Avocado cultivar Hashimoto
by Laurie Meadows
(updated 29 July 2022)
Summary: The avocado
'Hashimoto' is a late flowering, late season,
green-skinned avocado. It may be a genuinely early winter
avocado in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, but the fruit
usually come on the market about April. In Auckland it seems
to be ripe in late summer/early autumn, but will store on the
tree until mid July. Hashimoto trees have handsome deep green
healthy leaves. The globular tree can be trained to be
relatively compact, and because it flowers later in the season
when it is warmer, it is more likely to set fruit. The fruit
are round, thick skinned, large, with a medium sized seed. The
flesh is firm, and of very good flavor. It is a little bit
difficult to assess ripeness due to the hard shell-like skin.
The parentage of Hashimoto isn't known. It was selected
in Hawaii, and is believed to be a Guatemalan type.
has deep green healthy foliage on short, rather lax branches.
It does not have a central leader, and it sub-branches very
readily, making for a dense bushy appearance (photo left). The
new growth is attractive lime green. Hashimoto grows well, and
can end up as a big globular tree, but with a bit of attention
and ruthless pruning it
can be trained as a central leader (photo right), and
restrained in size.
Hashimoto seems to me to be more susceptible than most avocado
cultivars to fungal infections of twigs and small branches,
and for this reason pruning should probably only be done in a
dry period, and in the heat of summer.
The trees start flowering about mid October in a warm year in
the warmest regions, and a bit later in a normal year. It
flowers are tailing off about the end of November. As it has a
'B' flowering pattern, it is sometimes recommended as a
pollinizer for 'A' type varieties such as Hass. Because
Hashimoto starts flowering (depending on the year) in early
October, it overlaps the later part of Pinkerton and Hass's
flowering and also Reed's main flowering.
Reed, Hashimoto has a reputation for producing
crops. (If it proved effective as a pollenizer for Pinkerton
it would be a very good match, as Pinkerton fruits early and
Hashimoto fruits late.)
Hashimoto fruit are large to huge (400 to over 700 grams),
much bigger than Reed, with a seed that can be relatively
small or quite large. (Seed size may be related to the effect
of different pollen sources). One example : a fruit of 595
grams weight had a seed weighing 45 grams. The seed, while
absolutely large, takes up only 7.5% of the total fruit
volume. This is an exceptionally small percent of total fruit
weight, and therefore 'good value for money'.
The skin is slightly rough, especially at the stem end, and is
very thick and 'shell-like'. The fruit turn slightly dull
looking when mature, sometimes with a slight blackish caste.
The crop matures late, in early winter (june - july), in the
Bay of Plenty. But in warmer areas it is probably pickable in
mid January, and its main season seems to be February. Here at
Helensville, a fruit fell from one of the young trees on the
26th of November, and although I suspect it was not fully
mature, the flavor was excellent - easily on a par with Hass.
In 2018 a fruit fell in
early October. It ripened and was flavorful and good. At this
time the flesh was much moister than later season fruit, and
the flesh color was much lighter. On this basis, it seems
fully sized Hashimoto fruit can be picked from early October
onward. We have found (2022) that fruit will 'store' on the
tree when mature. They can be picked right into July and
retain very good flavor. The odd fruit will be 'bacony' if the
flesh is affected with fungal damage. The fruit here start
falling about July, and by the end of July none remain on the
all hard shelled avocados, it is hard to tell exactly when the
picked fruit has finally ripened. When the stem 'button'
readily falls off with a flick of the finger, the flesh is
usually ripe. A toothpick gently pushed against the
exposed flesh under the 'button' should glide in as easily as
it would glide into butter. If it doesn't, re-test it
regularly (daily) until it does.
Ripe fruit peel easily from the very thick shell-like skin.
Later in the season (especially if it has been dry) the flesh
actually pulls away from the skin, and sometimes it can be
literally shaken out of the 'shell'.
The flesh is somewhat 'dry' when well mature, the flesh color
is mid yellow, and the flavor is mild to rich, depending on
maturity. There are often brown fibers in the flesh,
very noticeable when the fruit is cut in half, but in no
way noticeable when the fruit is eaten. The eating quality is
very good indeed.
Later in the season - about early march - the flesh is an
amazing deep yellow green, significantly softer, and the
flavor is just 'huge'.
Late hung fruit retain very good color and flavor, but are
perhaps slightly 'drier' than those picked earlier.