Avocado Questions... Cross posted in Fruit and Orchards

Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9bMarch 26, 2014

I knew those people in fruit and orchards have zero experience with Avocados in ground. They may have a seedling in a window sill, but they are mostly NOT from California or FL or anywhere Avocados grow. Here goes:

We purchased a Mex Grande Avocado 4 weeks ago, and this is how it looked the day we got it.

We have a Zutano seedling doing very well down on our hill, and decided to put this one near it for pollination. We enriched the soil, put it on drip and it went into shock. It lost it's blossoms, most leaves, and most tips have turned black.

Here is it's sad state:

There is hope that new buds are forming on the green part of the trunk.

The thing you see lying on the ground is my hiking staff. It's a big hill with lots of danger lurking. What do you suggest?


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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

I would not have bought a tree in that poor condition in the first place.

That being said, about all you can do is keep it watered and wait. Mulch would likely help as Avocados like their roots keep shaded and cool. The best mulch is their own fallen leaves, but baby trees don't have that, so provide a shredded composted wood product mulch until the tree is large enough to produce its own mulch. Keep the mulch a few inches from the trunk of the tree. If it survives, you may need to provide some temporary shade in the heat of its first summer in that location to get it through until the weather cools off again.

Having myself fruit trees on a slope, including Avocados, my further advice would be to built terracing and/or steps so you can safely access the trees for care and harvesting.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:00AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

The tree is on a slope in well drained decomposed granite. Someone in the fruit forum thinks it's got root rot. YIKES! But, I researched that and found it can be cured. Link below.

I'm not convinced it has root rot. But maybe it had that when we bought it. We bought it because it was big and full of blossoms. Didn't occur to us that it wasn't healthy.

I will do as you say and shade it. I have something called "Cloud Cover," an organic spray that protects leaves from sun IF it ever gets leaves again.

Meanwhile we'll get more mulch on it, keep the dripper on, and hope it recovers.

Should we clip off the dead wood, or just leave it?


Here is a link that might be useful: Root Rot Treatment for Avocados

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 10:20AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Is that just one dripper on it? I try and run a loop around the trees so I get water on several sides of the tree.

Did you mail order the plant? I know we had a few hot days, that plant might have been fresh out of the green house. Might not be a root rot issue just shock

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:16AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I think your suggestion of several drippers around mignt be the answer. We picked up this plant from a local nursery. They explained that the brown tips were from a recent freeze. We accepted that.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 12:47AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

I would try a moisture meter before adding drippers and see if it is wet or dry.

One other thing, you have a gopher basket around it so I have to think they are an issue. We have a few trees that we struggle to get enough water too because it all seems to trickle down old abandoned gopher holes.

It would probably help to do what Patty suggested in making safe access to the trees AND destroy those old holes at the same time. Making safe access has been a project of mine for a while, my garden is really my moms and she is 90 so switchbacks and obvious ways to walk on a hillside garden are really important issues for me.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 2:21PM
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