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Avocado Tree

The Avocado Tree:
A Mediterranean Food Forest Must-Have

Avocados are a delicious and nutritious fruit that is perfect for a Mediterranean food forest. The scientific name of the avocado tree is Persea americana and it belongs to the Lauraceae family.

The Avocado Tree - How to Use it…

Edible

Edible parts of the avocado tree include the fruit, which can be eaten fresh, cooked, or preserved. Avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats, potassium, and vitamin K. 

Medicinal

The leaves of the avocado tree can be used to make a tea that is said to have health benefits such as reducing inflammation, relieving pain, reducing fever, and helping with digestion (consult with your doctor before consuming avocado leaves tea, specially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any health conditions).

Other Uses

The avocado tree can provide many other benefits in addition to its fruit. The wood can be used for construction and fuel, the leaves can be used to make a tea and the tree can provide shade for other plants. The leaves can also be used as animal fodder.

Growing Avocado Trees...

Appearance

Avocado trees are evergreen and can grow up to 20 meters tall. They have dark green, glossy leaves and small, greenish-yellow flowers. The fruit is green when unripe and changes to greenish-yellow when ripe, depending on the variety.

Habitat

Avocado trees prefer a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. They can be grown at a variety of altitudes and do well in well-drained soil. They need full sun to thrive.

Needs

Avocado trees are generally hardy and have moderate water needs, but it depends on the variety. They should be fertilized in the spring and can be pruned as needed to shape the tree. Harvesting the fruit occurs in the late summer to early fall.

Pollination

Avocado trees are not self-pollinating, a nearby avocado tree of a different variety is needed to aid in pollination. Honeybees are the main pollinators.

Propagation

Avocado trees can be propagated through grafting onto a suitable rootstock.

Potential Problems

Potential problems include pests such as the avocado thrips and diseases such as anthracnose and Phytophthora root rot.

Avocado Tree - Companion Planting

Other Trees and Herbs

Companion plants for avocado trees include other fruit trees such as citrus, as well as herbs such as chamomile, dill, and fennel. These plants are also well-suited to a Mediterranean climate.

Nitrogen Fixing Plants

Nitrogen fixing plants that grow well in a Mediterranean climate and go well with avocado trees include clover, peas, and beans.

Pollinator-Attracting Plants

Pollinator-attracting plants that thrive in a Mediterranean climate and complement avocado trees include wildflowers, native plants, or borage.

Pest-Deterrent Plants

Pest-deterrent plants that grow well in a Mediterranean climate and are good companions for avocado trees include marigolds, chrysanthemums, or nasturtiums.

Ground Covers

Ground covers that grow well in a Mediterranean climate and go well with avocado trees include creeping thyme, comfrey, or creeping rosemary.

Interesting Facts About Avocado Trees:

  • The avocado is believed to have originated in South Central Mexico and was known as the “Ahuacatl” by the Aztecs.
  • Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit.
  • Avocado wood is often used for smoking meats and fish because of its mild flavor

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stay awesome,

Jonathan