The Q&A Archives: Avocado Trees

Question: I have two advocado trees in my back yeard. Last year was the first year that they started to bloom and have a start of advocados on them. About a week or two after the avocado began to grow, either a bird or some kind of aminal ate all the avocados off the trees and I had no avocados for the whole season.

Do you have any advice or can i purchase some kind of spray product that would keep the animals/bugs away from my trees? Also the leaves are turning brown around the edges of the leaves. Is this a fungus or natural?

Thank you in advance for your help and your response to my avocado crisis.


Answer: There really is nothing your can spray on your tree to deter birds or critters, but you can drape them with bird netting to protect the fruit if the trees are small and accessible. Avocado trees are generally insect pest free, with the exception of the Persea mite in southern California. The mites cause yellow and black spots on the foliage and excessive leaf drop. You can contol these pests by releasing predatory mites (contact your local Cooperative Extension office for details). The browning around the leaf edges can indicate a salt build up in the soil. Avocado trees require moist, but fast draining soil. When watering, flood the soil every third or fourth time you water to help leach out excess salts. Fertilize lightly (1/2 pound of nitrogen each spring; broadcast evenly on the soil under the canopy of the tree and water it in well). Hope your tree regains its health soon!

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