Crooked Avocado Trees

tiffieJune 24, 2013

Hi,

One of my family members cut off the left side of the left tree (there are two trees planted by the previous owner). Now it is very crooked and unbalanced. I am concerned if it would affect the trees as it grows bigger. Should I keep the tree or replant new ones? If it is going to cause problems in the future, I'd rather plant new ones since it hasn't really started fruiting yet (the trees are still young). Please advise. Thank you so much!

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

No. Avocado trees naturally will bend and weave. (I would, however, properly prune those branch stubs back to the branch collar, you're inviting disease/infection.) In fact, if you drive around and check out older, more mature avocado trees, you'll see some pretty fantastical looking trees. There are some old avocados here in San Diego county that look like they're straight out of a Dr. Suess book.

What I don't understand is why there are two avocado trees planted so close to each other? Avocado trees are the "SUV's" of the garden. Certain cultivars can become enormous. This is not a fruit tree you would want to try the "same hole" Dave Wilson concept. I see the previous owner did that - it may become problematic for you as the trees grow. Their trunks are going to converge eventually, and this could cause issues with the bark breaking down due to moisture retention, and then an opportunity for phytophthora to infect the tree(s) and cause canker. That can be fatal for an avocado, especially in a situation where you can't resolve the cause. And, avocados do not transplant well at all. They have very sensitive roots. Lastly, I don't see any leaf mulch under your trees. This will eventually kill your avocados. They rely on their own dropped leaves to mulch their roots. I would expand that puny ring to about twice its current size, and put down a good 3 to 4" of mulch, just keeping it away from the trunks by about 6" (to keep moisture from building up around the trunk and causing the same issue I just mentioned). Water well and frequently, and fertilize well and frequently. Do not remove dropped leaves in the future. I suspect your previous homeowner has planted an A and a B avocado variety for improved pollination - see if you can find out which varieties, and which are which. I would consider removing the weaker of the two, and then replant that cultivar about 10' from your one you leave. If you try to dig it out, you may end up killing both of the trees.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 6:43PM
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fireduck(10a)

T...dump the crooked one. It is planted way too close to the other. The shape is not the big problem (as stated above). Drive a 2 inch section of 1/2" copper pipe into it. This will kill it completely...and it wont try to grow back.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:42AM
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tim45z10

I hope the graft was not removed when you pruned.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 4:07PM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

Because I love avocado trees, I would hate to tell you to kill one. But they do seem to be planted too close. Personally, if I had the two Avocado trees, at some point, I would remove one.

I have one six or seven year old Fuerte Avocado tree, and that one grows crooked too. What we did was to tie up a rope and pulled it hard to one side, and tied it to a stake that is about 12 feet away from the base. Since yours seem younger, you could stake two or three posts and tie it up to make the tree on the right straighter.

And I second the advice above, about mulch, making the ring bigger, and re-trimming the branches to the collar.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:09PM
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