The Fuerte Avocado or the archetypal avocado is a green and pear-like avocado ranging from six to twelve ounces in size. The fruit is easy to peel with a smooth, dense, pale green flesh and creamy flavor. It is one of the best-tasting avocados worldwide, first distributed by plant explorer Carl Schmidt in 1911. The Fuerte Avocado tree can usually grow more than 40 feet tall and 35 feet wide at an annual rate of 3 feet. Avocados contain more protein, potassium, folic acid, magnesium, biotin, vitamin E and K, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and pantothenic acid per ounce than any other fruit. It is unique as it contains monounsaturated fat such as oleic acid that prevents prostate and breast cancer. The fatty acids present in the fruits of a Fuerte Avocado plant also aids in lowering LDL cholesterol in the human body while increasing the levels of healthy HDL cholesterol.
On average, Fuerte can grow into a larger tree than the average-sized tree. It can grow up to 49 feet on better soils and up to 39 feet on poorer soils. The original Fuerte avocado parent tree in Puebla, Mexico, was around 45 feet in height when observed in 1936. According to the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, the longevity of the Fuerte tree ranges from 50 to 150 years.
Fuerte avocado is considered one of the most cold-hardy varieties of avocado. When established, it was frost-tolerant to 30 degrees Fahrenheit that withstood four hours of 27 degrees before the damage, according to the Master Gardeners of San Diego. However, several factors can reduce the size of the Fuerte avocado tree. Those factors may include cold damage and the need to eradicate dead branches. From a general point of view, avocados do best between the temperature range of 60 and 85 degrees and mild humidity.
Caring for an avocado tree requires a frost-free and warm environment with moderate humidity. The gardeners of Florida, California, Hawaii and the deep South of Texas are most successful in growing avocados. Knowledge of preferred temperature ranges, fertilizer, mulch, water and planting instructions are necessary to care for Fuerte avocados.
The ideal temperature range for the growth of this avocado tree is neither too hot nor too cold, that is, 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Overwatering this tree causes damage as root rot may be associated. Avocados usually prefer an infrequent and deep watering of the roots. It is, therefore, better to first let the trees dry out before applying water again. A 3 to 4-inch mulch layer of the avocado trees applied annually helps them in retaining soil moisture and improving the soil quality. The mulch is applied; during spring-fall under the tree canopy that keeps it away from the trunk.
The space required for a Fuerte avocado is dependent on the soil conditions. These trees grow taller when the soil is rich, well-drained and deep. However, the trees remain shorter if the soil is shallow, infertile or poorly drained. Spacing allows the Fuerte avocado tree to grow and reach full size. A wide space enables the tree to grow and develop maximum. It is better to plan first the plantation of the Fuerte avocado tree and a complementary cultivar approximately 25 to 35 apart. The tree size is controlled; for smaller spaces. The smaller space makes the fruit easy to harvest by regular pruning. It is also done; by choosing a tree with a dwarfing rootstock. The avocados usually need exposure to the sun to reach optimum growth and bear fruit later on. Trees may then be damaged by high winds causing the leaves to fall and the fruit to drop eventually.
Some of the pruning methods associated with the Fuerte avocado involve selective limb removal, stumping, mechanical pruning to a hedgerow, central leader, replacing the entire block of tree and tree thinning.
Pruning begins from the interfering horizontal branches developing low to the ground. Trees pruning on the slope to a low height while spacing between the main limbs up to 3 to 4 feet apart. Eradicate v-type crotches and dead wood as much as possible. Crotches are prone and weak to developing rots. However, rejuvenation usually requires cutting the tree back to the main trunk. Pruning should be such that cuts should be kept clean, in line with keeping the trunk contour. While renovating a grove, the aim must be to eliminate interfering, large and low-lying laterals and badly crossed limbs. It is a pyramidal or conical shape of the tree that enables good light interception and reduces bare areas.