Monday, October 28, 2013

Avocado Tree producing in Wellington, New Zealand


It is commonly (though not universally) believed Avocados (Persea americana) cannot fruit in the cool temperate climate of  New Zealand's capital. 

This is a more cold tolerant variety, the 'Bacon' (it doesn't taste like Bacon, it's named after it's breeder). It grows happily in an unusually cold Central Wellington Valley,taking frost down to -3 C  (26.6 F).  I tried the more common variety 'Hass', usually reported to tolerate temperatures to around 0 C, it died the first winter (because most of Wellington is frost free 'Hass' might work in most places). If your first attempt at growing Avocados doesn't work, it might just be you need a more cold tolerant variety, 'Mexicola' takes frosts down to around -7 C (19.4 F) !

This tree started bearing after around 7 years, it flowered for three years without producing any fruit , it is only six feet tall. The fruits appear to be rather small, but very tasty, they took about a year to ripen. The flowers probably self pollinated, an example of the fact that Avocados do not need a pollinator in cool climates.       

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