There are over 500 avocado varieties, although Hass, Fuerte, and Pinkerton saturate the commercial market. Farmers are more inclined to each avocado variety due to various reasons. One of the reasons is the avocado tree; its height, spreading, lifespan, ease of harvesting, etc.
This article compares Hass avocado trees to other commercial varieties. We’ll explore the differences and how they should influence your decision when growing avocados.
Hass Avocado Trees
The Hass avocado is the most popular variety worldwide. Hass avocado trees account for approximately 80% of the avocado trees grown globally and 97% of the total avocado production. A report by the USDA shows that the capital avocado consumption has increased in the United States since the early 2000s. This could be owed to appreciation by most world’s largest avocado producers, including Mexico, Peru, Chile, California, and Columbia, appreciating the plant.
But what makes the Hass avocado unique and desirable compared to other avocado trees?
The variety was first grown in South California by an amateur horticulturist Rudolph Hass, who it’s now named after. The tree resulted after Hass grafted some seedlings he had bought with branches from Fuerte avocado trees. He later patented the avocado tree in 1935 after making a few sales. In 2019 the National Academy of Sciences established that the Hass avocado tree is a cross between Mexican (about 61%) and Guatemalan (about 39%) avocado varieties.
Hass avocado trees have evergreen leathery leaves with a well-established network of veins on the surface. The tree’s height ranges between 7ft and 30ft. The Hass avocado tree starts fruiting within three years of planting. However, the timeframe before you harvest the first fruits may be longer or shorter depending on soil, climate, etc. The tree reaches full maturity in 7 years and covers about 8m in diameter.
A fully grown Hass avocado tree can produce anywhere between 0 to 300 fruits annually. According to Kalro, most three-year avocado varieties produce about 300 to 400kg of fruits per hectare, but this may increase to 800 to 1000 kg for trees over five years. The main contributing factors to the fruits are climate, soil type, land preparation, pollination, and irrigation.
Other Avocado Varieties
Although Hass avocado trees have the greatest market share in growth and production, there are hundreds of other avocado varieties. There are over 500 avocado varieties, each with a tree of a different size, texture, and shape. Some of the varieties grown commercially include:
It is the second most popular avocado variety that is native to Mexico. Kenya leads in producing and exporting the Fuerte variety in Africa. The Hass avocado has a butter, meaty taste when ripe, but the Fuerte variety is often sweeter and fruiter with fewer fats.
The Fuerte Avocado tree is also very different from Hass trees. Fuerte trees are large and spread up to 12 meters. Unlike Hass tree branches that are often thin, Fuerte avocados have thick and rough. The branches are more inclined towards spreading than achieving height.
The fruits from both trees are very different. Fuerte avocados are smooth and curved and have thin skin. Unlike the evergreen Hass tree leaves, Fuerte avocado leaves and fruits are pale green when fresh.
Reed avocado trees are less common in Kenya, especially because most farmers are shifting to Hass. The tree was once popular long before the entry of Fuerte in the Kenyan Market. Reed avocados are round, larger than Hass, and have smooth thin skin. The fruits are thick and leathery and remain green even when ripe.
Reed avocado trees grow upright and may reach up to 11 meters in height. The farmers love its consistency in yielding, ease of growth, and maintenance, amongst other benefits. The tree is being phased out of commercial production as other commercially favourable cultivars gain the farmers’ attention.
Growers love this variety for its consistency in production and flavour. Pinkerton avocado is green when fresh and deepens in colour when ripe. They have an elongated pear shape with smooth skin that is easy to peel.
The Pinkerton tree size is manageable, and it grows low, up to 2 meters, and may spread if left to grow. Its branches are compact and easy to harvest.
Which avocado tree is best for you?
Hass Avocado trees are distinguished in production and marketability, whereas avocados are loved for their taste, lifespan, and size. The best fruit depends on your preference.
Pinkerton and Reed will be perfect if you want to grow a tree that doesn’t use much of your space. If space is none of your worries, but instead, you prioritize taste, production, and marketability, Hass and Fuerte are your best options.