A mailman named Rudolph Hass is solely responsible for 80% of the avocado trees present in the US. He first spotted the thick-skinned fruit on a magazine and decided to grow an avocado tree. To start with, he bought a few seeds and decided to have a parallel source of income from avocados.
As per the profile of Rudolph on Ventura County Star, Rudolph tried to graft a tree from the Guatemalan seed and it did not work. However, Rudolph was extremely happy when he saw that the tree bore avocados that were creamier and more flavorful when compared to other varieties. For this, he filed a patent known as Hass Avocado and a local grower named Harold Brokaw helped him to push it to the markets.
Cindy Miller, the granddaughter of Rudolph, said that growers had to buy the tree exclusively from Brokaw and people would start to re-graft their own trees.
The trees of Hass spread all over the world and he had a successful business running, while his trees touched heights of up to 65 feet! He is glad that the tree has his family name to it and the mother tree was at the Hass homestead until 2002, when root rot made the tree die!
Rudolph and his wife Elizabeth pose next to the mother tree.
Brokaw Nursery’s Larry Rose stands by what’s left of the mother of all Hass avocado trees.
La Habra avocado groves in 1928.
The Hass plant patent