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.

19 month old Avocado Hashimoto treesHashimoto avocado floweringHashimoto 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. Like Reed, Hashimoto has a reputation for producing heavy 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 tree.

avocado Hashimoto
            fruit fibresAs with 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.