Avocado problem, please help

drj102March 1, 2014

I live in Sacramento, CA and planted a Bacon Avocado two years ago. I made sure I planted it under bigger trees however, it does get morning and early afternoon sun. The soil is a bit wet and I wish it was better drained. The first half year to year it went crazy! It grew a ton and looked wonderful. Last year we had a few avocado's and only one that latest and didn't really ripen. However, throughout the last year it started to turn yellow and the leaves have thinned out. Even the branches are turning yellow. I've tried everything more water, less water, and I just put fertilizer on it and have a couple times but, a lot less then this last time. As you can see in the photos it's thinned out but, new growth is showing on the tips� I'm gratful for any help as I have always wanted an avocado tree and this one was great for the first year and now I'm worried it may be too late to save� Thanks again

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

thats a lot of fert ...

i cant see the trunk/root flare ... can you pull back the rock and show us..

if its not there.. its planted too deep ...

whats your status re: CA drought ...

you should water when it need water.. insert finger ... two or three inches ..... and find out if the soil is wet or dry.. you make it sound.. like you are guessing ...

leaf loss.. even on an evergreen.. is not extreme.. the year of transplanting ... life is all in the new spring growth ... IF... you dont kill it with too much love ...

as far as i am concerned.. greening of the branches.. looks like it is waking up for spring... but i dont do avocado ...

more facts


ps: in my garden.. its time for the stake to go ... first year only ...

pps: and please do tell.. is there plastic under the rock??? ... looks like there might be between the trunk and the dead stump ..... if so... you might be suffocating it.. roots need air.. as much as water ... remove such in at least a 3 foot circle around the trunk ... thats 3 foot on each side.. so i suppose.. a 6 foot circle ....

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Thank you for the quick reply⦠:)

When I say a lot of fert I mean more than I had done the pervious two times which was just very little.. I followed the feeding instructions for the citrus/avo fert.

As for the drought⦠we have been super dry but, just got huge rain the last two days

I may have it planted too deep but, I did plant it on a little mound as I knew they liked it to be well drained⦠Can I try and dig around it and pull it up higher???

Also, I have the weed mesh up around all my trees and the figs are not growing too well either⦠I didn't know I could suffocate the roots. :( Is it best to just pull the mesh off around the trunk three feet in radius???

Thanks so much for your time on this!!!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 8:24PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Avocado roots are sensitive to excess moisture, with root rot the common result.

See this

Here is a link that might be useful: avocado UC IPM

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:57AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its easy in my book ...

if mother nature intended a plastic sheet over the soil.. she would have provided it..

yes.. get rid of it ...

it is affecting the NATURAL flow of water and moisture.. in and out of the soil ...

and in fact.. most weed seeds are airborne.. and within minutes of its placement.. ma nature is applying seed on top of it.. not to mention vermin.. birds.. etc ...

frankly.. many of us are of the position.. that its one of the biggest wastes of money in the garden world ... all propaganda... and of little actual use ...

if the soil.. without the matting.. remains damp.. then you plant the tree 'high' ... and that could be addressed in the tree forum... aw what the heck.. see link.. lol ... look for the section on dealing with clay soils ...

i see the root flare ... no rock within at least 6 to 12 inches of the trunk.. you can handle weeding that spot ...

but preferred.. again.. at the link.. would be a good mulch .. but that would still be held back from the trunk a few inches ...

i did not read jeans link ....

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Thanks Ken and Jean!!!

I was worried about root rot and hopefully it hasn't startedâ¦

I'm going to be removing all my mesh from around the trees I planted and get some good mulch down too :)

Thank you again for your time :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:38AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

What avocado want is a thick, fluffy mulch of their own fallen leaves. Their roots need some air, so the weed mesh isn't helping. They take plenty of water, but if their roots do not have sufficient oxygen that encourages the rot. Do not clean the fallen leaves out from under the tree, leave them there, uncompacted. (Do keep them clear of the immediate few inches right at the base of the trunk.) They are heavy feeders. Likely some of the problem is it being a baby tree in winter. If you can get it through the first couple of winters it will be stronger. It doesn't look horrible, so not time to give up.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 11:48AM
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hoovb, thanks for the tip on the leaves and pick me up :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 10:38PM
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