The Q&A Archives: Avocado Tree

Question: I have an Avocado tree approximately 8 feet from my house. Is it possible the roots will lift or crack my slab? If I cut the roots near the house will the tree die?

Answer: Avocado trees grow about 30 feet high and upwards of 40 feet wide, so your tree is not in the best place! You can keep the tree smaller by judicious pruning, but you might want to consider moving it before it becomes a real problem. The roots of the treeare concentrated in the top two-feet of the soil, so moving it won't be too difficult at this point. Wait until the weather cools in the fall or early winter and carefully dig it out. First decide where you want to plant the tree and dig a hole. Thentake your spade or shovel, beginning directly below the canopy of the tree, and dig a trench about one-foot deep, all around the tree. Then try to dig the tree out, removing the entire rootball as intact as possible. Place the rootball on a tarp or hoistit up into a wheelbarrow, and move it to it's new spot. Make sure the hole you dig will accommodate the rootball without crowding, place the tree in the hole at exactly the same level it was growing, and backfill the hole with native soil. Water welland be sure to water once a week during the winter if there is no rain. Your tree shouldn't suffer too much shock if you transplant it in the cool weather, and you'll be able to rest easier knowing it won't become a hazard to your home.

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