I grew an avocado from seed - in my ignorance I didn't pinch it back
when young. Now it is 4-5 feet tall and very spindly, beginning to bow
Can this plant be cut back to encourage bushing out? How far back can
I cut it?
Will it need fertilizing?
i havne't grown avocado's much. i think avocado is not teh most flexible
about prunig. older trees have problems wiht sunburnt bark (these may be
teh trees wiht Guatemalan and Mexican ancestry (cool highlands)
maybe it's spindly becuase it was grown indoors in shade? you could try
setting it among loose shrubbery until the breezes induce its trunk to
Pruning: Columnar cultivars require pinching at early age to form a
rounded tree. Others need no training. Current orchard practice avoids
staking. The best results are obtained by fencing the tree with plastic
mesh for the first two to three years. Container and dwarf trees will
need constant staking. The skirts of avocado trees are sometimes trimmed
to discourage rodents, otherwise the trees are usually never pruned.
Branches exposed to sun by defoliation are extraordinarily susceptible to
sunburn and will surely die. Such branches should always be whitewashed.
It is better to avoid any pruning. Most cultivars are ill-adapted to
espalier. They are too vigorous. Avocado fruit is self-thinning.
Fertilization: Commence feeding of young trees after one year of growth,
using a balanced fertilizer, four times yearly. Older trees benefit from
feeding with nitrogenous fertilizer applied in late winter and early
summer. Yellowed leaves (chlorosis) indicate iron deficiency. This can
usually be corrected by a chelated foliar spray of trace elements
containing iron. Mature trees often also show a zinc deficiency.
I did the same thing and finally got the courage to take the top 12"
off. Now I have a 4' avacado with three new branches on top covered in
If you're main trunk is spindly and won't support it's own weight try
giving the tree a bit of a jiggle when you walk by it. When a tree is
outside it is stimulated by the wind to stiffen it's trunk. When we
grow them inside they aren't stimulated and get weak.
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