Avocado trees only flower once a year. So when they flower and they usually have a lot of flowers, you want them to set fruit. As has been previously discussed they have an unusual method of pollinisation. The flowers are both male and female, but at different times. Type A trees first open as females with a long central stigma standing erect and the male stamens which have the necessary pollen trapped underneath them lying flat. The flower then closes and when it reopens it does so as a male with the stamens now standing up to release their pollen. Unfortunately the stigma is now usually unreceptive to this pollen and has in most cases withered. To effect pollination it seems that some overlap of these happenings must occur, (if on the same tree), or if other type A trees are around. Type B trees, have the same process, but in the reverse order. On top of this, not all avos flower (or overlap flowering) at the same time. European honey bees seem to be the main pollinators. Unfortunately the nectar and pollen produced by Avos are not very attractive to bees. So if there are other sources around they will visit these instead. Another complicating factor is that if the night time temperature is too cold the flowers will not perform as they should. I.E. if night time temps are around 10 degrees this will adversely affect the chances of pollination. So here I am hoping like mad that everything will be good for pollination, but, so far I have not seen 1 honeybee in my garden this pollinating season, not near the avos, not near the nasturtiums, basil, lavender, daises, etc. etc. Are they all dead, or have they deserted me in my hour (read many days), of need? There are also no native bees around. I have always had plenty of both types around, but just not now! I have seen ants and small flies on the avo flowers, but not in any numbers, so I doubt very much whether there will be any fruit forming this year. The cooler night time temps are also conspiring against good pollination, so not a lot is going right just now. I thought that I may be able to hand pollinate, but the literature does not deem this very successful. It seems that a lot of other people have not had huge success with trees setting fruit either, am I right in this? Or am I just wallowing in self pity? Man up Clark!!
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