Unlike other avocados, which have smooth green skin, Hass avocados have dark green bumpy skin that darkens when it ripens, eventually turning into dark the shade that looks almost black. Like all avocados, Hass avocados ripen only after they are picked from the tree. So you can leave them on the tree for several months after the fruit has matured and nothing bad is going to happen to them.
Hass avocado trees have high yields compared to other varieties. A matured tree can produce over a million blooms. Most Hass trees bloom twice a year, but sometimes you can witness three blooms. Hass trees start bearing fruit in three to five years and grow from 15 to 30 feet tall. The lifespan of an average tree is several decades.
When it comes to nutritional content, Hass avocados are higher in fat than other varieties, which gives them a richer taste and smoother, creamier texture. 80% of avocados consumed in the world are Hass avocados, meaning all other varieties make up only a small proportion of the remaining 20%. In the US, this number rises to 95%.
HOW TO GROW HASS AVOCADOS
In cooler climates, avocado trees are often grown indoors where they make spectacular houseplants. However, because the trees eventually grow to heights of 30 to 40 feet, indoor avocados are often discarded after a few years. With pruning, it can grow in a container but will bear less fruit. Proper watering is critical for avocados grown both indoors and outdoors, as the soil should not be either too wet or too dry.
RAISING HASS AVOCADO INDOORS
1. Get a grafted Hass avocado seedling from a nursery. You need to find a healthy seedling with glossy, dark green leaves and without wounds or signs of insect infestation, such as webbing or discoloration.
2. Get a half-barrel container, or 24-inch wide and 18-inch deep, wood or clay container with drainage holes, and place it in a sunny location.
3. Fill the container with potting mix (partially) and plant the Hass avocado seedling in the soil at the same depth as it was growing in the original container. Cover the roots with potting mix and water deeply until the water flows through the drainage holes.
4. Lightly water the Hass avocado when the soil surface feels dry and avoid over-watering, which can cause root rot. Fertilize with 1/4 teaspoon of balanced fertilizer every three months after the first year of growth.
5. Harvest Hass avocado fruits two to three years after planting, and 12 to 18 months after the flowers bloom. Allow the skin to turn purple before you pick the fruit, and do not wait for the fruit to ripen on the tree. If the fruit remains on the tree, it will grow larger but will not ripen.
6. Prune upper branches back to the crotch after harvest only when necessary to maintain the desired height. Remove branches or twigs that die back.
RAISING HASS AVOCADO OUTDOORS
1. Find a perfect location
Hass avocados prefer a well-drained, wind-sheltered location in full sun. It does not tolerate freezing temperatures; in frost-prone areas, plant the tree 23 to 30 feet from the southern side of the house. If the soil is heavy clay, consider building a 2-foot-tall by 3- to 5- foot diameter mound or raised bed.
2. Plant the fruit
Plant the tree in spring, between March and June, after the soil has warmed. Under ideal conditions, Hass trees can grow up to 35 feet tall. With regular pruning, you can maintain them at a height of 15 feet.
3. Water the trees
Water newly planted Hass trees immediately, then two to three times weekly with approximately 2 to 5 gallons of water at each watering. Allow the soil to dry to a depth of 2 to 4 inches before watering again.
As the tree grows, decrease the frequency to once per week by the time the tree is one year old, and increase the amount to 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter. Reduce watering during the rainy season; however, water the Hass tree in winter during extended dry spells.
4. Don't forget to fertilize
Add calcium and sulfur to the soil. Calcium improves the tree's ability to take in nutrients and stimulates root growth. It also improves acidic and clay soils.
Increase the fertilizer amount as the Hass tree matures, don't forget about nitrogen.
Add other nutrients according to what your soil tests read. Zinc is especially important for Hass avocado tree's health.
5. Add some mulch
Mulch the tree with 4 to 6 inches of coarse mulch. Pull the mulch 6 inches away from the tree's trunk. The majority of Hass avocado tree's roots are in the top 6 inches of soil; mulch helps slow evaporation of water and protects the tender roots from the hot sun in summer.
6. Don't miss the flowering
Hass avocado trees flower between February and May. Hass avocado is a Type A variety. Its flowers open in the morning as females and close in the afternoon. When the flowers reopen the next afternoon, they are pollen-producing male flowers.
7. Harvest your avocados
Avocados mature on the tree but do not turn soft until after they are harvested. Hass fruits stay on the tree for 12 to 14 months. When harvesting the fruit, pick one or two large avocados and set them on the counter. The fruit will soften in seven to 21 days.
8. Prune the trees
Prune the Hass tree to shape it, maintain the height or remove broken or freeze-damaged limbs. Remove any growth that appears below the graft, including leaves and root sprouts. Avoid heavy pruning.
HASS AVOCADO DISEASES
Fungal and Bacterial problems:
1. Anthracnose appears as a brown, scattered, dead areas on leaves and fruits. Removing dead material and pruning to open tree canopy for better aeration are helpful if needed.
2. Cankers are usually only minor diseases of an avocado tree, but they’re highly visible.
Dothiorella cankers (bark cankers) exude white powder which causes cracking and shedding of outer bark. Scraping off outer bark removes some infection and encourages regeneration of vigorous bark.
Phytophthora cankers (trunk cankers) appear as a dark with red region that dries to a white, crystalline deposit. Spreads by contaminated nursery stock, irrigation water, and cultivation equipment. If cankers are detected at an early stage, they can sometimes be controlled by cutting out the infected tissue.
3. Wilts and Blights: wilts and blights are characterized by dead areas in trees, especially when only a part of the tree is affected. Wilts unsurprisingly cause sudden wilting and death in branches. Blights may kill small branches or only affect the leaves themselves. Pruning the symptomatic tissues from trees and providing good support can help your avocado recover.
Insects and Pests
1. Lace bugs are intermittent pests of avocado and damage leaves when they are present. Feeding sites cause yellow spots that soon dry out and stressed leaves will drop, exposing fruit and wood to ultraviolet rays. When symptoms appear, sprays of horticultural oils or pyrethrin are recommended avocado tree treatment.
2. Mites cause similar damage as lace bugs, but leaves may also take on a bronze appearance and the pests will be difficult to see with the naked eye. Some mites spin fine webs as they feed, similar to those of spiders. Treat them with horticultural oil; insecticides can cause population explosions.
3. Thrips rarely cause serious damage to trees, but will seriously scar fruits. Scabby or leathery brown scars appear as fruits enlarge, sometimes stunting fruits. Careful pruning and fertilizing will help prevent thrips, who are attracted to tender flushes of growth. They can be destroyed with horticultural oil or pyrethrin.
1. Excess salts (chloride and sodium) are often confused with nutritional deficiencies. Avocados are particularly sensitive to salts, accumulating chlorides and sodium more readily than most other tree crops. Rapid burn at the base or leaf tip followed by defoliation suggests either an excessive fertilizer application or inadequate irrigation.
2. Frost damage attacks leaves and fruits first; attacks progressively larger wood after harder frosts. Allow the tree to recover before removing frost‐killed wood. After new growth appears in early spring, wait for any dieback, then cut back to live wood, identified by a green layer just under the bark.
3. Sunburn causes large and small branches to blacken, die. Wood peels off in patches. Fruit skin develops tough, brownish spots, and fruit may dry out. Affects trunk, branches, fruit. A problem in hot, sunny areas. Wrap the trunk in white cardboard or use whitewash or flat white latex paint. Maintain adequate nitrogen and water for good foliage.
HASS AVOCADO CULINARY
Generally, avocado is served raw, though some cultivars, including the common Hass avocado, can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter.
It is often used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a spread on corn tortillas or toast.
Avocado is a primary ingredient in avocado soup which is enjoyed widely in areas of Mexico as a classic dish.
In Asian countries avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts.
Avocados are made into juice by mixing them with sugar and milk or water. These fruits are also commonly served on sandwiches, sushi, toast, or with chicken.