8ft avocado tree - how to care for?

gerbsDecember 11, 2013

Hi,

I am in zone 10b (35-40F) and recently became the owner of an ~8 foot avocado tree that is in need of some serious love. I doubt it's seen any fertilizer or appropriate watering for about a year and unfortunately I do not know it's history.

Attached is an image of it. Can anyone elaborate if this is worth keeping alive in an attempt to bear fruit? I purchased some avocado citrus fertilizer and used the recommended amount, as well as watering it every other day or so for a month or so now.

It gets full sunlight, at least 8+hrs a day. If I continue caring for it, will I see fruit with the upcoming season, or maybe it's time to make space for something else?

Thanks in advance.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Don't know if it will bear next year. But the tree looks very good for it's history. If you like avocado then that's about as good as you can hope for. Might as well stick with it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 3:28PM
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ernie85017

seamus oleary's tropicals might have some good advice for you

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 6:40PM
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sdelafuente(9)

I am new with avocados. I have had mine for about 8 months. It was about 3 feet high when I got it, now it about 6 high and growing like crazy. Some tips that I have learned along the way.

Water. They don't like wet feet, trust me I almost killed mine. Depending on the soil you have, mine is heavy clay. It retains water too long, so I water it once a week with a soak hose in the middle of the summer. Now in the winter, I havent watered it since Thanksgiving and its still pushing new leaves. It rained last week and the soil is still moist.

Fertilizer. I use it every 3 months. I use the same one you mentioned. Citrus & Avocado mix.

Soil. When I planted in the ground, It was bald and limp. The air would bend it side to side. I placed a metal rod next to it and tight it. I dug a hole twice the size of the pot both wide and deep. I filled it with compost (homemade), composted cow manure, gypsum (they love it, I used 80 lbs of it),play sand, miracle grow garden soil (very little) and native soil. All mixed in to the hole. After about a month, I saw new growth coming out of it and it hasn't stopped.

Sun. They love the sunlight. Mine is placed with no shade. Some of the leaves will get sunburn but its normal. Some people recommend adding water with white non latex paint and spraying the leaves and trunk. I was thinking of doing so, but I didn't and mine is doing pretty good with out it.

Last. They like to be felt alone. This is the advice the person who sold it to me told me. Let it be, don't worry about it. Once established, they are very low maintenance. Don't rake up the leaves let them compost in the ground, they drop alot of leaves but if new ones are coming there's nothing to worry about it. This is why your tree has made it thru the "without love" period.

I hope you found this helpful with your tree.

PS. the pic was back in June. It had gotten bigger since then.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 11:46AM
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sdelafuente(9)

Here a pic that I took yesterday of my avocado.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 12:34PM
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econ0003(10a CA / 8b CA)

This time of year I pretty much neglect my avocado and other fruit trees.

I wouldn't water it this time of year. Unless the soil completely drys out. Avocados can easily develop root rot in cold wet soil. I would water it about once a week when the weather warms up or when the top few inches of soil dry out.

Fertilize it in the spring, with a citrus fertilizer, when new growth starts to flush. Fertilize one or two more times in the summer with each new flush of growth. Then stop in the fall.

I would also mulch with wood chips, or something similar, in a three foot diameter around the tree, keeping the mulch a few inches away from the trunk. It will naturally break down and feed the tree while keeping the roots moist and cool in the summer.

This is my 8ft Hass that started out as a 3ft tree with no branching from home depot about 1.5 years ago. I am pretty new to growing avocado trees. I am just trying to pass along what has worked for me.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Fascist_Nation(9b)

Get the grass 4 feet away from the tree. heavy mulch with wood chips. Paint that exposed bark white. 10b will be challenging depending upon conditions where you reside. May need cross pollinator for fruiting. May need to provide western shade in summer.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 8:32PM
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