Native to Mexico, the avocado tree includes three races from which horticulturists created many hybrids. In the wild, avocado trees can reach heights of up to 60 feet with a canopy of dark green leaves that stretches up to 40 feet wide.
Horticulturists created dwarf varieties such as the Don Gillogy hybrid for their smaller stature. The Gillogy avocado tree reaches a maximum height of 10 feet, although many gardeners keep it much smaller by careful pruning. Some avocado aficionados keep the Gillogy hybrid as a houseplant.
In addition to dwarf varieties, horticulturists bred semi-dwarf avocado trees suitable for residential yards with limited space. Semi-dwarf avocado trees include the Gwen avocado, which tops out at 15 feet but still produces a generous crop of fruit.
Farmers chose from a diverse group of avocado hybrids. While many of these trees can reach heights of 60 feet or more in the wild, commercial growers generally prune the trees back to 16 feet to allow for easier harvesting. Once the trees reach approximately 30 feet tall, farmers again top off the tree.
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