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Reed Avo Trees

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CAS le Hane starts with ...
Greetings, we have land and a house in the South of Italy and wish to plant a few Reed Avocado trees, have you any advice about where I can purchase the plants, the nuts or what else to do to acquire these trees? We currently live in The Hague, Netherlands.
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CAS le Hane
The Hague, Netherlands
28th June 2017 7:55pm
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brad16 says...
Ciao amico,

Southern Italy would have nurseries with avocados. Reed is common, and was also used as root-stock for grafting other avocados onto, so I'm confident you'll find a nursery somewhere near the area your house is located. Best suggestion to find one would be that big Google machine. Search for things like 'Reed avocado tree' 'fruit tree nursery' etc. along with the region your house is located. Doing so in Italian will get best results. That's about all we can do here in Australia.

If you are happy with growing from seed (which doesn't grow perfectly identical trees) then your options are far more open. This you can do anywhere in the world where you can buy an avocado (ie. at home in the Netherlands, or when you go to Southern Italy):

* Purchase a few Reed avocados.
* Eat them and say 'YUM!!'.
* Plant them in the ground or a pot.
* Wait for 5, 6, ... 10 ... 15 years.

The result will not be 100% 'Reed' because of genetic diversity between the mother tree and the pollinator (even if self pollinated). Sexual reproduction is like that. Genes get mixed up when chromosomes separate and recombine when fertilised. But the tree will be an avocado tree with 'Reed' like characteristics. However you interpret that, it must be better than no avocado at all.

If you MUST have 'Reed'!, then you need to buy a Reed tree that has been grafted (or even a cutting will do, though its root structure will be different and it will not have the big strong tap root system). Avocados are surface feeders anyway, so the absence of a tap root isn't the end of the world, although the tap root is the main anchor for the tree and hence provides strength and vigour. It also goes deeper into the ground and gives the tree access to water that may not otherwise be available to the tree in dry times or drought. This brings me to another option:

Like I previously stated, 'Reed's were used as root-stock for grafting other varieties/cultivars. Their root system is generally pretty good. So if you do plant a Reed seed, there is no reason that you can't later on graft a known 'Reed' cutting onto it to ensure that the fruit you get off it is indeed the 'Reed' avocado you wanted and not just something that was similar or different in someway.

Planting the seed can be done from any avocado you buy at the market/store, and they normally germinate and grow quite reliably (here in Australia anyway, which wouldn't be too different from Southern Italy, although I'm not too sure about The Netherlands). You say 'land and a house' so I'm assuming you have a few acres or more, which means you have space to plant a few seeds and let them grow without having to pull them up to make room if I you decide you've found something 'better'. If so, next time you go to Italy, buy some avocados and plant the seeds. Then if you find someone selling a grafted Reed somewhere, there's nothing stopping you from planting that also.

Don't plant them where it is wet and boggy. Avocados need good drainage. Their roots can die if they can't breathe properly (Phytophthora or not). So if it is a holiday house, where you only visit from time to time, the trees will be unattended and very vulnerable to whatever health issues arise. Established avocados are quite hardy, but water logging is their Achilles Heel. Choose the spot carefully to avoid future disappointment. It doesn't matter if they get alot of water, but it MUST be able to freely drain away and not stagnate.

Search the web for fruit tree nurseries, and in the meantime, plant the seeds from the avocados you buy and eat. Inner city and suburban living makes this a bit difficult but it doesn't sound like that is the case here. It sounds to me like you've bought yourself a country retreat (very European). I've seen this all over Italy, Spain and Portugal. Good luck, and enjoy. You'll live an epicurean life in Southern Italy. They know fine fresh food!
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29th June 2017 2:40pm
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