In 2002, the tree to which every Hass avocado in the world could trace its lineage, finally succumbed to root rot at the ripe old age of 76. By that time her offspring accounted for 95% of the avocados grown in California and 80% worldwide.
The Hass Avocado was first cultivated by A.R. Rideout an avid avocado enthusiast who lived in Whittier, California. In the late 1920s, Rudolph Hass, a postman, bought an avocado seedling from Rideout to cultivate and sell the fruit. Hass first sought to graft other varieties onto the tree, but failed. Just as he was about to cut down the fledgling tree his children talked him into growing it and selling the fruit for its own unique qualities, They preferred the richer texture and nuttier taste to that of the smooth green Fuerte, that was the common variety of the time.
So Hass named the new variety after himself, took out a patent, and signed an agreement with a local nursery to grow and promote Hass avocados. Success was nearly immediate. The variety bore significantly more fruit than the Fuerte and matured at a different time of year giving it a great seasonal advantage.