Organic Avocado Nursery

It's all in the Grafting

by Keith Agoada

Young Avocado Trees, Michoacán, Mexico
Young Avocado Trees, Michoacán, Mexico

Commercial organic fruit production generally relies on a process known as 'Grafting.' Grafting is a horticultural technique of asexual propagation in which a desired root stock i.e. seed is joined together with a desired scion. The root stock tends to be a hearty, local variety of the fruit that will provide a strong root system, and disease resistance. It contains the genetics that are adapted specifically to thrive in the local environment.

This root stock is combined with the same genetics from the ideal fruit. Thus, grafting gives the grower the best of both worlds: A hearty, and well adapted tree, that contains a high yielding, top quality fruit. Grafting can also reduce the amount of time until the first harvest is achieved.

When it comes to organic hass avocado production in Michoacán Mexico, grafting is a standard technique. With a high cost of land, and a motivation to maximize profits, it's important to make sure their trees are of the best quality. If a grower is going to invest in the labor, and input costs to grow a tree for three years, they want to make sure that when it's time to harvest, they are getting their best return.

Leonel Chavez takes great pride in his Hass Avocado nursery located at one of the Michoacan Organics flagship farms. Currently he has over 10,000 trees that have been growing, and meticulously cared for over the last 18 months.

Here are some photos at different times from Leonel's nursery located in Uruapan, Mexico. Most of these trees are being grown for use at Leonel and his family's avocado farms. He also sells his Hass starters to other farmers in the region.