30 Year Old Avocado Tree

lime123July 10, 2014

This is my first post on this forum, so hopefully, I won't be repeating a recently asked question.
When my children were young, we planted an avocado seed which grew into a delightful tree. Since it is in the house, in a pot, I have found that it seems to need transplanting, trimming and root pruning about every couple of years. The first time I did this, was about 15 years ago. I severely trimmed it back telling it to sink or swim. Happily, it swam, re-leafed and got lots of new branches. As the years have gone on, I have found that it seems unlikely to put out new growth on other than green wood which has meant that the branches at the bottom are getting a bit sparse and the top is growing a bit too much. It is growing into the skylight now and I will need to cut it back. My question is this: If I cut it back severely, will it again be inclined to get new branches all along the trunk or just at the top? Or will the shock just be too much for it?
Thank you. I would appreciate any help on this since putting the tree outside is not an option.
Patricia

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gnappi

I have only had a few avocado, and all were in the ground, so my experience may not be relevant to such an old tree in a pot.

All my avocado responded to severe pruning by coming back even stronger, taller and more lush. My current one was ~30' tall and it broke under the weight of fruit, so I cut it back to a 8' stump and today less than 2 years later I have to keep removing fruit to keep it from breaking again as it's nearly 30' tall again! This fall I plan on whacking it yet another time.

On the down side I lose a year of fruit by doing this.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 5:27PM
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lime123

Thank you. From seeing how the tree did with the first, severe pruning, and from what you have said about your trees outdoors, I believe I will give it a try. --And how fantastic it must be for you to actually get avocados.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 4:39PM
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fireduck(10a)

l....you have covered lots of ground....So, firstly: growing an avocado from seed can make a wonderful tree (yours looks great!)...but rarely provides quality fruit. If it does fruit...often it takes many years to fruit. That un-grafted tree will NOT be a clone of the mother tree. However, this is exactly how new varieties are discovered. Secondly, the lower branches will not sprout buds and fill in the lower trunk with branches. No worries...that tree looks nice. Just want you to have eyes wide open...your call.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 9:46AM
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gnappi

"And how fantastic it must be for you to actually get avocados. "

Two of my three were grown from seed, and both were creamy and delicious, but they are the Florida WET avocado.

"growing an avocado from seed can make a wonderful tree (yours looks great!)...but rarely provides quality fruit,
this is exactly how new varieties are discovered"

You are exactly right in both cases from what I've read and experienced.

This post was edited by gnappi on Sat, Jul 12, 14 at 11:33

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:29AM
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lime123

Thank you--all. I guess, since the tree is in a pot, it is my experiment. Just one more possibly answerable question, any thoughts on how it would fare if I trimmed off the whole top third?
Lastly, no, I have never gotten fruit from my tree, but it is a wonderful house plant.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:54AM
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