AVOCADO TREES

 

Avocados can become very large trees, and once they are established, they need little care. The type of avocado in the Houston area should be the Mexican type. The way you can tell if you have a Mexican avocado is to take a leaf and crunch it up. Then smell it. If it smells like licorice, then it’s a Mexican avocado. A Mexican avocado look very similar to the Haas avocado you buy in the store. They have thin skin that is first green and turns black when it’s ripe. Most avocados are grafted onto Lula avocados which is the big, green avocado. The Lula seed is very large and produces an easy to graft stem, but it is not very cold hardy.

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Mexicola Grande Avocado

Mexicola Grande, Don Juan, Brazos Belle, Joey, Poncho and Wilma avocados are cold hardy, but they can be damaged by a severe freeze especially when they are young. Plant your tree so that the graft union is below ground level to protect the Lula rootstock. You can also mound additional soil around the trunk of the tree to help it survive even if the top part of the tree is killed. Water the tree prior to an expected freeze. You can also cover young trees with a blanket or a tarp for severe weather. Also, using a heater might help. After the tree has matured, it will become hardier and should withstand temperatures of 22-25 degrees.

When avocado trees are young, they need to be grown in a pot and in a shady area in order to protect the trunk from getting sunburned. You can also use stakes and burlap or shade cloth 2’ or so higher than your tree. Once the trunk turns brown, then avocados can be grown in the direct sunlight.

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Don Juan Avocados

Avocados do not like “wet feet.” They die easily if they are left standing in water so they need to be planted in a well-drained area. Choose a location that is protected from the cold such as a south or southeast side. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot and 2” or so deeper than the depth of the pot. Place the tree in the center of the hole and fill the hole half full of loose soil.  Then, fill the hole with water and once the water has diminished, then fill the remainder of the hole with soil. Make a small moat around the tree approximately 2” high. Water when it is needed so it does not dry out. Mulch with a 2” layer of pine bark mulch.

They are also sensitive to sodium because sodium will make the tips of the leaves turn brown. To remedy this situation, avocados need to be given large amounts of gypsum at the base of the tree. Gypsum is slightly soluble, so a lot of gypsum is needed to replace the sodium withcalcium in the plant. By adding gypsum, the new leaves will not be brown, but the old leaves will not change.

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Joey Avocado

Generally, it is best not to fertilize an avocado tree the first year it is transplanted. After the first year, then fertilize with a balanced 8/8/8 to 13/13/13 as the tree grows. To remember to fertilize, fertilize on last week of January, Mother’s day, and Father’s day, To make it easy to remember, just use a time-release fertilizer.

Mexican avocados bloom around January-February, and the fruit matures in seven to eight months. There are two types of Mexican avocados -Type A and Type B. Type A has female flowers in the morning and male flowers in the afternoon. Type B is just the opposite; it has male flowers in the morning and female flowers in the afternoon. For fruiting, this factor is important when avocado trees are young, but when the trees are older, they apparently develop both types of flowers in the spring.

 

The following Type A and Type B trees grow well in this area:

 Type A Type B 
 Mexicola Grande Brazos Belle
 Don Juan Joey
Pancho
Wilma

 

 

 

Origin of the Raspberry Tangor

 

Bill Chapman of League City, Texas, brought Moro Blood Orange pollen to a monoembyronic umatilla flower which is a Satsuma x ruby orange cross.  From this flower he grew a fruit, collected the seeds, and grafted a seedling bud to a Poncirus Trifoliata seedling.  He gave me a budded seedling around July, 1989, and he asked that I grow the grafted seedling to see what kind of fruit it would produce.  After several years I was able to get the grafted seedling to fruit.  Lewis Walden tasted the fruit, and he named the cross Raspberry Tangor (RT) since the fruit was red inside and had a slight raspberry favor.  Many buds have been taken from the original tree that I have, and the variety has been tested in several locations.  The tree produces a fruit, shaped like its mother the Umatilla that ripens in February or March, and it, too, has monoembyronic seeds.  Chris Kneupper and JoAnn Trial did an acid and sugar test on the fruit and calculated an acid to sugar ratio.  They found that the RT has about 11.6% sugar, but it never loses its acidity of about 2.2% citric acid.  When you ratio the sugar to acid, you get about 5.2, and this falls in the category that one finds in mild lemons and grapefruits.

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My Raspberry Tangor

 

Recipes

 

French Banana-Kumquat Cake
 
2 eggs                                                  1 tsp. soda
 
½ c. butter                                           1 ¾ c. flour
 
1 ½ c. sugar                                         1 tsp. vanilla
 
2 T. milk                                              2 big ripe soft bananas (mashed – use blender)

1/2 cup of crushed Kumquats (Changshou or other)

Blend eggs, butter, sugar, and beat until creamy.  Stir in milk and vanilla. Mix soda into flour and add to the mixture.  Stir in mashed bananas, Kumquats, and nuts if desired.  Bake 45 min. at 325 degrees in greased pan.  Add powdered sugar glaze if desired. 

Optional:  While hot, drip a few teaspoons of orange juice on top.  This makes it moist.



KUMQUAT CAKE (CHANGSHOU OR OTHER KUMQUATS)
 
3 EGGS

2 CUPS OF SUGAR

1 CUP of OIL/BUTTER

1 ½ CUPS OF CHOPPED KUMQUATS

1 CUP OF CHOPPED NUTS

1 20 oz. CAN OF CRUSHED PINEAPPLE (well-drained)

3 CUPS OF FLOUR

2 TSP. of BAKING SODA

1 TSP. of SALT
 
DIRECTIONS:
  - In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and oil or butter.  Fold in dry ingredients and mix well.
  - Add chopped Kumquats, nuts and pineapple.
  -
Pour into greased and floured tube pan.
  - Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  -
Cool and remove from pan.
 
Suggestion:
 Good served with a passion fruit syrup and passion fruit ice cream
 Make a confectionate sugar glaze with chopped Kumquats.  Add to top of cake or as a sauce on cake slices.



Tennosui Pear & Strawberry Sorbet

1 lb of fresh strawberries washed and the calyx removed
 
3 or 4 Tennosui pears cored, peeled & cut up
 
Juice from 1/2 lemon (in my case I use 1/4 Panzarella lemon)
 
1 can of concentrated defrosted frozen apple juice undiluted
 
Blend all in a food blender and freeze in an ice cream maker.

Presentations

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Enchanted Forest 2016

Enchanted Gardens
January 13, 2024
10 AM
6420 FM 359 
Richmond, TX 77406

 

Enchanted Forest
March 16, 2024
10 AM 
10611 FM 2759
Richmond, TX 77469

 

Grafting School 
February, 2025
2 - 4PM

Lake Jackson, TX

 

Citrus Open House
December 14, 2024  2-4PM. 
Trees for sale. My house
Lake Jackson, TX 

 

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Enchanted Gardens 2014

If you would like to contact me about giving a presentation, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call me.

 

 

 

 

Gardening / Fruit Organizations I Recommend

 


CALIFORNIA RARE FRUIT GROWERS  

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www.crfg.org
This organization of growers publishes a bi-monthly top notch magazine FRUIT GARDENER that contains gardening articles and color pictures from members.  In California there is regular chapter meetings and a chapter is trying to organize in Houston, Texas (for Houston, contact Clayton Bell This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  Each year they have a big state meeting in different parts of Calif.  Annual subscription is $36 or $100 for 3 years, or you can get a cheaper electronic version of the magazine.  Go to the web page for much more details or contact :
 
CALIFORNIA RARE FRUIT GROWERS INC.
Fullerton Arboritum-CSUF
P.O. Box 6850
Fullerton, CA 92834

 


 

 

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