Last Updated: September 9, 2023

Unusual Avocado Varieties

By Published On: May 8th, 20200.8 min readCategories: Garden, Photos, Plants

Last Updated: September 9, 2023

A Haas Avocado next to a pair of Don Gillogly Avocados

My neighbor’s dad is a local avocado grower so we’re enjoying all the avocados we can eat right now. For the market he grows your standard Haas, but he also has a smaller grove where he grows rare and unusual varieties.

The other day he brought us a variety called “Don Gillogly”, which is actually a Haas that took a weird genetic turn and produces the club-shaped fruit you see here next to a regular Haas.

As avocados go, the Don Gillogly is a smaller tree that produces a ton of fruit for its size. Unfortunately, the fruit doesn’t travel or store well so you’re unlikely to see it unless you know someone who has a tree.

The ripe fruit is softer and creamier than a standard Haas, so it’s better for spreads and guacamole than it is for eating in slices. Delicious nonetheless.

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  1. Maria Anthaume July 4, 2022 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Hi, I live in the New Orleans area and in 2006 I purchased a Don Gillogly avocado tree from California, shipped to me. Planted it in the ground and took care. Our zone 9B ( I live on south shore of Lake Pontchartrain) depending on our winters, the tree flowers anytime between late January to February, I have had fruits but not too many. On occasions, even after protected from freezes, the tree gets badly damaged, a couple of years ago, it got hit real bad all the way down the trunk, I removed most of the trunk without disturbing too much, and eventually it started sprouting branches from underground. I left alone to see what would happen, kept taking care of it, etc. Surprisingly, it flowered this past January, and I have over 20 long neck avocados and tons of “cukes’ ( I just found out what they are). The tree is about 15′ tall, and I think I will reduce its height in the fall to better protect it if we have a hard winter. We can drop below 23 F, but luckily for a few days at a time. My questions is, when is the fruit ready to be picked? I read that by the end of June and others have told me late August/September. Could you tell me which is correct? Also, anything else, I could be doing to protect the tree.

    • Sage Osterfeld July 6, 2022 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      Generally speaking, the fruit will be ready to pick any time from June to September. Once the fruit reaches a deep green you can pretty much pick it any time you like. Early fruit will be as hard as a rock, but it softens up in a week or so. As for protecting it from hard freezes, there’s not much you can do. Avocados are a subtropical so they’re not big fans of the cold. Plus it doesn’t help that they flower in mid-winter when they’re most vulnreable to cold shock. Backyard growers here in San Diego will cover the tree with floating row cover which offers some protection, but that’s not practical for the commercial growers, so they use smudge pots and fans to keep the air warm(ish) and moving so the leaves don’t freeze (though I still see a fair number with frost damage). As for cutting the tree, that’s actually a good way to get it to grow back quickly. If they get a bunch of damaged trees (from fires, freezes, insect pests, etc.), commercial growers will “stump” the trees. In early spring they’ll cut a big 15′ – 20′ tree all the way back to the trunk and lop it down to 3 feet tall. It takes a couple years for it to leaf out and produce fruit again, but the tree will be more compact and produce a lot of fruit that’s far easier to get at.

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Sage Osterfeld
I’m just a guy with nearly an acre of dirt, a nice little mid-century ranch house and a near-perfect climate. But in my mind I’m a landscaper survivalist craftsman chef naturalist with a barbeque the size of a VW and my own cable TV show. I like to write about the stuff I build, grow and see here at Sage's Acre.

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