How Long Does it Take An Avocado To Bear Fruit?

EddyAvocado1

So… how long does it take an avocado to bear fruit? With Eddy’s method… as short as 3 years… but I’m getting ahead of myself. His seedling avocado is quite a success story.

(So you were hoping I’d knock off all the “growing trees from seed” posts? NEVER!)

I was down in Fort Lauderdale a few weekends ago working on The Great South Florida Food Forest Project when I ran into my friend Eddy… and remembered his avocado tree.

how long does it take an avocado to bear fruit

Check it out – probably a 9″ caliper on this thing… and it’s just a baby.

Eddy is a charismatic hands-on farmer who owns a coffee plantation down in Puerto Rico. He’d shown me this avocado tree before but I didn’t think to take a picture then. (Eddy also grows edible air potatoes and shared some bulbils with me in the past.)

This time I got pictures and the whole story.

A friend of Eddy’s had an avocado tree that was highly productive and had borne many crops over the years. The man shared his avocados with his family and friends (which included Eddy.) Unfortunately, this friend discovered he was dying of cancer. Thinking ahead, he brought a little seedling from his avocado tree to Eddy and said “Here, take this tree… grow it for me.”

Shortly afterwards, he passed away.

Eddy, not being content with simply putting the tree in the ground, went for some serious overkill on his planting of the now-sacred seedling. Here’s what he did.

Eddy’s Method For Getting an Avocado To Fruit

“David,” he told me, “I dug this huge hole, man. Like… three feet deep. Then I dumped in lots of MiracleGro, buried it in, then put in more, you know… really deep. Then I planted the tree on that.”

I asked him how old the tree was – and when it started to produce.

seedling avocado bearing fruit already

Eddy and his avocado tree

“It’s four years old now… coming into its fifth year. When it was three years old, I decided to graft onto it. But the graft died. Then I told the tree… ‘make fruit this year or I’m gonna cut you down. I’ll kill you!’ And it did – David, it did! It bore fruit. No lie.”

Most literature on avocados states that it will take five yours or more for an avocado tree to bear fruit; Eddy’s avocado fruited in three. Impressive.

So there you go – another “fruit tree from seed” success story. This tree is totally beautiful and probably getting close to 20′ tall. I’ve never tried the “burying lots of MiracleGro” method and swearing to kill the tree if it fails to bear… but if I ever have a friend dying of cancer that hands me a seedling… by golly… I will.

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11 comments

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  • I have an avocado tree which sprouted in a glass of water. Its atleast 6 years old and no fruit. I bought another one about 5 years ago for cross pollination and that hasn’t fruited either. |Both look really healthy. I live in the hills of Perth Western Australia. I have a grandaughter who’s partner planted about 20 cultured ones they were about a foot high and they fruited the next year.

    • The juvenile period should be just about over – it should bloom very soon now.

      Grafted trees bloom faster because the bud/scion wood used for the top of the tree is already from a mature avocado and is ready to bloom. The grafted tree might be quite young, but the top of it is already at sexual maturity and is ready to fruit.

      If your trees don’t fruit in the next couple of years, you can always cut the tops back and graft onto them. Good luck and thank you for the field report.

  • I too live in Australia, but the East Coast, Brisbane, and I have grown approx 25 – 30 young trees from seed (after much experimentation, I gave the tooth pick method away and now plant directly into soil). I have bought a grafter tree ready to use for grafting and have planted this into the ground, most of the others are still potted. Ideally I would like to grow these to fruiting stage and/or learn to graft in order to sell them. I wonder why the ones for sale are always in those black plastic grow bags, and whether I should be using these too. Any other tips very welcome too, thanks 🙂

  • My avocado tree does not allow fruits to grow to full size, it always at any given stage has flowers, very tiny fruits and slightly big but not fully grown fruits. How can I solve this, I am in Harare Zimbabwe.

    • Sounds like you need another tree to pollinate it – many avocados are not self-fertile. Is there another tree present?

  • I have 2 10gal pots, ea w/ 6 – 8 avocado trees (from seed) several years old (mixed varieties).
    Will several avocado trees actually grow to maturity, & fruit, that close together.
    Intension was that they cross pollinate well!

    Yes, I do top them ea year to 3 – 4′ tall since they grow so rampid! (I live in zone6 Missouri).
    Any comments??????????????

    • I am really not sure if it will keep them from growing to maturity. It’s a great experiment, though – just wait and see!

  • Hi David,
    Just fell in love with your gardening skills, and that pure love you have for such.
    About your friend Eddie. That tree that he has beside his Soursop, I believe it’s called an Annoyed tree or Achiote. It is added as coloring to the Goya seasoning called Sazon. David! where are you located?

  • David! The word is not annoyed. LOL
    The plant is Annatto or Achiote.

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