What's wrong with my Avocado Tree

gblumsteinMay 9, 2010

Four years ago we planted an Avocado tree (I think it is a Haas). The first year it grew nicely producing no fruit. The second year all of the leaves turned dark and fell off the tree in the summer again producing no fruit. The next summer I wised up and water the tree much more often. The leaves stayed on the tree and it produced a ton of buds, but all of the buds fell off before they grew into anything. You basically could shake the branch lightly and they fell. Last year the same thing happened, but it looked like a few buds started to turn into fruit, but then they fell off when they were tiny. This year it looks like the same thing!

Why are the buds falling off? Should I prune the tree so it does not have some many branches/leaves/buds to try and feed? The tree is about 4-5 feet tall and has branches from the ground up.

Please help... Thanks!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

It sounds like you have your tree growing well. Although your tree has both male and female flower parts avocado does not do well pollinating itself. Avocado are available in what is termed A and B types. For good pollination one of each is suggested. If you live where other avocado trees are nearby you usually can get by with the one tree. Al

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:19AM
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tornadoliese

i am not an avocado tree expert by any means but i did go to the nursery a few days ago to inquire about them and i am told that "the weather is often against avocado trees." i live in los angeles. the nursery man also told me that avocado trees require a great deal of water and are unhappy in pots. he told me that one planted in the ground can usually find it's way down far enough to get to some good moist soil but in general they are thirsty. we looked at a few of the avocado trees that he had there. some were dwarf variety and stood about three feet tall. he told me they would probably be ready to produce fruit in 3-4 years. one of the non-dwarfs was more like 6 feet tall and he told me it would likely produce fruit in 5 years. we also learned that some avocado trees are not producers because they haven't been grafted. i hope this is helpful.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:02AM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

It is normal for MOST of the tiny fruit to fall soon after blossom, but you should have some set and stay on. I am a huge believer in mulch for fruit trees, especially shallow rooted ones like citrus and Avo's. It keeps soil temp cool, acts as a buffer for water so the soil doesn't have such big swings of too wet to dry between waterings, it feeds the full spectrum of nutrients as it decomposes, it helps healthy soil horizons develop, just to name a few of the best reasons. All of these things help the tree grow healthy and strong and so better able to carry good fruit.

Put about 6 inches of mulch under the tree and extending out 2 feet past the drip line. Pull back a little away from the trunk fro several inches, so you don't get rot at the base. Water it down so that it will stay in place. Add more each year so that you always have at least 2 to 3 inches covering the soil. Remember mulch is a slow process, just like trees are slower than squash, so mulch is slower than chemical fertilizer. You won't mulch on Monday and see this huge bunch of fruit this weekend. But a good mulch builds a good soil that supports a good tree. You will see real results over the next few months and I would guess good fruit next season.

One last thought, there are A and B flower Avo's. One of each is not needed for pollination but it helps. Still, in LA there are lots of Avo's in lots of yards, so there may be other trees close enough to help with pollen.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 9:14PM
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