zutano avocado

Zutano Avocado – A Rare Tasty Delight

The Zutano Avocado is not an avocado you would find in the grocery store. One reason is that it is used as a pollinator for the Hass avocado and other more popular avocados and not planted in large numbers in the grove. Another is that it is a “green” avocado. Unlike Hass, green avocados stay green when ripe, and consumers prefer the color change, as with the Hass, to know when the avocado is ripe. Hass type avocados are easier to market than green types, regardless of flavor or quality.

Zutano Avocado – Great Taste and Low Oil Content

The Zutano Avocado is similar to the Fuerte avocado with its pear shape and thin, glossy green-yellowish skin. It remains green even when ripe. It has low oil content but packs a pungent avocado taste (with the addition of a lighter, almost lemony top note) and a lighter, silkier texture than the creamy Hass.

Availability and Seasons

The Zutano avocados are available from mid-fall through late winter.

A Southern California Native

The Zutano avocado was developed in Fallbrook, California, at the hands of R.L. Ruitt in 1926.

Farmers have noticed that Hass avocado trees near a Zutano avocado tree regularly have significantly larger fruit set than those planted farther away. Subsequently, some growers are planting Zutano trees around the edge of their Hass avocado grove and pruning to prevent fruit set but to provide flowers for cross-pollination.

Can take the Cold

The Zutano is a cold-hardy Mexican variety. It is widely planted in the San Joaquin Valley, where it is too cold for the Hass (Guatemalan variety) in the winter.

Tree Growth

Zutano avocado tree will grow 30-40 feet in height with a trunk diameter of up to 2 feet at maturity, growing upright with a rounded shape and spreading branches. The tree has oval-shaped, dark green leaves with a glossy sheen. Flowers are a greenish-white, bearing in clusters at the branch tips.

Great Recipes and Resources

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About Randy Farrar

Randy Farrar is the CEO and farmer at Harvest2U. He is a seasoned micro-farmer with over 35 years of experience. When he isn't farming and managing Harvest2U, you'll find him writing content for blogs and social media. You can follow him on: ● Facebook ● Twitter ● Instagram ● Linkedin


  1. STEVE HOVLAND on April 9, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I live in Chula Vista south of San Diego 4 miles from the ocean would this be a good choice for my yard?

    • Randy Farrar on April 12, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      Yes Steve, perfect choice, but I would add a Hass Avocado for cross-pollination.

  2. Edie on April 26, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    How old do they they start producing avocados?

    • Randy Farrar on May 1, 2020 at 11:14 am

      From seed – 10 to 15 years. From nursery stock – 3 to 5.

  3. Peter Day on May 7, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Great article! We found some Zutanos at a roadside stand while riding our bikes in Ojai. Looking forward to trying them when they are ripe in a few days.

    • Randy Farrar on May 7, 2020 at 10:34 am

      Thank you. Enjoy!

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