In 2002, the tree to which every Hass avocado in the world can trace its lineage, known as The Hass Mother Tree, 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, the popular variety of the time.
So Hass named the new variety after himself, took out a patent, and then signed an agreement with a local nursery to grow and promote his Hass-branded avocados to whomever was interested. Success was immediate. Not only was this variety creamier and nuttier in taste than the Fuerte, it also bore significantly more fruit and matured at a different time of year giving it a seasonal advantage.
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