An unusually tall avocado tree in San Francisco is bearing free fruit in more ways than one - FreshFruitPortal.com

An unusually tall avocado tree in San Francisco is bearing free fruit in more ways than one

An unusually tall avocado tree in San Francisco is bearing free fruit in more ways than one

When Ammar Swalim took over a small Pacific Heights hardware store two weeks ago, he knew he’d be inheriting tightly packed aisles filled with hammers and bleach and lightbulbs. He had no idea what was growing in the backyard of the California Street business: a massive avocado tree dripping with fruit so plump that each one makes a loud thump when it falls to the ground.

The avocado tree — lush, verdant and with too many branches to count — towers over the backyard with a magical presence. The fact that an avocado tree this large, estimated at nearly 50 feet tall, is bearing softball-sized, lime green avocados in foggy San Francisco adds to the mystique. They typically grow best in warm, humid climates, and it can take as long as 15 years for an avocado tree planted from seed to yield fruit.

So when Swalim took to Nextdoor.com on Sunday to offer free avocados from the tree, he unexpectedly opened the floodgates to a flurry of excitement. His post on the neighborhood platform drew more than 250 comments in less than 24 hours. His inbox flooded with pleas from all over the Bay Area. Several people (including this reporter) hurried over on Monday to claim some of the fat avocados from the tree, which shares the yard with a lemon tree and rosemary bush.

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