How to Prune an Avocado Tree

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Learn how to prune an avocado tree for the best fruit production with these easy to follow instructions.

Checkout this video:

Introduction

Pruning an avocado tree is an important part of keeping the tree healthy and ensuring a good crop of avocados. While you can let the tree grow without pruning it, this will result in a less productive tree with fewer avocados. Pruning also helps to keep the tree from becoming too large and unwieldy.

There are a few things to keep in mind when pruning an avocado tree. First, make sure that you only prune branches that are dead or diseased. Second, don’t prune more than one-third of the branches on the tree at any one time. Third, avoid pruning during the avocado’s flowering and fruit-bearing period, which is from April to September.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to prune an avocado tree:

1) Begin by examining the tree and removing any dead or diseased branches. Cut these branches back to the point where they branch off from a healthy branch or trunk.

2) Next, cut back any branches that are growing inwards towards the center of the tree. These branches will be competing with other branches for space and light, and should be removed.

3) Finally, cut back any branches that are growing outwards away from the center of the tree. These branches are not receiving enough light and will not produce as many avocados as branches that are closer to the center of the tree.

What You’ll Need

-Pruning shears
-Loppers (optional)
-Avocado tree

Pruning an avocado tree is important to maintain the health and shape of the tree. It is also necessary to remove any dead or damaged branches. Avocado trees can be pruned at any time of year, but it is best to do it in the early spring before new growth begins.

Here are some tips on how to prune an avocado tree:

1.Start by removing any dead or damaged branches. These can be identified by their dry, brittle appearance. Dead branches should be cut back to the point of healthy wood.
2.Next, prune away any suckers that are growing from the base of the tree or from the trunk. Suckers compete with the main branches for nutrients and can cause the tree to become misshapen.
3.Once the dead and damaged wood has been removed, you can start shaping the avocado tree by pruning away any stray or excess branches. Avocado trees should have a vase-like shape with an open center that allows light and air to reach all parts of the plant.
4.Use your pruning shears to make clean, sharp cuts just above a node (the point where leaves attach to the stem). Avoid leaving stubs, which can lead to infection and disease.
5.If you need to remove a large branch, use loppers instead of pruning shears.

Pruning an avocado tree is an important part of its care but it is also important not to overdo it. Remove only as much wood as necessary to maintain the health and shape of the tree – too much pruning can actually do more harm than good!

The Pruning Process

The pruning process of an avocado tree can be done in two ways, either by topping the tree or by heading it. Heading is the preferred method as it allows for more even growth. Topping the tree will result in a “lollipop” shape with no lateral branches.

Pruning should be done in early spring before the avocado tree begins to produce new growth. If pruning is done later in the year, it may stimulate new growth that will not have time to harden off before the first frost, resulting in damage to the branches.

To begin pruning, remove any dead or damaged branches first. Cut these back to the main trunk or lateral branch using pruning shears. Next, cut back any branches that are growing vertically. These vertical branches are competing with the lateral branches for space and light and should be removed to encourage lateral branch growth. Cut these vertical branches back to just above a lateral branch so that new growth will sprout from the lateral branch.

Once all of the dead, damaged, and vertical branches have been removed, you can begin shaping the avocado tree by pruning back the remaining lateral branches. Lateral branches can be cut back by up to one-third of their length without damaging the tree. Do not cut back all of the lateral branches on one side of the tree as this will result in an uneven shape. Instead, spread out your pruning so that Branch A is cut back by one-third, followed by Branch B, and so on around the entire tree.

After Pruning

Water the tree well the day before pruning. This will help to reduce stress on the plant.
Pruning an avocado tree is best done in the early morning hours while the plant is still dormant.
Start by removing any dead or diseased wood. Cut these branches back to the main trunk or to a healthy branch.
Next, remove any branches that are Rubbing against each other as these can cause damage over time.
Finally, prune branches that are growing out of the desired shape of the tree. These could be branches that are too long, too wide, or growing in an undesirable direction.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books

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