1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an inhibitor of ethylene action, has been shown to extend the storage life of avocado fruit. Waxing is also known to extend the storage life of avocado by reducing water loss and modifying the fruit internal atmosphere. In this study, 1-MCP and waxing were used to investigate their effects on ripening characteristics in avocado fruit. Preclimacteric `Tower II' and `Booth 7' avocados were treated with 1-MCP (Ethylbloc®) for 12 h at 20 °C. Half of the fruit were waxed (Sta-Fresh 819F®, FMC Co.) after 1-MCP treatment. The fruit were subsequently stored at 13 °C or 20 °C at 85% RH. As evaluated by fruit firmness, ethylene evolution, and respiration rate, 1-MCP and waxing delayed the ripening of `Tower II' avocados stored at 20 °C. Fruit treated with both 1-MCP and wax had better retention of green peel color and fruit firmness, and the delayed climacteric pattern of ethylene evolution and respiration rates. Waxing reduced weight loss and retarded softening, but did not delay climacteric ethylene evolution and respiration rates. Whereas firmness of control fruit decreased from >100 N to 20 N in as few as 7 days at 20 °C, fruit treated with both 1-MCP and wax reached 20 N over 11 days at 20 °C. The firmness of `Booth 7' avocados treated with both 1-MCP and wax decreased from >170 N to 20 N over a 5-week period at 13 °C. Current studies are addressing the nature of the dramatic decrease in firmness of MCP-treated fruit.