The Q&A Archives: Non-Ripening Avocados

Question: My Haas avocado tree in its first of year of bearing avocados (about 20). Some that were hand picked and some that fell on their own were set to ripen but never did. Instead they remained hard and rubbery? Will this second year crop that's on the tree now come out the same? Why and what are the fixes?

Answer: An avocado, if picked prematurely, will not ripen properly, but will tend to decay or shrivel and become rubbery and unpalatable. The easiest way to determine if your avocados are ready to harvest is to harvest one large fruit and place it on your kitchen counter top. A mature fruit ripens in 3 to 8 days after it is picked. If the fruit does not ripen properly (e.g., shrivels, becomes rubbery or exhibits stem end rot), select another fruit (again larger fruit are generally more mature than smaller fruit at the beginning of the season) and repeat the test.

The fruit from an avocado tree does not all have to be harvested at the same time. This feature allows you to leave the fruit on the tree and pick fruit only when you want to eat it. Remember, it takes 3 to 8 days from the time you pick a fruit until it ripens and is ready to eat. As the season of harvest for any given variety passes there is an increased chance the fruit will fall from the tree. So although avocado fruit can be held on the tree, eventually they will drop.

I really think that your tree is immature and that as it continues to mature it will produce fruit capable of ripening. Don't give up on it yet!

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