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Author Topic: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!  (Read 3170 times)

NewGen

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My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« on: April 23, 2012, 11:48:35 PM »
OK, so this is my 3rd time trying to keep an avo alive. The 1st tree was planted out in full sun, very hot/dry in the summer. The 2nd time, I built a shade canopy to give it some protection. Both trees lasted less than a year. Initially both showed great growth, but then many of the leaves began to brown out starting at the tip, and the leaves became very brittle, I could crumble them between my fingers. The tips of the branches also blackened at just withered. This 3rd tree was planted in a different location, with shading provided by the banana mat, but still gets lots of sun, though not as intense as a southern full exposure. I've noticed that it's put out a few flushes of new leaves. However, I also see a few leaves browning at the tip, and getting brittle. Only difference this time is there's no blackened branch tips. Any ideas as to what's going on? Thanks!!!




bsbullie

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 12:57:42 AM »
Is that fertilizer I see all around the tree ?  What is your soil like and how wet does it stay on a regular basis ?  From the picture, the tree looks like it may be planted a little deep (it is difficult to see completely from the angle of the photo and lack of close up of the graft and soil line).

Sun shouldn't be the issue and if it is dry then just supplement with irrigation/hose watering.
- Rob

NewGen

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 01:29:06 AM »
Rob,

Those white particles are not fertilizers, they're grit (part of the gritty mix). I had some left over gritty mix for my other container plants, so just dumped it in the area, not intending to cover the avocado area. The soil is moist most of the time, since bananas like lots of water. It's not soaking, standing water or anything like that, just moist.  I don't think I planted it too deep, but I'll verify this tomorrow. Since you mentioned irrigation, are you thinking that the leaves are drying out due to lack of water?

fruitlovers

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 03:11:18 AM »
Looks to me like sunburn. Reflected heat off that fence can help to fry that plant. Put some shade 35% cloth over the plant until it's well established. Once it's got good roots into the ground take shade cloth off during a cloudy or rainy spell.
Oscar

bsbullie

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 07:22:11 AM »
Rob,

Those white particles are not fertilizers, they're grit (part of the gritty mix). I had some left over gritty mix for my other container plants, so just dumped it in the area, not intending to cover the avocado area. The soil is moist most of the time, since bananas like lots of water. It's not soaking, standing water or anything like that, just moist.  I don't think I planted it too deep, but I'll verify this tomorrow. Since you mentioned irrigation, are you thinking that the leaves are drying out due to lack of water?
I was leaning toward a water issue.  You said the soil stays moist, while they like to be "watered" they don't like wet feet.

I am a little hesitant to go with too much sun though reflection off the fence is possible.  You said this tree is in a different area, was the previous area near the fence and was the soil in previous area as moist ?
- Rob

NewGen

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 11:16:02 AM »
Thanks Oscar, Rob:

The previous 2 trees were in full sun, open space, no fence. The 2nd one had some shade cloth above. I also suspected that since the trees were young, the hot, dry wind had something to do with it. I do see several houses with avocados in the yard, but those are all much larger trees. One guy I talked to said that I should wrap the trunk of the young avo with some light colored cloth to protect it from the sun, until well established. What do you guys think of that idea?

Mr. Clean

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 06:25:19 PM »
Thanks Oscar, Rob:

The previous 2 trees were in full sun, open space, no fence. The 2nd one had some shade cloth above. I also suspected that since the trees were young, the hot, dry wind had something to do with it. I do see several houses with avocados in the yard, but those are all much larger trees. One guy I talked to said that I should wrap the trunk of the young avo with some light colored cloth to protect it from the sun, until well established. What do you guys think of that idea?

Never heard of that idea.  I suspect your tree loses most of your moisture from leaves, so I'm not sure how much wrapping the trunk will help.  First question...did you get an avocado tree from a local nursery, to ensure that the avocado is tolerant of your local area?  Avocados can suffer from root rot if the roots are kept moist; bad drainage is a serious issue for avocado.  If you are keeping the ground moist for your bananas; that could encourage root rot in your avocado.  Some people plant their avocados on a mounds in south Florida to ensure that the roots are kept dry in the event of temporary flooding.  I realize you are in California and have different conditions. 
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fruitlovers

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 06:43:31 PM »
Thanks Oscar, Rob:

The previous 2 trees were in full sun, open space, no fence. The 2nd one had some shade cloth above. I also suspected that since the trees were young, the hot, dry wind had something to do with it. I do see several houses with avocados in the yard, but those are all much larger trees. One guy I talked to said that I should wrap the trunk of the young avo with some light colored cloth to protect it from the sun, until well established. What do you guys think of that idea?

Those symptoms could be caused by hot dry wind. You can put a shade cloth cage around your whole tree to protect it from wind and sun while it's still small and vulnerable.
Oscar

simon_grow

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 08:18:06 PM »
Did you add any fertilizer to the soil when you planted it into the ground?  I've read that you should hold off on fertilizing an avocado until it gets somewhat established. New Avocado plantings do like a lot of water if you have good drainage but standing water WILL KILL your plant.  If you have a tendency to overwater, it may be a good idea to plant on a mound so that any excess water will flow away and because part of the root mass is above the soil level, the roots are able to dry out faster.  If it gets very sunny where you live, it is recommended that you paint the main trunk with a 50/50 mixture of Interior White(or any other light color) Latex paint and water.  This will preven sunburn on the main trunk and stems which can lead to other problems down the road.  Have you noticed that your trees tend to die around wintertime?  If so, you should hold off on watering during the winter time and water only when the soil is very dry.  Many plants are killed by overwatering in the wintertime when temps are low.  There are also some serious viruses that affect avocado trees.  To me, the damage on your leaves look very minor and may be caused by disturbance of the roots when you planted the tree or simply may be wind burn.
Simon

CTMIAMI

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 06:07:44 PM »
That looks like root issues, related to fertilizer burn or rotting due to too much humidy.  Too much Miracle grow or Vigoro water soluble can do that as well. I have burned my share of trees in my lifetime. The avocado can grow in full sun. Once I have a few leaves on my grafts they go in full sun, my seedlings grow in full sun as long as the root sustem is in good shape they can handle it. That is why it is importan to chose rootstock good for your area.  Some times nurseries buy trees form another nursery with poor root stock some times thats the culprit. Salt from water suplies can mimic fertilizer burn,

Every time I seen that issue when the tree evantualy dies and I look at the root root system and is gone. 

Good luck, don't look at it every day, some times that helps.

Carlos
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Carlos
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Guanabanus

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 01:28:48 PM »
General Rule:  If a plant at a nursery is grown under shade, especially 50% or more shade, a plant moved outside during bright hot weather will be stressed and probably sunburned.  If possible, move out during cloudy weather.  Otherwise, don't you stress about little patches of sunburn, because new growth, produced under the new conditions, will usually be adapted (unless it is a species that is always an understory plant).

When I plant a tree, I make a circular soil ridge just outside the rootball to retain hose water.  I fertilize, same days as planting, OUTSIDE the soil ridge, to make that soil fertil for when new roots reach it several weeks later.
Har

Guanabanus

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Re: My avocado plant is in trouble, I think, help!
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 01:32:34 PM »
Do follow bsbullie's lead and scratch around the base of the trunk to make sure that the top two or three roots are exposed at the base of the trunk.

As Dr. Al Will oft repeated in his classes, "Never bury the root crown!"  There actually are exceptions, such as tomatoes and bananas.
Har

 

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