My Zombie Avocado tree & New Zealand Avo-crime wave

by Lala

In 2015/16 South Africa experienced what I like to call the Great Avocado Crisis. Prices went through the roof at the supermarkets and avos became like the caviar of the moment. There were some entreprenuerial South Africans who started selling carloads of avos on the side of the road at marked down prices, selling out in hours after marketing themselves only on social media.

I also recently read about avocado robberies in New Zealand from green grocers and fields. What a time! South African media & retailers didn’t explain the price hikes and shortages but international news reports spoke of poor harvests and some linked them to climate change.



This shortage & the price hikes were a big concern for me because my very picky toddler loves avocado. It is a superfood and I can’t do without it for that growing boy, Lucky for me my in-laws have a massive avocado tree that is on the fruiting year of its alternate fruiting cycle, so we’ve had a decent supply.

Sadly the Fuerte avocado tree (just over 1 metre tall) which I planted in 2014 didn’t do very well. I had expected at least a meagre first harvest by 2016 because it is grafted. It is in a good spot and gets planty of water but it failed to thrive and eventually died. It left a bare, dead stump tied to a stake. Or so I thought until autum of this year! At the base of tree there were two new clumps of glossy, dark green leaves. I don’t know why I never pulled the tree and added it to the compost heap. I had even bought a new tree from Builder’s Warehouse and planted in a different location.

I’m glad it survived, although it will be many, many years before we get any fruit (we may not even live here then). Even then, the new growth in below the graft so they may not be Fuerte avos at all, but any (extra) avos are better than none.

surviving Fuerte avocado therainqueen

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