbled unto your blog while doing research, I’ve found it to be extremely helpful.

    My father and myself are entrepreneurs looking to get into the avocado business.

    It would be of great assistance if you could offer any guidance or counseling to us.

    Feel free to email me!

    • Juan Carlos, You didn’t say where you are. It sounds like you are really beginning. I would suggest you go to the University of California Extension web site. There is a lot of information there plus they have printed material you can purchase. There is a lot of information on starting an orchard plus an economic overview. That should give you enough information to get started.

  61. Hello Charley, A great blog and initiative you are running here. In fact I have never had an avocado farm before. This is a venture I want to start. So I am currently doing research on how to start an avocado farm before i came across your Blog. So please I need every piece of information and resource on how to go about this venture. I am in Cameroon in Africa and that is where I intend to open the farm. I have no idea on climatic conditions, favourable species for my region. Infacct i need information on All important aspects of commercial avocado production such as production areas, climatic and soil requirements, soil preparation, propagation, cultivars, wind protection, irrigation and fertilization, pest, disease and weed control, harvesting and transport.


    • Yanick, Sorry for the delayed response. At this point of starting your avocado project I would suggest you go to the University of California Cooperative Extension web site. A lot of information is on the site. There is additional information that you can order for purchase. The information starts in the beginning which is where you are. You can begin to build your knowledge base. Just take the information and adjust it to the conditions in Cameroon.

  62. Hi Charley-thank you for this website and for sharing your knowledge with all of us. We have just installed Hass on Steddom and Dusa rootstock on roughly 2 acres. Soil is sandy loam on a former citrus grove in Riverside. The water is a mix of recycled and groundwater. What are your thoughts on these rootstocks and will the reclaimed water have a negative effect on yield in the long run? How long do avocados take to recover from transplant shock? thank you so much for your time!

    • Denise, My apologies for the delay in responding. I had some technical difficulties with the site. I have no personal experience with Steddom root stock. I have used Dusa. I am vey pleased with the results. Tree vigor is excellent and production seems to be a little earlier. You have to be careful when first planted. You can put too much water on them and they stress. Where the water comes from is not the issue. The bench mark is water quality. Test the water in the beginning and then periodically, maybe once a month. The quality of the reclaimed water may vary depending on the quality of the water coming into the treatment plant. Recovery from transplant shock depends on the conditions during transplant. Sometimes you can’t even tell the trees were transplanted. If it is hot and they don’t get in the ground fast enough you can see the stress almost immediately. They should recover in a few days to a week.

      • Hi Charley,
        I am interested in buying a property and would like your consulting/advice on it. Please let me know if you can do this and what your fee would be. Thank you for the great posts!

        • Michael, Yes I can help you with the purchase of an avocado grove. I will send you my contact information separately.

  63. Dear Mr. Wolk,

    Very excited to find someone such as yourself. My husband and I are thinking about purchasing a home in Temecula, CA that happens to have a avocado orchard. We know nothing about farming but are interested in perhaps using the orchard as a side business since it is there. What kind of questions should we be asking before purchasing this land. What would be required of us to run this business. We would also be interested in using your services should the land and trees be in good health.

    • Wendy, I apologize for the delay in responding. I hope this information will still be of value to you. You should ask the seller for the annual cost of production for several years. Also ask for the revenue for several years. The best revenue numbers would be from the packing house reports. The seller has no obligation to give you this information. If it is not provided draw your own conclusions. You haven’t said how big the orchard is. The trees will need to be irrigated, fertilized, control the weeds, pruned, and eventually harvested. Even for a small grove this can be more than a week end chore. If you purchase a property or look at others I could help you on a consulting basis.

  64. Hello. I click on the links and search the search form but nothings comes up. It just returns to the first page. How do I access your reading material?

    • Richard, Sorry I can’t help you. You are the first one who has raised this issue. Since I can’t see your screen I can only assume you have inadvertently given your computer an instruction it can’t execute. Charley

  65. Hi Charley,
    First of all, thank you for setting this blog to share your broad knowledge and expertise with avocado growers.
    I’m a Moroccan avocado grower ; we’re growing in 11 ha in the region of Gharb Morocco.
    Our orchard consist on :
    – Cultivars :Half of the plantation is Hass, the other half is planted with Fuerte and Bacon
    – Density : 6m x 6m
    – Climate : Mediterranean.
    -Tree age : 11years old
    I have two questions :
    • Aiming to replace 50% of Fuerte and Bacon plants with Hass, is it possible to top work Fuerte and Bacon trees and graft them with Hass scions or should I replace them with young Hass trees from nursery ;
    • Is it advisable in terms of yield to move to a ( 6m x 3m ) density by planting a new tree between each two old ones, knowing that the orchard is all flat land with no slope on it.
    Thank You Charley.

    • Hicham, The advantage to grafting to Hass is that you have an existing established root system. Grafting is an art an science that requires some skill and experience. One is just selecting the bud wood. You also have to put more than one on each tree. If one fails you have others to depend on. After the grafts are well established you select the strongest one and cut the others off. Remember increasing the tree density requires annual pruning to keep the height down and the tree open. For sure I would put a tree in between every tree. I would even consider putting two trees in between every tree. Looking ahead you should be considering a row between every row. Think about where your production will go when you have that many trees. All of that for the expense of annual pruning.

    • Hicham,
      I am a farmer in Kenitra Morocco. I do know some farmers who are using the new high density of 2m x 2m and it is working perfectly for them. I would love to see the new grafting technique you used.

  66. We are considering purchasing land with house, rental house, and avocados. It is difficult to know how to value the avocados. This is a well established property. How much money do we need to operate this property as it is- 1000 trees on 21 acres (however, minus the house, rental house, and other citrus trees).. let’s say 10 acres? with a 100 per acre. They are on a well. When you have a property management company, do they do every single task or just certain tasks? Thank you- I think that I don’t know what questions to ask. My biggest concern is having enough money between harvests. I am told they get $100-180k from the avocados each year. We would make it denser- how much would that investment be? thank you!

    • Karen, It is a little difficult to answer your questions. You didn’t tell me where the property is located. Assuming the property is in California it will cost between $7500 to $8500 per acre per year to operate the orchard. Obviously one of the variables is the location. My management company does all of the tasks required for the orchard operation. If the tree count numbers are accurate it is a good producers. That being said I always advise buyers to ask for the packing house records to verify production. The seller doesn’t have to give them to you. But if the seller is not willing to do that you need to be cautious on accepting the numbers. If the tree count is correct and the planted acreage is correct I assume that the current tree spacing is 15 feet between the trees and 20 feet between the rows. to increase the density you would plant another tree in between the existing trees as the first step. Next you would add a row of trees in between each row. This can be done when you have the existing trees height down to 8 to 10 feet. The cost for this is about $75 per tree. This does not include any pruning requirements on the existing trees. You should anticipate a one to two year wait to get trees. I trust this will help you get in the ball park. Thanks, Charley

  67. Good Day. Thank you for this site and the information you share with the community. I am new to the community/site, and am wondering if perhaps you have already discussed profitable growing on the east cost – inside of course. Any and all suggestions you might have are most helpful. I have one cold hardy avocado plant – about 3/4 feet tall and beginning to bear fruit and several other seedlings I am sprouting and hope to put in to pots. I am not looking to make a mint, but would love to be able to offer these for sale and farmers markets and the like to my local community – Hampshire Count, West Virginia.


    • Courtney, I have been asked several times about growing avocados inside. Remember the plant is a tree. It will try to grow into a tree. If you keep pruning it to control its height it will tend to produce leaf growth rather than structure. Its vigor will also be limited by the size of the container. Finally flower pollination is normally done by bees. I don’t know if they will come inside, pollinate, and leave or just not come in. It also sounds like you are growing these trees from seeds. The seedlings have to be grafted to produce acceptable fruit if any. The fruit you see is some variation of the tree of the original root stock. You can have fun growing the seedlings but I don’t believe you will be able to produce marketable fruit. Sorry

  68. Hi Charley,

    I just came across your blog. You have wealth of information on avocado growing. I am new to avocado industry. I have been told that there is huge opportunity for avocado in India due to its warm weather and ample availability of water in certain areas.

    I am planning to start commercial avocado plantation(s) in India. I would like your help from A to Z in this project as adviser/consultant.

    Please let me know your terms for helping me out. I am living in Miami Beach, FL, USA at present.


    • Durlabh, Your project sounds interesting. I will contact you separately to discuss how I might be able to help you.

  69. Charley,

    Is it possible to plant additional trees in a 12-yr old, 100 trees/ac. avocado grove to a “medium-high” density of ~300 trees per acre?


    • Jon The simple answer to question is yes. We do it all the time. I assume the spacing on your 12 year old grove with 100 trees/acre is 15×20. The first increment is to plan a tree in between every tree in the row. The next increment is to plant another row in between every row. Before you start I recommend you prune the existing trees down to 8 or 10 feet. If you plant first you will probably damage the new trees when you prune. With high density you don’t want the trees to be much taller.

  70. Hello Charlie,

    Thank you very much for your informative site and it is obvious that your experience and passion has proven to be a huge asset to your clients and fans.

    I am currently a commercial farmer, growing mangoes, avocados, bananas and coconuts in Asia and I am quite confused about the new protocols for avocado planting. For 20+ years now I have been hearing about Chilean and Peruvian high density hedge-row planting, but there is very little scientific literature detailing the planting with actual spacing included. I have read all of the UC Davis and Riverside work and site visits documentation but conclusions are not clear as to recommendations. You mention “high-density planting” many times in your blog but have not clearly elaborated on what your definition of HDP is.

    Could you please give us all some up-to-date information on tree spacing protocols and what you consider to be HDP using an imaginary 100 hectare tract of good soiled land with very low rolling hills, abundant water for irrigation and at 18 degrees N and 500-700 meters elevation?

    Thank you again for your great blog and all the time it takes to maintain. Very much appreciated by your fans.

    Best wishes, Lee

    • Mr. Lee, I have been planting 12×12 for years. In my opinion this is the best spacing. It gives you room to work and still gives you a good tree count. If you prune faithfully every year you can maintain production with lower picking costs.

  71. Hello Mr. Charlie what do you know about HIGH DENSITY PLANTING TECHNIQUE in Carlifonia? Can it be viable in Kenya. I would like you to advice me more on avocado farming through my email if you dont mind

    • Kevin, High density planting in California varies on the terrain and will of the grower. I have been planting12x12 for years, before high density became popular. Some other spacings are 10×10, 7×14. Bottom line you just have to analyze the situation.

  72. Hi Charlie,

    I am from Tanzania, the only country (with Kenya) where, when the rest of other countries their season has ended, we harvest.

    I have done a research on it and i see it’s a project that i wanna go for.

    Can you contact me separately so that we can a more detailed chat about this please?

    • Deusdedith, I assume you want to pursue growing avocados. I would suggest you go to the University of California Cooperative Extension web site. The avocado section will give you the basics to get started. Good luck.

    • Dear Ulirk,
      Good morning.
      You are right. TZ and Kenya have unique circumstances and a lot of potential in the international avocado market.
      I run a grafted Hass Avocado seedling nursery in Nairobi. I have the necessary certification.

      I also have a small avocado farm about 50 kilometres away.

      Please call me on +254728130925 so that we can compare notes. I will be happy to call you if you give me your number.

  73. Dear Mr. Wolk
    I’m doing a study on the extension of reverse osmosis technology within the avocado growing community, particularly in California. Do you have numbers regarding anual acreage installed or RO AF/day capacity installed per year, and total irrigated acreage? Is there another technique, broadly used to deal with chloride toxicity in avocado trees?

    • Pablo, There are a little over 50,000 planted avocado acres in California. All are irrigated. I don’t know how many are using RO on the irrigation water nor do I know where you could go to get the information. Sorry.

  74. Hi Charley, thanks a lot for your valuable forum and comments.
    My question is how to preserve 5,000 pieces of hass avocado scion for export overseas (Africa).
    This is because I can’t find a hass avocado nursery (nil grafted hass avocado plant) in Nigeria, so I will need to import hass avocado scion for my grafting.
    Thanks for your anticipated response

    • Pasy, You need to check on the regulations to import live plant material. You will also have to locate a source for 5000 scions. My instinct is don’t get them all at the same time. You should be able to ship them by wrapping them in wet cheese. Ship them in a closed chilled, not frozen container. You didn’t say where you were getting them. If they are going to be shipped by air I would want them in the cabin not in the cargo hold. It might be too cold. Good luck.

    • Hello Pascal Chyk, I am from Kenya and we can work out that business on you importing hass avocado seedlings to Nigeria from Kenya. If you are certain about this feel free to contact me on +254701916166 on whatsapp or send me an email on Oooh and Charley i hope am no overstepping. I am also in love with tha avocado farming and would love to commence on my farming project. You may also send me details on avocado farming especially on hass and fuerte variety. Thank You

      • Kevin, I hope you and Pascal can set up a deal to furnish the avocado trees. The best source for avocado cultural practices in the University of California Extension web site. it is easy to navigate. Charley

    • Hi Pascal,

      I see you are from Nigeria. We are starting our commercial avocado farm in Nigeria. It would be nice to hook up and discuss possibilities. Warm regards

      • Tony, I have been getting quite a few inquires from Nigeria. Maybe all of you could hook up and form a group to share information. Charley

        • Hi Charley,

          That sounds great. It’s been hard work but we have finally started our journey towards our 20,000 tree orchard. I am open to share information with others in the Nigerian space.

          • Dear Pascal and Tony,
            Good morning.
            How is your venture going? Please call me on +254728130925 to share our experiences.
            I am a Hass avocado farmer. I also have a certified grafted Hass nursery in Nairobi, Kenya.

  75. Dear Mr. Wolk,

    My name is Nazeeb Khan, I am writing to you from Bangladesh, a country in South Asia. Avocado is very rare in my country and I was thinking of investing in avocados. I have done a short research on growing them and found out that they take 4-5 years or 10+ years to grow the fruit. Is it possible to differentiate between the seeds that will take 5 years to grow fruit and the seeds that need 10+ years? If I do invest in this, I will grow avocado trees in bulk. If you have any additional advice I will appreciate it a lot.

    Thank you

    • Nazeeb, First your information on the tree producing fruit is inaccurate. The trees produce quickly. There have been occasions where we have planted a tree that had fruit on it. The longer wait is for commercial production. I define that to be when the orchard has enough fruit to require harvesting crews to pick the fruit and send it to a packinghouse. You can’t tell how fast the tree will produce fruit by looking at the seed. Your questions imply that you are considering a tree nursery project. You need to be aware that producing avocado trees are not grown from a seed. You have to have seeds to grow a seedling. After growing a seedling it must be grafted with wood from a producing tree. Before you get too far along I recommend you establish a source of seeds and bud wood for grafting. Good luck. Charley

      • Hello, I’m looking to purchase a piece of property with Hass avocados year 5 since planting, located in fallbrook CA. There is 450 trees located on 5 acres. What should my cost be relative to profit. I’m new to farming but familiar with many trees as I am a nursery owner.

        • Quentyn, Operating cost in the Fallbrook area run about $7,00.00 to $8,000.0 peer acre per year. Revenue will depend on the pounds of production, the size distribution, and the market price. Using the cost above you have to produce at least 8,000 pounds and average $1.00 per pound to break even.

    • Hello Nzaeeb,

      I am from Myanmar where we have an abundance of local variety avocados. More growers are starting to show interest in planting Hass in recent years.

      I didn’t know that Bangladesh does not grow a lot of avocados. What are the reasons? Is it due to soft demand? Where do you currently source your avocados from?If there is enough demand, perhaps you can consider importing from neighboring countries?

      I am interested in collab opportunities. Let me know.


  76. Hi Charley,

    I am looking to invest in a 20 acre Avocado farm, I know nothing about avocados, planting, farming, or anything to do with it. What do management companies charge to manage the farming/planting/picking of a functioning farm?

    (Assumption is that the land has about 950 haas trees) – can a profit be turned on 950 trees? Land is in Riverside County, CA

    Thank you


    • Sam, Good questions before beginning. My company charges a monthly per acre fee to manage the orchard. The fee covers irrigation labor, management (which includes when and how much to irrigate, tracking the market to plan for harvesting, and evaluating the orchard’s condition to recommend cultural tasks.) All work beyond the irrigation labor is billable. If the parcel is 20 acres and only has 950 trees only half of it is planted. Can 950 trees be profitable? Yes they can if farmed correctly. Can those 950 trees be profitable? Can’t answer that without seeing them.
      I will send you my contact information separately. I am sure I can help you in your purchasing decision and operation efforts.

      • Hi Charley,

        My father in law owns 5 acres in Escondido that use to be an avocado grove. The trees are now dead and need to be removed. We were looking at what the cost would be to get a grove growing again when you already have the land in place with water and electrical, etc.

        • Johnna, Sorry for the late response.

          A budget number to redevelop the property back to avocado will be about $35,000.00 to $40,000.00 per acre. That will cover clearing it, installing a new irrigation system, and planting the trees. This would be for a high density spacing. Remember there is a long lead time to get trees. Since this is a replant you should pay the extra money to get trees propagated on clonal root stocks. Good luck.

  77. Hi Charley,

    I farming in a town called Pandamatenga in Botswana, Southern Africa. I am looking at planting 2 hectares of avocados: Hass, Pinkerton and Fuerte as these varieties are available here but I am unsure which is most suitable. Lastly, I understand that a type A and B tree differ in that their reproductive parts open and close in an opposite manner. Therefore, is it necessary to plant bot type A and B varieties in the same orchard to achieve flowering and fruit production.

    Kind regards,


    • Peiter,Regarding choosing which variety to plant, it is not a question of which is most suitable. The criteria is which variety has the highest demand and value in the market. I assumed you would be selling them locally. Yes there are A and B flowers. The are both on the same tree. The flower opening is not opposite but overlaps. The male flower is open longer than the female flower. We are conducting research to see if we can do something to get the flowers to be more closely in sync. Good luck. Charley

    • Dear Pieter,
      Good morning.
      I faced the same dilemma last year. I considered mixing Hass(king in the export market), Reed (niche market) and indigenous types (large delicious fruit for local market) for diversification.
      I finally decided to specialise on Hass as my target is the export market. I have been vindicated because a friend of mine who planted Hass and Reed 3 years ago has converted all the Reed to Hass in order to specialise.
      I have read research which suggests that the pollination issue (type A and B) is satisfactorily addressed by having enough bees in the plantation so I have opted for that option in order not to ever lose any sleep wondering if my avocado flowers are mating!

      • Paul, Don’t be so quick to dismiss the Reeds. The market is discovering the quality and taste of the variety. Now in the US there are not enough to meet the market demand. Research is showing that maybe the most critical aspect of pollination is having the A and B flowers opening for a longer overlap to give the bees the time to pollinate.

  78. Hello you seem like the perfect person to talk to. I’m in Norco ca 92860. And have a little under 1.5 acres of yard to fill in with avocado trees.

    Would this be a big enough lot to make decent economical production? If I only used an acre of it what is the general yield or profit that could be attained. Thank you

    And is there anyway I can talk to you through private email or whatever

    I don’t know if this forum notifies me of your reply so if you can just directly email me that be great

    • Trinidad, The trees don’t know if they are on one acre or 100 acres. On the smaller acres you lose economy of scale. One acre planted on high density spacing, properly farmed should produce 15,000 pounds or more. If you receive $1.00 per pound and spend $8,500 to produce you will have a nice profit. In Norco there are a lot of areas where it gets too cold in the winter. You should investigate the weather records before you make too much investment.

      • Hello Mr. Charley Wolk,

        We will like to invest on a avocado property in Temecula, Ca. What to do you think about the avocado business there? Is it profitable?

        • Jose, The Temecula area is a good growing area. Every now and then they have a damaging weather event. That is true of all the growing areas in southern California. The avocado business is profitable when you farm correctly. I will send you my contact information in case you need help in evaluating a purchase.

  79. Greetings CHarley,

    My question is,
    Is there any reason why driving a nail into a tree, may increase or awaken fruit production? I’m sure you’ve heard of this wives tale?
    I believe it to be nonsense, but I’ve never grown enough avos to say for sure. What would be the reason and solution for premature fruit dropping?
    Hope to hear back from you, thanks.
    Kind regards, Eric.

    • Eric, Yes driving nails in the tree was used to stimulate fruit production. The theory was the nail caused shock to which the trees reacted. The process required more than one nail per tree. It was also believed that the tree got some zinc from the nails. The strategy was abandoned as research became more specific. Also the cost of labor impacted the procedure.
      Premature fruit may be the trees natural balancing. If the drop is excessive it is probably caused by stress. not enough water, too hot, high winds. Prevention avoid or compensate for the stress.

  80. Hi I am looking into planting bacon and hass trees in our cool climate of north east vic aust to replace our chestnut trees.
    I have been enticed to do so as local gardners have had success lately growing these varieties around here. I am worried about our cooler climate and would like your advice on how many trees to start with as I may fail. I have about 10 acres of chestnut trees we wish to remove for this project.
    Do you suggest starting small ie. 4 hass 1 bacon and see if we are successful or go all out and plant in bigger numbers? Thankyou any advice would be appreciated muchly
    P.s. water does not cost us anything mpre than the electricity cost of the pump luckily

    • Stanley, If you get freezing temperature in the winter avocados won’t work. Even if the cold temperatures don’t come every year. You don’t want to make the investment than four years down the road lose it to a freeze. Remember local gardeners can more easily deal with the cold visa protecting 10 acres. All that being said I would suggest planting just a couple of trees and see how they do.

  81. Greetings Charley,
    I have been following closely your most informative answers to interested farmers across the globe and I can only but admire your zeal in Avocado farming. Avocado farming is emerging as the new “Green Gold” quickly replacing coffee and other cash crops hitherto leading export items.
    I am have been pushing the agenda especially in Western Kenya where Sugarcane and Maize farming is facing new challenges especially challenged by cheap imports from the neighboring countries and as far as Brazil and Mexico. The weather here is superb and provides two seasons of Avocado harvest per year and readily available farm labor.
    There’s therefore dire need for more reliable and sustainable crop for export that is environmental friendly yet one that is less labor intensive and with high incomes. Avocado seems to fit in very well…
    I am therefore looking for a willing partner(s) to share with my investment plan in this sector which is currently enjoying a monopoly of multinational companies hence little participation of locals in enjoying the accompanying benefits.
    Please assist me with such linkages. such investment you will be so surprised is very small yet returns can’t be matched by coffee nor tea.
    Thank you

    • David, I hope the posting may interest other readers of the blog. There have been other ventures formed by readers. Good luck.

    • Hi David, I am Mamadou I currently reside in the U.S NYC to be specific and I too have some interest in Avocado farming and Investing. Reach out to me, I’ll leave my email down below and hopefully this will mark the beginning of a beautiful partnership perhaps.

  82. Hi Charley!

    Thank you so much for writing this blog. I am doing a project in school on the avocado and had some clarifying questions. Through research, I have found that it takes approximately 10 years for an avocado tree to grow to its maturity. Does that mean that in the 10 years that it takes to mature no avocado will grow? If this is the case, I was wondering what the process is for developing a mature tree and how you would supplement your income during that time that you are waiting for the tree to grow? If you also know of any more helpful links for my project, I would really appreciate that.

    • Lexie, I believe you may be confusing maturity with commercial production. First I’m not sure when you would mark the tree as being mature. Rule of thumb is commercial production comes in 4 to 5 years after being planted. That means enough fruit to bring in harvesting crews and send the fruit to a packing house. That being said we have planted trees with fruit on them. Waiting for the commercial production requires having enough capital to care for the trees until you generate revenue. I would recommend you go to the University of California extension web site for more cultural information. The California Avocado Commission we site has a grower section that will also be helpful.

  83. Hi Charley,
    I’m interested in avocado farming for oil production. How much land would one need to have a viable (albeit artisanal) avocado farm for oil production?
    I’m in a Horticulture- Food and farming program in Canada. I’m doing a project for my fruit class: create a hypothetical farm with 3 crops. Though I’m in Canada, my ‘farm’ is in New Zealand (can grow all the fruits I am interested in). What would be the smallest plot of land on which to have high-density planting in order to produce a viable amount of oil year-round? My assignment is due in two days. Please help!

    • Stefanie, Sorry I didn’t get to your questions for your deadline. I don’t believe I could answer your questions any way. Avocado oil production in California is only small boutique operations. I personally have never produced avocado for oil. The value of fresh is too high to consider the investment in an oil operation. If you are going to have follow up on your project, I would suggest you contact the avocado industry in New Zealand. I know they have a strong avo oil industry there. Charley

      • hey Charley i am starting a small avocado buisness at my house! I’m thinking of starting with a few good trees and selling their fruit in a stand across a street until i have enough money for a good couple of ancres of lnd to start a farm! any recommendations, changes, ideas, ? if so please share! best wishes Tom (Cheers)

        • Tom, Hard to answer your question. I don’t know where you are. Allow enough room for the trees to grow. Remember you are starting a long term project. It will be a few years before you get enough production to support a sales effort.

    • I have seen oil being made in South Africa. It is a byproduct of growing avocado fruit for the fresh market. Only the low quality fruits unfit for fresh consumption are made into oil. I really doubt you could make much money growing the avocados primarily for oil.

      • Eddie & Stefanie, You need to realize using “low quality fruits unfit for fresh consumption” will produce oil of the same quality.

  84. Sir,
    Thank you for taking the time to read this and reply.
    We lost 100 mature, producing Hass Avacado trees due to wildfires in 2007. Insurance paid us $35.00 per tree, which I felt was low, given these trees produced well and future income from the trees is now gone.
    Was / is $35.00 a fair price in your professional opinion?

    John Pasenelli
    Poway, CA

    • John, That’s an easy question. No it was not fair. It has been pretty well established that when an avocado tree is lost and there is liability on someone, you have to pay more than the tree cost. First not only the tree but also the labor cost to remove the old stump and plant the new tree. In addition the cultural cost to get the new tree back in production and the value of the lost production from the damaged tree should also be part of the payment. Bottom line the number on a per tree basis is about $500.00 to $ 750.00. The number is dependent on the age and condition of the damaged trees. I didn’t mean to frustrate you.

        • Mark, There is no requirement for approval of a sale of avocado properties by the Avocado Commission or any other agency. I will send you my contact information separately.

          • Charley,
            I’m purchasing an avocado groove with approximately 1200 mature Hass avocados.
            The property has a well, and a water meter. It’s being managed by a management company at the moment. I was interested in taking over the groove myself, since i’m retired from the construction industry. How and where would I start to get information to learn to manage my own groove?

          • Rudy, Congratulations on your purchase. The best place to start is the University of California Extension Service Web site. There is information on line and books you could purchase to build your knowledge base to manage your grove. Good luck on your new venture. Charley

      • Dear John and Charley,
        I agree to Charley’s approach above.
        I am a registered values but I am unfamiliar with the local dynamics in California.
        Please engage a local valuer/appraiser to give you independent professional advice should you incur such a loss in future.

          • Hi! I’m planning on selling my avocato trees and I’m not sure at what price. It is atleast 2 feet tall and I have 3 others that are about 6 feet tall.

          • Ana, You didn’t say where you are or what size containers the trees are in. I assume you grew the trees from seed. If you have grafted them to a variety the big trees might be worth over $100.00 to a back yard buyer. If they are not grafted they are probably worth nothing even to a back yard buyer.

  85. Hello Charley,

    I planted a 2 acres avocado grove 18 months ago.Pinkerton,Reed and Fuerte were the varieties chosen as per your advise.2 days ago I had a bushfire around the grove and although the flames did not enter inside the grove all the trees on the boundaries did suffer from scorched leaves from the intense heat.My question is should these trees be replaced immediately or they might be able to recover by themselves ? Should I prune ?

    • M, Avocado production is not measured as average per year. The trees are alternate bearing and to gather the average per year would be time consuming. Production is measured in pounds per acre. Even if you average it is a better measure than per tree. That number will vary depending on the age of the tree and the quality of care.

  86. Good day Mr. Wolk

    I am just starting out growing Avocadoes in a greenhouse environment. Can you please advise on the best pre-treatment for seed for optimal germination. And is there a faster method to remove a seedcoat. Thank you in advance.

    Anneri-South Africa

    • Anneri, I really don’t have much personal knowledge about green house operations. I would suggest you go to the websites for the universities in South Africa, Israel, and California. Also I would encourage you to visit the Westphalia operations in South Africa. They are a big operation and they propagate their own trees. They are internationally known and I would be confident they could answer your questions.

  87. Hello Charley,
    I hope you are doing good.
    I live in Ghana and wanted to know about the acceptability of Ghanian avocadoes in the European market.

    Thanks in advance

    • Ayush, Since I don’t know what variety you are growing in Ghana I can’t comment on there acceptability in Europe. I would first check to see if the European market will accept the product from Ghana.

      • hello mr wolk
        I am so glad to find you online and go thru your knowledge and advice.
        I am writing from Bhutan . A small himalayan country between Giant india and china
        We dont grow avacado on large scale but i want to start growing avacado .i am interested for hass , furte in 2 acre of land.
        The weather condition is perfect for growing avacado i believe
        Can you please give me your brilliant insight on this subject and capital required for 2 acre of land .
        Thanking you

        • Kamal, I will give you some considerations for starting a small commercial avocado growing operation in your country. First you said the weather condition was perfect for growing avocado. I assume that during the year you have no freezing conditions. To get started you will have to clear the land, prepare the soil, install an irrigation system, get trees and plant them. If you plant on high density spacing you will need about 600 trees. I don’t know of a commercial tree nursery serving your area. If you try to grow your own trees from seeds remember the seedling has to be grafted to a varietal. I don’t know the labor rates in your country so I can’t estimate the capital requirements. If you take the tasks above and estimate the time required to accomplish them and apply the labor rate you will have a capital investment estimate. Good luck.

  88. Hi Charlie l am Michael l live in Zimbabwe Nyanga village,l got interested with with tree planting but right now l want to start a business of planting ,l decided to plant avocados but for the first time l gat 3htres of land ,how many plants can l start with? Which type can l plant for business? and if l start it does avocados have labour or profit

    • Michael, You need to first evaluate the climate, the market, and irrigation water availability. If the weather gets hot you will need to irrigate. What variety to plant depends on the market preference. You will probably be selling locally. Are avocados available there now? If you plant the trees 12×12 you can get about 750 trees to the hectare. I don’t know where you would be able to get trees. Whether you will be profitable depends on your cost of production and the gross revenue. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  89. Charlie

    We grow avaccados in between our coffee plantations in south India. They are I believe the Bacon variety ones. If we have to tap into the US market how can we do this? USDA does not list India as the import country for Avacados

    • Rohan, Getting permission to ship avocados to the US is a long process. Mostly driven by pest evaluations. I would suggest contacting USDA.

    • Good evening Charley,

      First, thanks a lot for sharing ypur experience er your blog. I am passionate by the avocado business and would like to know more about it. I would like to visit you and have a tour of your farm. I live in Houston. Is it ok with you to visit ? Best regards

      • Henry, Your request is very flattering. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to be a proper host for a visit you describe. Sorry.

  90. Afternoon Charley
    Is there any resource that sells bulk Avocados, as well as other tropical citrus and fruit trees that you can buy in bulk at less than
    20-30 per plant

    • Mark, You didn’t say where you are or where you are trying to buy trees. The price of the trees will vary with type and the size of the tree. I also don’t know what you have in mind for bulk sales. Commercially orchard development would be buying trees in quantities of 100’s to 1000’s. For avocados they will be paying about $30 per tree, depositing 25% of the total cost and waiting until 2020 to get trees. I trust this gives you some perspective on tree purchases. Thanks, Charley

      • Mr Wolk,

        My name is Ashley and I’m investigating the profitability of starting an avocado farm in Waroona, Western Australian. I’ve got a few questions:

        How long does it take for trees to produce at full capacity?
        How much water do avocado trees need for irrigation, assuming a Mediterranean climate like California?
        What are the initial costs other than buying trees?
        How much are trees worth assuming you’re buying for more than 300 acres?
        What is the expected yield per Tree (Hass variety, irrigated in the US)?
        What are the labour requirement per acre ( assuming economies of scale)?

        Thanks for your help,

        • Ashley, I don’t believe anyone has asked me how long to get to full capacity production. The reason is there are too many variables. Usually the question is how long does it take to get commercial production after planting. The answer to that question is four to five years. Full capacity will come after that and it depends on how good a farmer you are.
          A mature avocado tree will require about 450 gallons of water per week.
          The initial costs are land clearing, soil preparation, irrigation installation, and planting. You would need to get labor estimates locally. In California development cost are about $25,000 to $30,000 per acre depending on tree density.
          In California a Hass tree on clonal root stock cost about $32. You would need to check with the nurseries in Australia.
          I never think of production on z per tree basis. The usual measure is per acre. A correctly farmed high density planted acre of Hass should yield between 14,000 to 18,000 pounds.
          I don’t know how to answer your last question. Good look on your venture. Charley

  91. Hello Charley

    Thank you in advance for taking your time to respond.

    I live in Mexico City. I am currently trying to help a few people to get out of poverty. They live in Michoacán, and want to grow Avocados commercially. They already have some land, and plenty more is available to lease (and then buy). I am willing to finance the project at the beginning, but want to make sure that the money is used wisely so the project could be feasible.

    What would be your general advices? What are the main issues to consider? What is the best type of avocado to grow?

    • Isaac, Review the information in the University of California web site UCAVO.UCR.EDU. This will give the basic information. I would also suggest you check if there are any political or government consideration for new plantings in Michoacán. Varieties for planting consideration would be Haas, Reed, and Gem. Good luck on your venture. Charley

    • Hey Isaac,

      I am look form information on grow Avocado tree in Michoacán too. My family has some land and I could rent some more if need. I am trying to put the land in use and had help some town people by providing jobs. Is there any program by the Mexican government to help start. It would be great full if you could send me any information that you have gathered. I just started to gathered information so I don’t have any plane in place. I also wanted to see if I can afforded to start it up. If you could send me any information at my name is Jose.

  92. Hello Charley. I am in a group of students who are tasked with compiling information about investing in agriculture, and we have picked avocados. I thought that you may be a valuable resource as an actual avocado farmer. How long would you say it would take a new avocado farm to start producing if we were to be growing on fertile land in Mexico, but that land is not accustomed to avocado trees. Some sources online say it can take many years to get off the ground, is that true? Also us students have come up with a product similar to the nutella & go product with guacamole and tortilla sticks, as someone who works in the field due you think this would be feasible with constant refridgeration and fresh ingredients or is guacamole to delicate a snack. Thanks so much for your help

    • Luke, Your info is correct but not accurate. A newly planted avocado orchard is expected to reach commercial production in four or five years depending on some variables. The trees will produce fruit before that but not enough to warrant harvesting crews and delivery of fruit to a packing house. Your snack pack may be a little more difficult. There have been frozen guacamole products available for some time. I am not aware of any products that will stay fresh with just refrigeration. You might want to do a computer search. There has been considerable effort to discover a process to keep it fresh for the application you suggest. Maybe someone broke through.

  93. Hi ! I am interessed in buying an avcado farm in Panama, producing 650.000 lbs per year, how much can I expect in revenu and profits ? thanks !

    • Tommy, I really can’t answer the question. I don’t know much it cost to produce the crop and I don’t know where it is being sold.

    • Alex, I’m not sure how you are using the word globalization. Let me offer this comment. The weather conditions for growing in all the countries impacts decisions in all the other countries. What the size distribution and timing of the harvest is in one country has to be considered in the other countries. Same impact from market conditions in one market effects decisions in the producing countries. You simply are not standing alone in the deal.

  94. Hi Charles,

    I’m an engineer but have recently develop interest in farming avocados, especially setting up an orchard in my home country Cameroon where I come from. I don’t have much information on planting this crop nor how to get good yielding seeds. Please can you advise on which way to go? I’m going to doing this for commercial purpose.


    • Andy, Best place to start for establishing an avocado orchard is the University of California web site, UCAVO.UCR.EDU. Good luck. Charley

  95. Hi Charley,

    Hello Charlie,

    My name is Felipe Rivera, I am first generation American and my father has passed on to me 5 hectares of land in Valle Del Cauca, Colombia, there is much more altogether but it is divided up into parcels among my uncles and aunts. In the past this land was strictly for Coffee, but as the market opened up to the US from Colombia, I was considering putting my land to good use and looking into commercial growing and shipping of Hass Avocados.
    I am in the process of doing research and seeing what sort of startup costs this has. I would appreciate any information, things I should be aware of and expertise you might be willing to share with me.

    Thank you for your time.

    • Felipe, Congratulations on your good fortune. I have no information on production costs in Columbia. There is an Avocado organization in Columbia. They should be able to help you not only with production costs but also nurseries that can furnish trees. You might find it humorous that you are looking at converting coffee production land to avocados. In California there are avocado growers who are planting coffee in their avocado groves.

  96. Good afternoon
    I am from Colombia, I am 18 years old and I am a Marketing and International Business student.

    I am contacting you because I need information about the avocado production: Costs of production per hectare or the area mesure you prefer, packing, packaging and packed costs. And how many Avocados are export.

    I would really really appreciate your help.

    • Andrea, I really can’t answer your question. You didn’t say but the wording of the question infers you are asking about Columbia. There is an avocado organization in Columbia and they should have the information you are looking for. Charley

  97. Hi Charley Wolk,

    Thanks for such a great sharing! I am from Malaysia and have a small land of 1000 acres. I would like to step into avocado industry and hence need your professional advice.

    1. Knowing there could plant 300-400 trees per acre. From the reading of the blog, I found your reply: “8,000 to 18,000 pounds per acre”. Is it meant for a month? year? or if per season, how many months for a season?

    Thank you for your kind advise.

    • Mr. Chan, The production is for one year. It could be called for the season. The season length will vary depending on what area pf the world the orchard is located.

  98. Hello sir,
    I have a group project on making a farm and I got the Colorado river region. My group and I decided that we wanted to grow avocados.
    1. How much land do we need.
    2. What type of soil do we need.

    • Joshua, I assume you are doing a hypothetical exercise for a school project. You can’t grow avocados in the Colorado River region. If you could some one would being doing it. It is too hot or too cold depending where you are on the river. You would need a well drained soil. How much land you need depends on other factors. How much capital do you have? What are the objectives in your business plan? I believe you need to return to the beginning of your analysis.

      • Hey Charley! Thanks for your work!

        I’m looking at a property in Temecula that has 1000+ avocado trees. Wondering if we could chat about upsides and downsides.


  99. Hi, in studying avocadoes for a Geography assignment as was wondering if you can help me a little.

    I understand that avocados are able to grow in many different climates but I am unable to find what type of avocado grows best in what climate.

    it would be a massive help if you would be able to assist me.

    • Lauren, I don’t believe I would say avocados grow in many different climates. The general description of the climate to grow avocados is tropical or Mediterranean. You can look at a map to where those areas may be. There is little difference in preferred climates between the different varieties of avocados. Good luck on your assignment. Charley

  100. Hello, this question is slightly off-topic, but I hope you can help 🙂 I am a fiction writer (UK based) and am doing some research on avocado farms. I have a character who will be visiting one. This character will know the farmer well. I like to make my writing as authentic as possible and have a few questions:
    1. How many acres would you say would make a profitable farm that could be run by say, 3-6 people, excluding fruit pickers?
    2. Would you be able to estimate approx how many trees that would be?
    3.How much fruit could a mature tree produce in a season (approx)?
    4.What types of wildlife could this character expect to encounter? (Birds, reptiles, rodents etc friendly and non-friendly!)
    5.Approx how much space would be required between each tree? (ie can they be planted closely together or should they, ideally, not touch each other?)
    6. How long does the fruit take to grow (from a flower?) and when is the best time to harvest?
    7. How tall (approx) would a mature tree grow to?
    Thank you so much for any time you can spend answering these questions. Very much appreciated. Nicola

    • Nicola, Tough to answer your questions. You don’t say where this fictional avocado farm is located. I will try to answer as Much as I can.
      1. The question is not answerable.
      2. A medium high density planting would be about 300 trees per acre.
      3. WE don’t think in terms of pounds of fruit per tree rather pounds per acre. Not knowing where this orchard is and other variables the production could be between 8,000 to 18,000 pounds per acre.
      4. Depends where you are.
      5. High density plantings could be as close as 10×10 or 12×12. The first number is the distance between the trees and the second number is the distance between the rows.
      6. Depends on the variety. Generally between 10 to 14 months. The best time to harvest is when the fruit has enough oil. Again dependent on the variety and location.
      7. Again depends on the variety and where it is being grown. If the tree weren’t pruned it could grow to 40 to 50 feet high.

      Hope this helps. Good luck.

      • Wow, that’s brilliant. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.The fictional farm is located in California (at the moment near to Bakersfield, although that could change). Again, thanks for the really useful information 🙂

  101. Hi Mr Charlie.
    I hope you doing fine.
    I am a beginner Avocado Farmer, up to now I am already plant 400 trees of Hass Avocado.Normally in our regional we get rain from December to April, I panted this year January , but I want to now some other things. Can I plant beans in that farm too or any crops related to beans? Can I irrigate it during dry season and how can I irrigate in a month or a week? What I intend is to grow that Avocado in organic, whats kind of pesticides can I use so that to make the fruits to be Organic?Due to you long experience of this kind of farming , can you tell me about the market of this Fruits? I am growing it in Ludewa Njombe Region in Tanzania, we are just along lake nyasa. I have seen some some clip shows Avocado oil extraction in California, pls will you link me with a Company which produce that plats for extracting Avocado oil?
    Humbly to hear from you Mr Charlie.

    • Michael, I don’t know what the weather is in your area. So I don’t know how much rain you receive from December to April. Even if you get rain you may still need to irrigate. For sure you will have to irrigate when there is no rain. You didn’t say how old the first 400 trees are. Their age will be one of the considerations for how much to irrigate. There has been research in the major avocado growing areas. You can computer search the research then adjust it to your area. I do not recommend inter planting other crops with the avocados. In most cases the crops will not have the same irrigation or fertilizer requirements. You will need to check with your government to find out what they require for organic certification. If they have none you can search the US or California requirements for organic certification. Marketing of the fruit will have to start in your Country. You will have to find out if other countries will allow entry of your fruit. I know that Tanzania is not approved for avocado export into the US. Any company in California producing avocado oil is doing it on a small scale. The avocados are worth too much in the fresh market to justify making oil. Good luck on your venture.

  102. Hello Mr. Charley Wolk,

    Thank you for your dedication to avocados and setting up this blog for all of those interested in growing this fruit.

    I am looking to purchase Haas Avocado plants to set up a business on an acre of land. Would using LED lighting for 24 hours a day and precision irrigation in an indoor greenhouse structure accelerate the growth process? What kind of quality can I expect from the offspring of the Haas Avocado plants in optimal growth settings? Are there any licensing issues with selling the offspring of a product that I purchased from a nursery?

    Thanks again for your help. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Jeffrey, The question of growing avocados in a green house keeps being asked. My reply is the same. The plant is a tree not a bush. I don’t know how you could keep it contained to grow indoors and produce fruit. The flowers need to be pollinated. This is usually done be bees. I don’t know that the bees would perform indoors. You can’t expect anything from the offspring of A Hass avocado. Avocados have to be grafted. So a scion from a producing Hass tree has to be grafted to a seedling. You can grow a tree from the seed. You may or may not get fruit. It won’t be Hass. It might be some fruit from the parent root stock.

  103. Hi Charley.I want to supply companies with avocados for manufacturing of by-products.My avocados are not suitable for human consumption.

    • Marcus, You didn’t say where you are so it is hard to respond. Most of the avocado manufacturing is done outside of the United States because the cost of the avocado is too high to make processing profitable. I would suggest doing a computer search for companies in your area. Also you didn’t mention how much avocado you have. If it is also a small amount I don’t believe you will find many interested. Of course the first questions is why are your avocados not suitable for human consumption. Good luck.

  104. Was wondering if you explain something to me.. I am completely not a grower and dont know much about gardening at all. I have been hearing that most fruit trees today are grown from grafts or rootstocks. Can you, in !terms, explain what exactly that means and how it is done? Does it mean they cut off a peice of an older tree and plant it until it turns into a tree itself and therefore produces fruit earlier because it came from a mature tree? Thankyou

    • Savannah, You are close most fruit trees have to be grafted to produce the desired fruit. For example you cannot plant the seed from a Hass avocado and get a tree that will produce Hass avocados. You will get a seedling that will eventually grow into an avocado tree. It will not be a Hass tree. It may or may not produce fruit. If it produces fruit it will probably be from the parent root stock. Grafting is taking a piece of a producing tree called a bud, That is grafted to a seedling by shaping the two pieces to fit tight against each other and wrapping it so the two pieces stay in contact. I don’t know what would happen if you plant a branch from a producing tree. If did root I don’t believe it would produce fruit. If you are interested in more science and detail you can go to the University of California web site. Go to avocado there is a section on grafting. Charley

  105. Hi, Charley. I was wondering if you know of a good place to buy a little bit larger, more mature avocado trees in the Southern California area. I have a decent sized backyard and would like to purchase a few trees that will produce fruit right away in good amounts. Is the 27-gallon size the largest that most places sell, or is there anywhere that sells larger trees?

    If you know of any nurseries that sell the little bit larger trees, I would appreciate any help you could give me.

    Thanks, Mike

    • Mike, Be careful that you don’t make a decision based on a false economy. My preference is always for smaller trees. The larger trees in larger containers tend to be root bound. I only know of nurseries having avocado trees in 15 gallon containers. I have never seen the trees in larger containers. Get the small tree, plant and maintain it properly and very quickly you will have more fruit than you can eat. Good luck

      • Charley, thanks for the great advice.

        That’s what I’ll do, I’ll get the smaller trees,
        but more of them.

        Thanks again, Mike

    • Tshepo, I’m really not sure I understand your question. 8 trees would not require a production plan. Just follow the advice I have given to others. Choose a location where the trees have enough room to grow. Plant the trees on mounds about three feet in diameter and 12 to 18 inches high. Install a system to irrigate the trees. After that you have to care for them to get them into production. Good luck.

    • Casey, Tough question to answer. You didn’t say where you are. 20 mature trees will produce a lot of fruit. If there are packing houses nearby I would check with them. The problem is while 20 trees will produce a lot of fruit it is not enough to make a deal. You may have to plan the selling of the fruit at road side, farmers markets or swap meets. Good luck.

  106. Hey Charley,
    First and foremost I am a huge fan of your blog!
    I’m doing research into the avocado industry and wanted your opinion on how a theoretical business could expand it’s business. The five options we are considering are the following:
    1. Investing on reducing the cost of production
    2. Developing new types of avocados through R&D
    3.Lobbying for tariffs and protections from Congress
    4.Buying a stake in one or more foreign avocado companies
    5. Purchase foreign land in other countries and start production there

    You are very knowledgable, so I was hoping you had some insight on whether or not some of these ideas would be helpful/hurtful for the company. Thanks!

    • Michael, Good questions. I will give you short answers. To go into detail would take a long time. First some of your ideas are already being investigated with research dollars from the Avocado Commission. So investing in ways to reduce cost is always a wise investment. One should review research to get the current strategies. The California industry has a long and ongoing research on new varieties. I doubt private money could afford it because the effort is long term. Lobbying for tariff protection is a waste of money. IN the current international area it simply is not going to happen. 4 and 5 are tied together and would require similar analysis. It is a viable alternative and there are US growers and businesses that a stake in off shore operations. Good luck on your venture. Charley

  107. Hello Charlie. My wife and I are considering growing avocado trees in about a 1/3 of an acre. We are interested in speaking to someone about the financial worthiness of this venture. Can you pass along my email address and have someone contact me?

    • Tom, I will send you my contact information separately. Avos will grow on 1/3 acre. The tree doesn’t know how large a parcel it is on. That being said you have to accept there is very little economy of scale from 1/3 acre.

      • Hello Charley,

        My husband and I are about to make an offer on a 17 acre avocado farm in Vista, CA. This is a complete change of lifestyle for us, however, one that has been our goal for quite some time. We have stumbled upon what seems to be the perfect established farm (you most likely even know the current owner and her sister, as they have been in this business for as long as you have). I would appreciate being able to communicate with you privately as we would love to learn everything we can and possibly even hire you or someone you may recommend to help manage the grove should we be fortunate enough to have an accepted offer from this seller.

        I could not find a way to reach you other than to respond to another existing post as it would not allow me to post something new or directly to you.

        Thank you in advance and I hope to be able to communicate with you soon.


  108. Hi Charley, I’ve been planning a 70 production acre avocado farm. Your professional knowledge would be appreciated. Can we communicate via email?

      • Hi Charley,

        We are thinking to grow some avocados trees in The Congo. Could you give me a approximation about how many acres do I have to use to be profitable? And if you don’t mind could you tell me the kg/tree we can collect and how many days we have to wait to from the first collection to the second one?

        Thanks a lot Charley

        • Jose, I don’t know how many acres you need to be profitable in the Congo. Profit is a function of how you receive minus how much it cost you to produce it. I don’t know where you are planning to sell them so I have no idea what the market would be. I don’t even know where you would go to buy trees. Avocados are harvested by size, fruit quality, and the market. That number will vary base on the age of the trees. Good

          • Dear Jose,
            I trust that your avocado venture is going well. You may call me on +254728130925 so that we can share our experiences. I live in Kenya, where I have a certified grafted Hass avocado farm and seedling nursery. I will be happy to call you if you let me have your number.

          • Paul, You have to give all the readers a report on how the different growers are doing.

    • Hi, Charles, my name is Frank, and I grow avocados in Nicaragua, but I decided to go back to the U.S. And continue growing avocados, I understand land and water in California are too expensive, so I am trying to find cheaper land elsewere to continue in the avocado business, is there any info available about quality soil, weather, regulations, or just a map of the areas in the U.S. Where it can be beneficial for my dream.

      • Frank, Your quest for avocado growing areas with inexpensive land and water is a dream many are pursuing. The simple answer is that any potential growing area must be frost free. With that criteria there are only a few areas that meet that criteria, some areas of California, Texas. and Florida. That being said I don’t believe that land will be cheap. Water will probably be less costly in Florida. Contacting local Chambers of Commerce may be your best source of information. Good luck. Charley

      • Frank:
        Have you considered Puerto Rico? PR is a commonwealth of the U.S. and farming is regulated by the USDA. You can definitely find inexpensive land! But take in consideration the cost of moving the produce to your desire market.

    • Hi Charley enjoy your blogg,

      I love the Deluz area and I’m thinking of moving there for the peacefulness and possibly making additional income growing and selling avocados, was thinking of aprox 10acres. I’m a landscaper so I could do a lot of the work such as irrigation and I have employees that can help with planting cleaning harvesting etc. Some questions are if I grow them farther apart instead of the 12’x12’ to avoid yearly pruning then would I be working harder harvesting the avocados by climbing up the trees? Also what about selling them commercially is that not a problem is it easy to get them sold? Also please email me your information so I can get a consultation. Thanks Jose.

      • Jose,You are right planting further apart will reduce pruning requirements. The flip side is you will produce less fruit per acre and harvesting cost will increase every year. I will send you my contact information separately. Selling them depends on your having a market. That is difficult. Selling them to a packing house is easy.

  109. 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.

  110. 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

  111. 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

  112. 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

  113. 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

  114. 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?



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

  115. 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 ?


  116. 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, 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.

  117. 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!



    • 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.

  118. 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, 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

  119. 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

  120. 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

  121. 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

  122. 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.

  123. 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.


    • 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

  124. 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.


  125. 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

      • Dear Jacob and Charley,

        I have read the above communication very keenly.

        I know a Kenyan farmer who has a borehole (i.e. a deep machine-drilled well, distinguishable from hand-dug wells of up to about 30 m or 100ft and which are common in Africa). She has switched from growing chillies for export to Hass avocados for export – Kenya sells its avocados mainly to Europe and Asia.

        The rule of thumb is that avocados grow in any well-designed soil which is not saline or prone to frost. Rider: every rule has exceptions – for example water from some boreholes is so “salty” that the soil requires periodic treatment to correct the pH (acidity/alkalinity) and to balance the minerals.

        Therefore, either take the necessary advice before planting or do an experiment with 1 acre first. The first option saves time but costs money while the second one costs time and some money.

        Please call me on +254728130925 to discuss this further or let me have your number so that I can call you to share my experiences. Cheers. Paul, Kenya.

        • Paul, You are spot on. If there is any question about the salinity in the water you have to get it tested before you start spending capital. If you know what it is you can evaluate alternatives to deal with it.

    • 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

  126. 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?


    • 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

  127. 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
      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

      • Hello Charley,

        I am interested in commercial sale in avocados.
        The land can range average rainfall from 300-1000 mm. Most of the rainfall comes between June and August. Less preferred coastal regions can reach 22 and 26 °C with 2200 mm of rainfall a year.

        – What is the cost of production per acre?
        What is the producer surplus?
        -How many times can I expect the crop in the year?
        -What would an initial investment look like?
        -What are other areas of focus required for investment and return?
        -Is that an achievable goal for someone not seeking manual labor for participation?
        -What financial contributions will be required?

        • George, The temperature and rainfall information is acceptable for growing avocados. You may have to have irrigation if the rainfall is not spread out over the year. I can’t answer the rest of the questions because you didn’t tell me where you are. Sorry. Charley

  128. 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

  129. 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

  130. 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

  131. 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

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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

    • Dear John,
      Has your problem been resolved?
      Whateverthe case you may call me on +254728130925 so that we can share our experiences. I live in Kenya, where I have a certified grafted Hass avocado seedling nursery.
      A farmer who lives in Texas bought some seedlings from me about 6 months ago for planting in Kenya and they are doing very well. Paul

  135. 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.

  136. 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

  137. 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

  138. 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, 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

  139. 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.


    • 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

  140. 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

  141. 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

    • Hi Justin
      Ive been reading the Avacado blog and was wondering if you have started avacado production. If so what type.
      I am UK based importer, with a history in Jamaican food importing.
      Menelaus Louca

  142. 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 ?


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

  143. 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

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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

    • 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.

  147. 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.

  148. 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

  149. 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, 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

  150. 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


    • 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.

  152. 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, 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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

  155. 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.

    • 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 .

  156. 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.


    • 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

  157. 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?


    • 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.

  158. 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

  159. 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.

  160. 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.

  161. 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

  162. 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.

  163. 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

  164. 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.


    • 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.

  165. 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, 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

  166. 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.

    • 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?

  167. 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.

  168. 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.

  169. 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.


    • 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.

  171. 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.

  172. 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

  173. 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?

  174. 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?

    • 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.

  175. 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.

  176. 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.


    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.
      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?

  177. 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?


  178. 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


  179. 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

  180. 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

  181. 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.

  182. 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

  183. 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

  184. 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.

  185. 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

  186. 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.

  187. 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 is about 500 meter over sea level and we get decent amount of rain during 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.

  188. 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

  189. 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.

  190. 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

  191. 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.

  192. 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

  193. 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?