Avocados, also known as alligator pears, are native to Pueblo, Mexico. The unsweet, oily fruit appears in many traditional Mexican dishes. Although mature avocado trees bear about 1,200 fruits a year, the trees eventually stop producing as they near the end of their lives.
C. B. Markeson states in his study, "Economic Aspects of Marketing Florida Avocados," that avocado trees have a life span of 35 years. Some avocado trees, however, are believed to be 100 years of age. Wild species of avocado trees in Mexico are estimated to be 400 years old.
Certain pests and diseases can affect how long an avocado tree survives. The avocado tree girdler is a type of weevil that can kill younger trees. Avocado trees are suited for areas that do not experience frost, which can kill an avocado tree.
Every Hass avocado tree grown worldwide is a descendant of the original Hass Mother Tree, planted in 1926 by A. R. Rideout of Whittier, California, and sold to Rudolph Hass. In 2002 the mature tree died at age 76 from root rot.
- California Avocado Society; The Useful Life of Avocado Trees in Commercial Orchards in California; G. E. Goodall et al., 1970
- University of Florida IFAS Extension; Florida Crop/Pest Management Profile: Avocado; Mark A. Mossler and Jonathan H. Crane; October 2008
- Aggie Horticulture; Home Fruit Production: Avocado; Julian W. Sauls
- Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden: The Guacamole Tree
- California Avocado Tree Commission: The Hass Avocado -- A California Native
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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