At the turn of the last century, the tree to which every Hass avocado in the world can trace its lineage, The Hass Mother Tree, succumbed to root rot at the age of 76. The tree was planted in the late 1920’s by one A.R. Rideout, an avid avocado enthusiast who lived in Whittier, California. A postman by trade, Rideout had planted the avocado seedling himself in order to cultivate and graft with other avocado varieties,. When his persistent attempts failed and was about to cut down the tree, his children, who had grown to love the rich texture and nutty taste, talked him into selling his novel avocadoes as an alternative to the smooth green Fuerte, the most popular variety of the day.
So Hass named the new variety after himself, took out a patent, and signed an agreement with a local nursery in order to grow and promote Hass-branded avocados. Success was almost immediate.
Today, Hass avocadoes account for over 95% of the avocados grown in California and over 80% grown worldwide.