Avocado Leaf Sunburn?

absoluteblockAugust 13, 2013

Today I discovered 2-3% of the avocado tree leaves show signs of being burned. Only the side of the tree that receives the most sun is affected (so far). Most of the tree, including both old and new growth looks perfectly fine.

I normally water the tree once a week with about 250 gallons at a time during these summer months.

This past week I was a few days late. What reminded me was seeing about ten young avocados on the ground. I've been late before and the tree hasn't been so sensitive to water, so I'm skeptical that is the cause.

A month ago I sprayed the entire tree with Bonide All Season Spray (98% Mineral Oil) and it seemed to do a great job with the persea mites. Everything looked healthy afterwards.

The leaf burn has come on suddenly in the past week. We've had no extreme heat during this time (mid-70's to low-80's).

What's going on?

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fireduck(10a)

A...my best guess is the sun beat on the leaves that had oil....and the burn resulted. It is NOT salt burn or stress from under-watering. I think you will be fine.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:14PM
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absoluteblock

That's my guess too, but it's been so long since I sprayed them. There's no oily residue on them, but the leaves were all shinier than usual afterwards.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 12:38AM
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absoluteblock

I haven't seen any additional damage, but wondered if I should spray the tree again with a soap of some kind to disperse any oil residue?

The leaves don't feel oily in any way, just shiny following the oil spray a month ago.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 7:06PM
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sdelafuente(9)

I would leave the them alone. My avocado has several leaves sunburn and we are going to extreme heat. I heard that it's best to spray them with that oil solution in the spring.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:07AM
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absoluteblock

Update...

No more leaves are being burned that I can see, however, the tree is dropping some of its newest, smallest leaves. Many of them were not burned by the sun and look otherwise healthy. We've had a very mild breeze, but not enough to cause damage.

I'm starting to get worried...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 5:22PM
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absoluteblock

More leaves are showing signs of sunburn. More fruit is dropping. What can I do at this point?

Can a soap spray remove any oil residue?

Really desperate at this point as I don't want to lose the entire year's crop.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 3:07AM
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ken760ca

im a noob, but i doubt its the mineral oil. many people have recommended mineral and vegetable oil and claim it is safe with no problems. my avos were going south before i added anything. i tried vegetable oil for any possible pests, but it didnt help, but didnt hurt it any worse either. i guess perhaps if there was a tremendous amount of oil residue, it could be magnifying sun rays. but that sounds far fetched to me personally, but who knows.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 1:20PM
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