Avocado tree - Knowledgebase Question

Stanford, CA
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Question by eunirodo
April 8, 2007

I would like to plant a Mexican avocado tree in my garden. I read in the label that it grows up to 25' tall. I have also read elsewhere that the roots of the avocado are very aggressive and will smother plants around it. So, how safe/unsafe is it to plant this species of avocado next to a blue hibiscus and near (about 6 feet) to a lemon tree?

The alternative is to plant it in a spot with only 4 and a half hours of sun and not so much water. I have read that avocado trees do not need much water. Is this true. and will it bear fruit with only 4 to four and a half hours of sun?

Please, try to answer my questions specifically. If you just send me generic information, I may not know where to plant it.


Answer from NGA
April 8, 2007
Avocado trees need lots of space and lots of sunshine. Planting within 6' of a lemon tree, unless it's a dwarf, will be too close. Eventually the canopies of your lemon and avocado trees will become entangled. Plant the trees 25-30' away from each other and both will grow and produce well. The roots of an avocado tree can be encouraged to grow deeply by deep watering. Those trees which produce surface roots are looking for water. So, start your tree out right by building a watering basin or watering well beneath it after it's first planted. When you water, fill the basin with water, allow to drain, then fill it a second time. This method of watering will concentrate the moisture over the rootmass and allow it to trickle down, wetting the entire root mass. Avocado trees can drown if the soil drains poorly or you water too frequently. Water once a week (as above) the first year your tree is in the ground; reduce watering (but water deeply) about once every 10 days during its second year. After that, it should only need deep watering about every 2 weeks during the growing season.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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