The creamy fruit of the avocado tree is sometimes also referred to as alligator pear, midshipman's butter, vegetable butter or butter pear. The tree grows best in a subtropical climate.
The avocado tree, Persea, is considered a fast-growing tree. The Arbor Day Foundation indicates that quick growers are those that achieve a minimum of 25 inches in height annually. With maturity, the avocado tree often reaches a height of 80 feet, although it is common to see much shorter avocado trees.
The growth rate of the avocado tree is sporadic, occurring in frequent flashes during warm weather in southern locales, while cooler areas see only one distinct spurt of growth, according to the trade association California Rare Fruit Growers Inc. The tree will grow in shade but requires full sun for excellent productivity.
The growth rate of the avocado will be adversely affected in areas with poor drainage. The Purdue University Department of Horticulture indicates that the tree cannot stand even being temporarily waterlogged. The water table should hover at least 3 feet below the surface of the ground, and planting areas with soil that holds water should be avoided.