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Avocado pruning

Avocado pruning

These days some of my Avocados are getting pretty big (bigger than me anyway). So I think it should be about time to chop them into their final shape at what height from the ground should I make the lowest branch? or will they fall off as the years go by? because some of them are almost bushes with branches as low as 10 cm from the ground. Also My Hass tree set about 30 fruit this year and it's only 4 foot tall! I guess they will fall off but it's still got the one fruit it set last year on it, about 3/4 grown. That Hass tree is a disaster shape it has about 5 main stems all comming out of the same spot but I can never do anything about it because I'm allways waiting for this famous first fruit to ripen and now it has more, arrrrrgh, I've been waiting 12 months allready. The biggest Bacon I have has about 10 or 15 fruit on it and a Rincon has a few, seems like the plans all starting to come together now, another thing I found out is that they grow about 50 times faster with a 1 foot thick by 6 feet wide pea straw mulch around them, too bad I only put the pea straw around one of them :) but it grew more than 2 feet so far this spring/summer with huge leaves and is now well over my head and looking like at least another 2 feet before the winter, but it's got no fruit


The following thread was started by Jason on December 27, 2002 at 11:22 am PST

Pruning Avocado Trees


How you prune your avocado trees is up to you. However, in commercial groves here, avocados are kept to about 15 feet in height, and are trained into a wide bush. Forget the typical, single trunked fruit tree shape, it doesn't apply to avocados.

Hass grows more in width than in height anyway. Zutano is columnar in growth, and Bacon is somewhere in between. Either way, unless you have a need for a large, tall tree, I would prune them above 15 feet and encourage the bushy growth with branches low to the ground.


The above followup was added by Axel on December 27, 2002 at 7:20 pm PST.

Avocado Pruning


I faced the same problem when I was growing avocados before. I knew enough that they could not be pruned the same as a regular deciduious fruit tree so I went to the UC cooperative extension office and asked for leaflets on pruning. They had several and also some on orchard management and other things.

Pruning as applied to avocados is quite different, The leaflet suggested that instead of pruning of limbs you should pinch out the terminal bud to wake up dormant buds along the branches. The purpose was to eliminate fruit loss. Appearantly by using this method you can keep the height of the tree controlled and yet have a more bushy productive tree. It is also good to start this practice while the trees are still young as you have described.

I can say from personal experience that this method worked well on my white sapote tree. After a few seasons I had a very nicely shaped tree with loads of fruit and very rarely had fruit with any sunburn. The only real drawback to this method is the fact that it is time consuming but in the long run it pays for its self.
Hope this helps.


The above followup was added by William on December 28, 2002 at 4:42 pm PST.

I have been in a quandry, which method?

Most of my other trees are central leader, but mainly my decidious fruit trees. I was wondering if the same could be done for the avocado as well, but maybe not. I mean central leader, but use it to create a low tree, with lots of low side limbs. Only thing, it would really take up a lot of ground space, but lower a tree usually does.

I have heard of pinching back the growth tips, I have used it on the avocado already, I use it on all of my young trees, to force the tree down lower and to produce more branching growth and fruit wood.

Any more insight on the subject.


The above followup was added by David, Waterford CA, zone9 on December 28, 2002 at 10:40 pm PST.

I have a plan

I'm notice that none of the real low down branches on my Avocados set fruit, I don't know why that is really because those branches are much bigger and stronget than the normal branches further up the tree that have fruit on them. Anyway I decided to chop all the branches that are low down with no fruit off and use them to practise grafting every tree onto every other tree, so now I need to go and find some good grafting supplies,If none of the grafts take then I'll just prune them off and I havn't lost anything


The above followup was added by Jason on December 30, 2002 at 4:32 am PST.

I wouldn't

I would leave the lower branches on your 'cado tree.

I wouldn't even prune a cado tree , From what I have read, pruning will reduce fruiting and will increase rootzone soil temps in the summer.


The above followup was added by Jeff on December 30, 2002 at 1:58 pm PST.

Potted tree in Georgia

Gentlemen: I am so glad I found you! I have a avacado tree IN A POT and have had to keep it under under lites in the basement this winter. Its indoors 'cus it gets too cold to leave it on the patio thru the winter. My problem is that it is 10ft tall now. CAN I PRUNE IT? I really don't care if it ever fruits (I started it from a pit 'bout 7 years ago). It has a generally conical, Xmas tree kind of shape to it. So far, it has done well in the basement, but if it grows any taller this summer, its gonna be a real problem in October! Can I "top it off"? I'd like to take about 3-4 feet off of it - as long as doing so won't kill it, that is. I'd like to be able to keep it as long as possible - IF I can keep it in a more "domestic" proportion, like 6-8 feet.. Thanks, and please reply at your convenience. MGT

The above followup was added by Marla on February 03, 2003 at 2:23 am PST.

growing first avocado - pruning?

Gentlemen - i have recently seeded an avocado tree - about 1-2 ft high now - would like to grow a 20'-30' tree that fruits. Any quick pointers? Should i pinch back terminal buds as soon as possible, or allow it grow more? How fast should it grow in first 2 years? Thank you very much, Tom

The above followup was added by Tom on March 01, 2003 at 7:07 pm PST.

pruning a mature avocado tree

We just purchased a home and in the backyard of off the main deck is an avocado tree that is producing and is approximately two stories plus tall. The issue is that it is beginning to encroach on the house and looks like it has rarely been pruned. Does it need to be? It has no low lying (everthing is above 5 feet) branches and we were interested in pruning for light purposes. The higher branch system is pretty thick. Anyone with experience in this type of tree? Thanks in advance.

The above followup was added by Loren on April 01, 2003 at 2:59 am PST.

Best Time to Prune an Avocado Tree

What time in the year is the best time to prune an avocado tree?

The above followup was added by Ed on December 24, 2003 at 5:25 pm PST.

pruning an avocado tree that won't fruit

I have an avocado tree in my backyard. It is about 10 years old. For the past 5 years it hasn't fruited. Why would that happen? Would pruning it back help? If so how far back should I go with the pruning?

The above followup was added by Tennielle on January 08, 2005 at 0:20 am PST.

no fruit on avocado tree

my tree is about 7 or 8 years old. It has never gotten any fruit on it. What should I do to it to help it get fruit? Also how should I trim it and top it so that it will not get to tall. It is about 12 ft. tall. just a guess. What should I feed it. If you can help me it will be appreciated.

The above followup was added by Shirley on January 14, 2005 at 7:09 am PST.


I have an avocado tree started from seed about 4 yrs old, the trunk is about 3" dia.,at the ground, tree is about 8' tall, at 8" up from the ground a sprout is growing, 3/4 " dia. and 7' tall. I am curious to know why as no other tree same age and size has one. do you think it may be a different variety or just a sprout?
thanks! HT

The above followup was added by howard thompson on October 20, 2005 at 8:22 am PST.

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