Last year was a weird weather year around here. If you live in Califa you may have noticed it, too. Everything seemed to run about a month behind, and was fairly mild. My apples didn’t like it, nor my tomatoes. My grapes, plums, oranges, and nisperos, all loved the extra month of mild weather, and gave us bumper crops. Apparently the Avocados liked the weather, too, but because they are on a long growth cycle, we haven’t reaped the benefits until this year.
They flower in May and set fruit in June for a crop the following Spring, so last year’s good growing weather has lead to a huge crop this Spring. It’s the biggest I have ever seen on the tree, and the first year we moved in was a pretty big year. When left to grow unchecked, they will go into a two year cycle, with on and off years. Many fruit trees and vines do that actually. That is why it is always best to prune trees back a little each year, so that the plant’s energy is more balanced year to year.
Two summers ago we had the avocado tree heavily pruned, so our neighbors wouldn’t get knocked out by falling one pound avocados (I couldn’t reach over the fence that far with the picker to get them off the tree.) So last year we had a tiny crop due to the fact that we pruned off most of the fruit. The result was that it spend most of the great long growing season storing up energy to send into the fruit this year.
I think the bees were a little mixed up last Spring too. Since many of the flowering trees came late, I think the avocados got a lot more attention, which set a lot more fruit.
The question, now, is what are we going to do with so many avocados? Guacamole party anyone?