Effect of Avocado Harvest Timing on Future Avocado Crops

  • Apr 25, 2013

Spring flowering and fruit set is a good time to assess avocado trees in the grove and make notes on their appearance and cultural management practices used.

If your trees have a good crop, good covering of healthy green leaves, and a good flowering with potential for a good fruit set, then you can be justifiably proud of a job well done. However, if the trees are looking like they have dropped all their old leaves, or have a light crop of small fruit with relatively weak flowering, then there is room for improvement.

To figure out why your trees have a poor harvest this year, it is necessary to review your cultural management decisions, or more importantly lack of cultural management decisions, during the last harvest. The best place to start may be to evaluate your harvest strategy at the time. Did you hold fruit on the trees far longer than usual?  If so, what you have to harvest this avocado season is most likely the trees' reaction to the extra stress. Holding fruit on the tree, even for only a little extra time, when there is a big crop can be very damaging to the following year’s crop.

Avocado growers can have a good crop following a large avocado crop the previous year. Very often this means harvesting big crops early, sometimes resulting in taking a hit in the market with low prices.  Removing fruit from heavily loaded avocado trees will allow the tree to conserve resources needed for next season’s fruit.

The next time your trees have a big crop, be sure to analyze your harvest strategy, carefully weighing the short term benefits and long term consequences of hanging fruit on the trees longer than usual.