When Does An Avocado Tree Produce Fruit?


If you have recently planted avocado trees in your yard, you might not be seeing any fruit on the branches yet.  In that case, you may be wondering when avocado trees bear fruit, and if there is anything you can do differently to help them along.

So, when does an avocado tree produce fruit?  An avocado tree can produce fruit year round, since fruit can be left on the tree for months and harvested when desired.  An avocado tree will produce fruit 3 to 4 years after planting a tree from a nursery, or 5 to 13 years after planting from seed.

Of course, depending on the variety you choose, it may take a longer time for your avocado tree to start producing fruit.  There are other factors like improper pruning, over fertilization, and environmental conditions that can delay the growth of fruit on your avocado tree.

Let’s take a closer look at avocado trees, when they bear fruit, and the factors that can affect your harvest.

When Does an Avocado Tree Produce Fruit?

You can get fruit from an avocado tree practically year-round.  The reason is that the fruit can be left on the tree for months, and picked when you want them.  It takes a few days to a week or more for the fruit to ripen once it has been picked.

avocado tree
Avocados can be left on the tree for months and picked when you want them.

Avocado trees take 3 to 4 years to start producing fruit when planting a young tree from a nursery.  On the other hand, avocado trees can take 5 to 13 years to start producing fruit when planted from seed.

Most trees produce fruit for many months (for instance, April to September), so if you leave some of it on the tree, you can harvest in all seasons.

Do Avocado Trees Produce Fruit Every Year?

No, avocado trees do not produce fruit every year.  For at least the first few years, they will not be mature enough to set fruit.

In the first few years of life, an avocado tree will be focusing its energy on growth and storage of energy and nutrients.  If young trees do produce fruit, it will only be a small amount.

young avocado tree
An avocado tree this young and small needs to focus its energy on growth, not fruit!

Also, keep in mind that problems like over pruning and over fertilization can delay fruiting on an avocado tree by a year or more.

In some cases, you will see what is called “biennial bearing” (or alternate bearing) in your avocado trees.  This means that they will only flower and produce fruit every other year.

Often, this will happen after a year of very heavy fruit production.  Essentially, the tree’s resources are exhausted from using so many nutrients to produce a large harvest.  The tree then takes a year to recover its strength and prepare for production the following year.

You may be able to avoid biennial bearing by thinning the flowers and fruit in heavy years.

For more information on avocado trees, check out this article from the University of California.

How Much Fruit Does An Avocado Tree Produce?

A mature avocado tree (5 to 7 years old) can produce 200 to 300 fruits per year.

avocado buds
Here we can see avocado buds. Avocado trees will not produce fruit for at least a few years after planting.

The fruit can weigh as little as a few ounces, to as much as 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms).  Usually, the fruit does not ripen until it is taken from the tree.  Ripening occurs 3 to 8 days after an avocado is picked.

Avocado trees can live to be 400 years old, and some of these ancient trees can still produce fruit!

What Kind Of Avocado Tree Should I Buy?

When selecting an avocado tree, make sure to choose one that you can grow in your climate!  For more information, check out the USDA Zone Hardiness map to see what zone you are in.

Here are some different varieties of avocado trees that you might want to try.

All of these avocado trees are available on the Four Winds Growers website.

Do You Need Two Avocado Trees To Get Fruit?

No, you do not need two avocado trees to get fruit.  Avocado flowers contain both male and female parts

bee on blueberry flower
Bees can help to cross pollinate avocado trees, which can help to increase fruit yield.

However, you will get more fruit with other avocado trees planted nearby.  It may also be beneficial to plant one avocado tree of each type (A type and B type) to ensure proper pollination and optimal fruit set.

For more information, check out this page on avocado trees from the Fast Growing Trees website.

What Other Factors Affect Fruit On Avocado Trees?

The quality of care that you give your avocado trees will determine how much fruit you get each year.  Some of the most important factors are temperature, watering, fertilizing, and pruning.

Temperature for Avocado Trees

Most avocado trees are frost sensitive, meaning that the lowest temperature they can tolerate is 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).  Some varieties, such as Feurte and Pinkerton, can tolerate temperatures a few degrees colder, down to 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius).

As a result of this cold sensitivity, the best states for growing avocados are California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.  According to The Tree Center website, the cold-hardy varieties can grow in Zone 9 or warmer parts of Zone 8.

Outside of these areas, you may need to grow the avocado tree indoors.

The Mexicola Grande variety of avocado stands out for cold tolerance, since it can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius).

Watering For Avocado Trees

If you have young avocado trees, avoid letting the soil get dry for too long.  If you have a problem with dry soil, check out my article on preventing dry soil.

Avocado trees are drought tolerant once they are established.  When you water them, give a deep, thorough watering rather than frequent shallow waterings.  Also, let the soil get dry for a bit between waterings.

garden hose
Be careful not to over water your avocado tree!

Remember that over watering can spell death for your avocado tree, due to root rot or fungal diseases.  Avocado trees need well-draining soil.  If necessary, you can plant your avocado trees on a mound to assist with drainage.

For more information, check out my article on over watering.

Fertilizing For Avocado Trees

Avocado trees are heavy feeders, so it may be necessary to use fertilizers as a supplement, in order to provide extra nutrients if your soil is lacking. The best way to tell if you need fertilizer is with a soil test.

soil
A soil test will help you to determine if you need fertilizer or a pH adjustment.

For more information, check out my article on soil testing.

Remember that it is possible to harm or kill your avocado trees by over fertilizing them.  For example, too much nitrogen can prevent your avocado tree from producing any fruit.

For more information, check out my article on over fertilizing, and my article on low-nitrogen fertilizers.

Pruning for Avocado Trees

Pruning during the first two years or so should be done to encourage lateral (sideways or horizontal) branches.

After the tree matures, it is helpful to cut the tops of the trees back so that the total height is 10 to 15 feet.  This makes it easier to prune and harvest the tree in future years.

pruning shears
Avocado trees should be pruned to keep them to a manageable height for care and harvest.

For early varieties, you should prune shortly after harvest.  For late varieties, you should prune after the danger of frost has passed.

For more information on pruning, check out this article on avocados from the University of Florida Extension.

Spacing for Avocado Trees

Avocado trees should be planted 23 to 30 feet away from other trees or buildings, depending on their size.

Conclusion

By now, you have a good idea of when avocado trees are mature enough to produce fruit, and what time of year to expect fruit.  You also know a bit more about how to take care of avocado trees and how to avoid the problems that can affect your harvest.

I hope you found this article helpful – if so, please share it with someone who can use the information.  If you have any questions to ask or advice to share about avocado trees, please leave a comment below.

jonathon.david.madore

Hi, I'm Jonathon. I’m the gardening guy (not guru!) who is encouraging everyone to spend more time in the garden. I try to help solve common gardening problems so that you can get the best harvest every year!

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