When Will My Avocado Tree Bear Fruit

The Growth Cycle of an Avocado Tree

Avocado trees are native to Central and South America and are known for their delicious, buttery fruit. The trees take 4-12 years to mature and bear fruit, depending on their variety, the timing of their planting, and the climate. Initially, the trees produce an off-season crop of fruits that are not edible, but these fruits contain the seeds that will eventually make their way onto the tree and blossoms to ensure fruit production. After about three to five years, the avocado tree will produce a full-fledged crop of palm-hearted fruits.

Unexpected Fruit Drop

When the fruits appear and the tree is nearing adulthood, it’s a race against time. Although the tree can survive and even produce fruits, the fruits may not necessarily reach their full size and ripeness, as temperatures and weather conditions need to be right for that. In some cases, the fruits may drop off the tree without ripening, leaving the owner disappointed and without answers as to why it happened.
The unexpected fruit drop could be caused by a variety of factors, such as lack of adequate pollination, insufficient water, nutrients, or temperature-related conditions. Horticulturists speculate that insufficient bee activity, either due to lack of bee shelter or too many low-intensity cold weather spells, might be at fault for the premature fruit drop. Avocados are self-sterile, and require cross-pollination for the purpose of fruit production. Therefore, if there are very few bees and native pollinators, the tree needs to be hand-pollinated for the purpose of fruit production.

Fertilizers and Pesticides

In addition to pollination and external temperatures, what kind of soil and other conditions are needed to ensure that the tree produces healthy fruit? Avocado tree roots are shallow and their fruits have a high sensitivity to fungi, fungi can cause the fruit to rot and create “cankers” (black spots) and eventually the whole tree could die. Therefore, fertilizers and pesticides must be carefully and regularly applied to the soil to keep the tree healthy and in optimum conditions while it matures.
Ideally, organic compounds and/or homemade solutions such as compost tea, vinegar, and soap solutions should be used as much as possible, limiting the use of commercial pesticides. Furthermore, a well-structured irrigation plan in accordance with the tree’s need is essential for its growth and fruit production.

Proper Pruning and Training

Most avocado tree varieties grow tall and need training to keep the limbs from breaking or the tree from becoming too tall. Proper pruning and spacing of the branches is essential for the tree’s growth, so as to not harm or stunt its development or its fruit production. The bigger the tree, the more branches it will produce, and these need to be pruned and trained regularly for the tree to remain healthy and for the fruit to reach its desired size, colour, smell, and taste.

Fruit Production Period

Once the tree reaches the desired size and maturity, it will start to produce fruit. The actual time it takes for the fruit to reach full maturity depends upon the Tree’s variety and the climate, but the production period generally lasts from July to September. To ensure high-quality fruit and successful yields, the fruit should be harvested at the right time, which could be anywhere from 6-12 months after their flower first bloomed.

Varieties and Yields

Surprisingly, different avocado tree varieties can have different yields when it comes to their fruit production cycle. Some varieties like ‘Hass’ bear fruits once a year, while others like ‘Pinkerton’ have alternate year bearing fruits. It is important to bear in mind that if the tree is planted in a warm area the fruit production period will be determined by the warmer weather. As with most other plants and fruit trees, the well-irrigated soil and fertilizers used will share a big role in determining the yield and quality of the fruits.

Professional Advice and Risk Assessment

With the right circumstances, growing an avocado tree can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Before planting an avocado tree, it’s important to research thoroughly and get reliable advice from local nurseries and/or agricultural extension officers. Furthermore, an expert should inspect the tree regularly, to ensure its health and to adjust maintenance strategies that are inline with the particular climatic conditions of the area.
It’s essential to be aware of the risks involved and to act accordingly. Not over-watering or over-fertilizing are essential factors for the tree’s health and fruit production, as is cordon and espalier pruning, sufficient pollination and adequate insect control.

Harvest and Storage

When the fruits ripen, they should be harvested at the right time, harvested carefully to avoid mechanical damage and then stored in cool, dry, dark and well-ventilated areas. Avocado fruits, unlike other fruits, will not ripen on the tree and instead are seen to overripen if left on the tree for too long. Avocado fruits should be harvested when they have the right texture, which can be found by gently squeezing the fruit and testing its firmness.

Eating Fresh Fruits

Once the avocado fruits are harvested, they can be eaten fresh, added to salads and sandwiches, or used for making guacamole and other delicious recipes. For people who want to store the fruits for future use, they should be kept outside the refrigerator, as the cold can cause them to turn brown and rot when their skin is pierced or cut.

Techniques for Improving Yields

Apart from providing optimal conditions for the trees, there are a couple of other techniques that can be used to increase the yield and success of avocado trees. Mulching with organic materials (eg. wood chips, straw, leaves, etc.) will help to retain humidity in the soil and add nutrients to the soil. The tree should also be groomed and fertilized regularly and the roots should be shaded to protect them from the harsh sunlight and excessive heat.

When is the Right Time to Plant?

When planting an avocado tree, it’s important to consider the climatic conditions of the desired area and pick the right variety for that area. If the region experiences cold winter temperatures, then the tree should be planted in late winter or early spring when the ground is warm and soil temperatures are optimal for the tree’s root development. Furthermore, the soil should also provide proper drainage, as overly-wet soil can cause the tree’s roots to rot.


When done correctly, cultivating an avocado tree can be a rewarding experience. Bearing in mind that the tree requires proper pollination, soil conditions, fertilization, and adequate temperatures for fruit production, a person can successfully cultivate their own avocado tree and enjoy its delicious fruits. With careful planning and implementation, such a venture is within reach.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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