Simmonds Avocado Grow Guide

A Mature and Ripe Simmonds Avocado
Image Credit: D’s Fruit Trees

The Simmonds Avocado stands out in South Florida due to its outstanding production, delectable taste, and the added bonus of an early fruiting season.

This winning combination makes it a highly sought-after choice among avocado growers.

With that being said, this grow guide will cover everything that you need to know about Simmonds Avocado:

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Table of Contents

Simmonds Avocado Tree Characteristics

The Simmonds Avocado Tree is a Flowering Type A Avocado. In other words, the female flowers open in the morning and male flowers in the afternoon. In order to maximize Simmonds’ fruit production, the tree should be planted near a Flowering Type B Avocado with a similar fruiting season.

This includes avocado cultivars such as:

3 Simmonds Avocados On The Tree
Image Credit: Serendib Farms

Speaking of fruit production, Simmonds’ fruit production consistently ranges from average to good. Simmonds has an excellent record of being a reliable source of avocados in the early season.

The avocados themselves are medium to large-sized pear-shaped fruits that typically weigh between 1 – 2 lbs.

A Simmonds Avocado Tree
Image Credit: D’s Fruit Trees

Simmonds is a pure West Indian Avocado, which means that it is very susceptible to cold damage

Similar to other West Indian Avocados such as the RussellPollockDupuis, and Catalina, Simmonds should only be planted in areas that rarely experience freezing temperatures. This makes Simmonds a great option for those in USDA Hardiness Zones 10B and above.

Finally, Simmonds Avocado Trees have a low-to-medium growth habit that produces a tall and slender tree.

Simmonds Avocado Flavor Profile

The Simmonds Avocado features a light green skin that is leathery smooth and easily peeled from the flesh when ripe. Despite the fruit’s lower oil content, the yellow flesh is creamy with a buttery smooth and mild nutty flavor.

There is also a slightly sweet note that gives the fruit a pleasant ‘light and fruity’ flavor element as well.

A Bowl of Avocados Containing Simmonds Avocado, Pollock Avocado, Catalina Avocado, Amapola Avocado and Derna Fuentes Avocado
Image Credit: Serendib Farms

Overall, the fruit quality is on par with what I would expect from a Dupuis. However, I believe that Dupuis does have an all-around better flavor than Simmonds. By the same token, a perfect Simmonds > a perfect Choquette.

That said, I am often disappointed when folks say that Simmonds is “too watery.”

I speculate that in 99% of these cases, the fruit was either not harvested at the right time or was not allowed to properly ripen. That is because a properly harvested and ripened Simmonds will develop the buttery smooth and creamy texture that I previously mentioned.

In the event that the fruit is able to ripen perfectly, I honestly believe that Simmonds is the ideal “Late-Summer Florida Avocado” that a lot of people would enjoy.

A Mature and Ripe Simmonds Avocado Cut In Half
Image Credit: Luxury Fruit Connect

Simmonds Avocado Season (And When To Pick)

Simmonds Avocados are considered an early-to-mid-season avocado (June – September). However, I believe that Simmonds tastes much better as a mid-season avocado vs an early-season avocado.

That is because, similar to Catalina, Simmonds can taste terrible and watery if picked too early. As a result, to really maximize Simmonds’ full flavor potential, I recommend harvesting Simmonds closer to mid-July.

3 Simmonds Avocados On The Tree
Image Credit: Serendib Farms

That said, the best time to pick Simmonds Avocados are when they are mature on the tree.

And there are two ways that I like to test whether or not the fruit is mature and ready:

  1. Lightly shake the fruit’s branch to test whether the fruit is really holding on or just barely holding on… If the fruit falls with a light shake, then it’s ready.
  2. Depending on our growing location, the top of the fruit may turn a bit yellow. If you see this color, then the fruit is definitely ready to be harvested.
A Mature and Ripe Simmonds Avocado
Image Credit: D’s Fruit Trees

Additionally, I have also developed a repeatable process below that has worked great for me:

  1. Starting June 25, pull a single fruit off the tree and allow it ripen for 3 – 8 days (at room temperature)
    • Delicately create small indents all around the fruit using your fingers.
      • If you detect a mixture of hard and soft spots, the fruit is not yet ripe. 
      • Conversely, uniform softness (not super soft) throughout the fruit indicates that it is ready for consumption.
  2. Taste the fruit – is the taste or consistency off ?
    • If the fruit tastes great, the rest of the avocados on our tree are ready to be harvested
    • If the fruit tastes sour/foul/rancid, wait another month and repeat the process with another single fruit
      • Fruit that are picked too early will often become black/inedible.

After confirming that the avocados on our tree are mature, we can begin developing our ‘avocado pipeline.’ This involves picking some fruit to ripen on the counter for more immediate use while also placing others in the refrigerator to be used later. By adopting this approach, we can ensure a continuous supply of ripe avocados.

Simmonds Avocado History

The Simmonds Avocado was initially propagated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Miami, Florida, in 1908. Subsequently, it was sent to Washington D.C. for further evaluation.

Recognized for its potential as an improved version of the Pollock Avocado, the Simmonds Avocado returned to Miami, Florida, in 1913, where it fruited for the first time. The variety was named after Edward Simmonds, who, at the time, served as the head of the USDA Plant Introduction program in Miami.

Simmonds is a seedling of Pollock.

Simmonds Avocado Tree For Sale

At the end of the day, the Simmonds Avocado Tree produces a respectable amount of delicious fruit. Therefore, I truly believe that Simmonds is one of Florida’s finest avocado offerings.

However, due to its susceptibility to cold damage, Simmonds is not incredibly common in the nursery trade.

If you are unable to find a Simmonds Avocado at a local nursery, they are available for sale on FastGrowingTrees.com, which is an online nursery that provides a wide selection of tropical trees, shrubs and plants. 

Not only does FastGrowingTrees ship quickly, but they also offer an optional 1 Year Warranty (which is always nice)!

Conclusion

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If you have any questions regarding anything mentioned in this grow guide, please comment them below! This way, others can also benefit from the answer to the same question. For any other questions or growing tips that you think may be helpful, feel free to use the contact form and drop me a line.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

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Matthew Rowlings

I have an Associates Degree in Biology from the University of Florida and am also an active Florida Master Gardener. I am located in Central Florida (Zone 10A) and have 6+ years of experience with growing 20+ types of tropical trees. You can learn more about me and why I started Tropical Tree Guide on my about page.

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