Avocado base re-work ok?

serge94501June 17, 2013

I have three avocado trees. They were planted in August 2012 and are doing "ok" I would say. They started off with a lot of brown leaf tips/drops and didn't look very good but after some adjustment seem to be looking better.

I had them all covered with landscaping fabric and then bark and thought maybe I could do better so this is what I came up with. It's like a before-and-after, but with two different trees. I have only done one so far. Am I on the right track? Anything else to do? I have the one its first shot of fertilizer and hope it will stimulate some growth over the summer.



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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

What was your intention in using landscape fabric? Why do you think you need it? 95% of the time it is not needed.

Avocados want a thick fluffy mulch of their own dropped foliage. Until they get large enough to provide that for themselves, any organic based mulch is a good idea, but keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of the trunk to avoid rot issues.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 4:03PM
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When we bought the house the entire backyard was a blackberry thicket, about 8 feet high. After removing what we could we'd find that a little water and fresh air and sunlight would bring up a shoot. What's worked has been the landscape fabric covered by bark.

This was before we planted trees. When we did we just cut the fabric like an X, pushed back the bark, planted the tree, then replaced the fabric and the bark. I got to thinking maybe the trees would be happier with no fabric and no bark at least out to the drip line, so I tried that with one of them.

I'll get some organic compost and pile it up except not next to the trunk.

I should do this for all my trees, yes? Persimmon, citrus, cherry, etc...

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 8:58PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Well, you have done a nice job controlling the blackberries, which is a huge accomplishment. I know it doesn't look as nice, but I'll echo what Hoovb said and encourage you to let the fallen leaves collect under the avocado to provide shade and cool for the roots. Make sure to give it plenty of water this summer but don't let it get soggy.

All of your trees will appreciate good compost, and yes, you should keep all mulch a few inches from the trunk if possible.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Avocados are shallow rooted and need air in the root zone. Landscape fabric interferes with the worms surfacing to feed on the microorganisms in the compost, which it transfers down through the soil helping both aeration and soil structure. Blackberries are going to show up and will have to be rooted out as they appear to prevent them reestablishing. I would remove the fabric at least two feet beyond the drip line of the trees. Al

    Bookmark   June 19, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Hey so I work out in Alameda and go for a jog every day after work. I noticed several months ago an avocado tree growing in someone's front yard. At first I thought I was seeing things b/c other than one near the Fruitvale BART and the one in AT&T Park, I haven't seen any in the area.

Since then I've been on the lookout and have seen dozens upon dozens of avocado trees in Alameda. Is there a nursery around here pushing avocado trees or something? I am just surprised that your average homeowner around here would think to grow them this far north. Are they all around in the east bay too?

What varieties do people grow up here? All the fruits I have seen are small.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 7:30PM
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Hi Ryan:

I have heard about some monster trees here but have not seen them not have I heard about the fruit quality

I went with a Lamb Haas, a Sir Prize Haas, and a Pinkerton.

They really don't push them at the local nurseries.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 1:18PM
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I guess I didn't mean 'push' so much as introduce people to the idea of growing them here. It just seems like an unusual choice for people around here unless they saw them at a particular local nursery or something.

I have seen some big ones in the Buena Vista/Grand area and I swear I saw a giant growing on Lincoln, but I was driving and haven't been able to locate it when on foot. Many of them were flowering last month so I'm keeping an eye out to see how much fruit sets.

Best of luck to your trees!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 1:36AM
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When we lived in Watsonville on the Monterey bay we had a very large avocado planted by a previous owner that produced lots of fruit. When a neighbor removed their tree, ours stopped bearing fruit. Growing avocado trees in northern California is not usually a problem, but getting fruit is chancy. We had a beautiful tree here in Calistoga that never bore a single fruit, it was killed to the ground in the December 1990 freeze. Al

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:02AM
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serge94501, update on your avocados?

I'm thinking about getting one to plant in our new yard on the peninsula. Are most varieties self fertile or do I need to plant two? I'm not sure there are any others in the area.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 6:30PM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

Most avocados in the Bay Area will fruit OK, probably enough for the average family, without a pollinator, but they give a lot more fruit with one. Like enough to give away to the neighbors and become really popular. ; )

Just make sure one is an "A" type and the other is a "B" type. It should say on the variety tags which one they are.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:11PM
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still_kris(z17 NoCA)

Avocados need to be grafted to bear well. My mother nearly killed our tree by raking up all the leaves. Thank heaven she called an arborist who told her to stop raking. Unfortunately, I believe the people who bought our house had the tree removed. Best avocados ever, Fuertes.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:09AM
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