When it comes to how to prune an avocado tree, there are a few guiding principles that you should keep in mind. Open your avocado, as explained above. #4 – Know when to prune heavily. Sterilize and sharpen your loppers or pruning shears. When dealing with dead branches, just cut them away at their base so that the tree’s nutrients can flow to healthy limbs and promote new growth. Do not wait until they have grown as that will only complicate the process and might damage the tree. Feeding. Hand pruners are perfect for removing smaller branches in the tree’s canopy to let the sun shine through. Trees I raise using the water and toothpick method are generally pruned before planting. For the love of avocados, This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Here are three avocado trees planted in front of a house in Carpinteria that form a green screen. Making strategic moves like cutting longer stems and branches will help contain height and width. Check the depth of the hole is correct by placing the tree, still in it’s bag, into the hole. It eliminates the terminal apical outbreak, thus promoting the generation of new outbreaks. Planting a tree. Dig a whole large enough to fit the root system. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. After this, your trees should grow back after approximately three years. This type of pruning is not recommended for beginners as it can permanently damage or kill your tree. When pruning, take care to make your major cuts clean and in line with the natural contour of the trunk. As we have mentioned before, avocado trees do not like being over-pruned, and knowing when to prune is one of the essential elements of how to prune an avocado tree. Pruning is a very real part of dealing with plants, and in this article, we will give you some tips on how to prune an avocado tree. Perhaps you’re growing your tree using the water and toothpick method and are thinking about planting it. Fertilizer. Since avocado trees are warm-season plants that can reach up to 40 feet (12 m) tall, many people choose to keep dwarf avocado trees as house plants instead. When it comes to avocado tree pruning, outdoor and indoor avocado trees are no different. Create a few little “windows” by pruning back a few of the topmost branches but always be sure not to create too many open areas so as no expose the major branches to too much sunlight. It is now 2 metres high. Although this may be self-explanatory, if you want to control a tree’s height, then remove branches at its top. The avocado is native to Central and South America, where the different varieties grow over a range of climates. Otherwise, you may infest the freshly cut limbs … Place the glass in bright light where temperatures are at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 C.). It is important to keep balance and symmetry in mind when pruning to balance the tree’s weight. Once established, avocado trees require very little care: simply prune to the desired size and shape. Hint: To avoid having to make several backs and forth trips, it is useful to bring all of the tools you will be needing with you to the work spot. Beyond that, pruning will likely be limited to what’s needed to contain its size, removing deadwood or branches that are crossing over or congesting the canopy. Trimming the tips off these branches discourages new outward growth and will help keep your plant a good width for its pot. Planting avocado trees only 7.5 feet apart means that you must either let their canopies merge or you will have to prune yearly if not twice yearly in order to keep them growing as independent units. Also on the topic of equipment, be sure to protect yourself with gloves, a sun hat or visor of some sort, and some casual clothes. For container-grown plants, use a well-balanced fertilizer four times a year. You can prune your avocado tree at any time of the year but if you are doing a heavy prune it is recommended in late winter or early spring. Without this pruning and topping, avocado trees grow to … Therefore, you should not prune your avocado tree a lot. The avocado as a houseplant shouldn’t be treated any differently than those grown outdoors, so pruning avocado trees indoors is no different. Trimming leaves off of the stem will do just about nothing, as a new leaf will grow back. The first serious trimming should occur when the plant is only 12 inches tall. [2] X Research source Since you’ll be cutting into the flesh of your tree, you want to make sure your tools are free of bacteria, pests, and toxins. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. Avocados are self thinning and if not pruned regularly, they can grow tall and spindly as house plants. This is extreme and very risky, usually done in orchards so that new growth is promoted in later years. Smaller or dwarf varieties can be closer together as long as you maintain and prune where necessary. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. Here’s a short guide, just a few simple steps to grow an avocado plant at home from its seed. Remove and gently clean the seed. Also keep in mind to put it in a large(r) enough container, which can support the eventual height. They are certainly worth it. Just make sure you are using clothes that you will not mind getting dirty. You should be fine. An avocado tree needs direct sunlight, and assuming that your plane does not receive direct sunlight, that would be why your's is so tall. Prune back vigorous central shoots while the tree is still young. Avocados do not like being over-pruned. When the stem is about seven inches tall, prune your avocado plant by cutting it down to about three inches. In addition to annual pruning, staking your tree is a great way to keep its branches healthy and intact. Do not fertilize your avocado tree after heavy pruning as the latter will naturally trigger more foliage. This article has been viewed 57,708 times. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Pruning From Seed Growth If you grow an avocado plant from seed, the shoot typically grows into a single, spindly stem. They are fragile trees and major pruning should only be done during spring and summer and great care should be taken not to damage the tree. Avocado leaves turning brown? Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, guides and recipes from Avocado Buddy! Also remember that what works for one tree may not work for another tree — pruning should be done on a case-by-case basis as no two avocado trees are the same. Cut branches at their base to fix small limb breakages. The healthy and delicious fruit seems to render any effort required to obtain it more than rewarding. Ladders are essential when it comes to pruning newly-planted trees because they have shallow root systems that cannot balance out the accelerated growth of the top of the tree. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 57,708 times. Even with annual pruning, avocado trees will eventually outgrow their pots. Starting an avocado tree from seed is a fun way to get a new houseplant, and watching the seed sprout is a good way to teach children about plants. Research source Trim the tallest branch to trim back the height and if you are looking after the width of the tree look for the most unruly branch and work your way in. This is especially essential if the tree’s branches start tangling with another or if they are blocking you from mowing or irrigating. If you have an avocado plant with a small pot, it will sprout and grow until it has exhausted its pit’s supplies. 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