Staking Young Avocados

fangzz(z8 n.w. fla)April 7, 2011

I planted a Gullogly (dwarf, self-pollinating) 2.5 years ago. It's doing very well. Very healthy looking avocado. BUT...

It is the spindliest looking thing. limbs and trunk going in all directions. I have had portions of it staked for support and direction, but I have avoided staking as much as possible in order for the trunk and branches to develop some strength of their own. It has gotten so gangly lately that I am worried about the trunk breaking. Like my heart, at the same time, if that happened. Really looking forward to the fruit this year.

Any advice on staking 'Ava?' Drew

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hmhausman(FL 10B)

A picture is worth 1,000 words.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 10:49PM
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simon_grow

Its a good idea to stake your plant when it is small and getting established but I always remove my stakes as soon as the plant is strong enough to hold itself up in strong wind. In my opinion, its ok for the limbs to be blown around, it will make the branches stronger. Is your Avocado getting full sunlight? Are you pushing its growth too hard by applying too much fertilizer?

Even though you have a dwarf avocado, you may want to top it because dwarf avocados can still get to 15-18ft or more without pruning, depending on variety. Like Harry said, a pic is worth 1000 words.
Simon

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 12:29AM
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fangzz(z8 n.w. fla)

Simon, thanx for that helpful post. Full sun. Couldn't get better exposure. Since planting 2.5 years ago, haven't fed ava except with humus and mulch. Leaves are rich dark green. No chlorosis at all. But, it's probably time to apply a small amount. This is my first avocado, and I have no complaints. Only a little troubled that the trunk and branches are SO flexible. And, forget about it if Ava fruits this year. No way could the branches support heavy fruiting. I would have to stake. In the meantime, I feel like I'm taking a very slight chance on breakage (the branches are heavy with foliage), but I'm betting, as you pointed out, that I'm helping it become a stronger plant, physically. We get hurricanes here and I KNOW I'll have to protect her then with some significant staking, at least for the next couple of years. I've posted a picture which is not the best, but shows how it leans over and from a short distance resembles a bush, but is really just a single trunk that does not stand up. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 2:50PM
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fangzz(z8 n.w. fla)

Forgot to mention, the pic is on 'Garden Gallery' since no pics are allowed here, far as I was able to determine.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:35PM
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simon_grow

I read somewhere that avocados don't like too much phosphorus for some reason. It sounds like your tree is really healthy and may have spindly limbs because it is young. I have a Holiday dwarf avocado I purchased recently and its limbs are not very strong yet. It is only about 3-4 feet tall and I may top it very soon so that its future fruiting branches are low enough to be hand harvested. Let us know how your avocado does.
Simon

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 4:12AM
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