The avocado is an evergreen tree with an almost pyramidal shape and an erect bearing that, in the case of non-grafted ones, can reach up to 20m. Its root system is relatively superficial. Its flowers always have 12 petals and are bisexual. Their morphology is always the same and they will always have 12 stamens and a single pistil per flower. Its flowers have a very unusual flowering behavior, called dicogamy. Depending on the time of day, all the flowers on the tree will act as female flowers (receiving pollen) or as male flowers (generating pollen). The flower opens or closes twice a day, and following a cycle that lasts two days. The moment in which the flower will present its masculine or feminine characteristics depends on the variety, but they always follow that specific cycle. Its fruit is a rough-skinned band with a single seed that, unlike other Fruit trees, continues to develop and accumulate oil even several months after its recommended harvest date.
In Spain, the avocado crop is a minority and occupies approximately 12,000 hectares with a production of 90,000 tons of avocado per year. Worldwide, the countries that produce the most avocado are found in Latin America (Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Colombia) with a combined production of more than 300,000 hectares.
Avocado adapts well to any type of soil, as long as it has good drainage and does not present waterlogging problems. As it has a shallow root system, it can be grown in shallow soils 50cm deep. Its optimal pH of Growth is 5.5-6.5, having chlorosis problems in alkaline pH of more than 7.5.
The ideal conditions for the avocado crop are daytime temperatures of 25-30ºC and night time temperatures of 15-20ºC. Although there are several varieties, all present loss of production or until the death of the plant at temperatures of -7ºC. Performance is also adversely affected at temperatures above 31ºC.
Its tropical origin makes it a plant that adapts to various rainfalls. It can be grown without irrigation in some areas if there is rainfall of 700 to 2,000 mm per year. It is important that there is no lack of water from the fruit setting period to the harvest, although without excesses, because avocado is very sensitive to waterlogging and root suffocation.
The most used varieties in Spain are Hass, followed by Bacon, Fuerte and Pinkerton.
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