Ask a Question forum: 2-yo Avocado Tree Near Dying

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La Puente, California
Jun 30, 2017 12:35 PM CST
Hello! I have an avocado tree about 2-yo and it was transferred from a pot into the ground 6 months ago. In the last 3 months the leaves started to turn brown and curl up near the bottom, and then gradually the symptoms extended to the upper tree. The leaves near the top also show yellowing now. This tree is planted outdoors and some days exposed to long hours of sunlight right now. I thought it was lacking nutrients, so I fed it a couple types of pellet fertilizers about 3 times in the last few months. The tree receives water at dusk 3 times a week. I live in Southern California. What are your recommended next steps to save this poor tree?

Thumb of 2017-06-30/possle/e80bb6

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Jun 30, 2017 2:07 PM CST
Hi there 😁 from Fresno CA.
My three trees, 2 to 3 years old, look like yours. I belive, the ten day, triple digit heat wave, we had, sun burned them.
Hopfully Crossing Fingers! Someone with some expertise, will reply.
I was about, to post same thing, about mine.
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jun 30, 2017 4:23 PM CST
Some of your avocado's problems may be due to sunburn but.. The foliage does show signs of nutrient shortfalls. When the leaves dry and curl inward like that, its usually a sign of inadequate nutrition and inadequate soil preparation before you planted the tree. And new healthy growth on avocados is usually bronze.

What avocado trees need mostly is Nitrogen. I have always used Nitrogen Sulfate a couple times a year (early spring and early summer) and Citrus food the rest of the time.

Whether its advisable to add more fertilizer depends upon how much you used, what kind it was, if it was time release and how long ago. What you can do now is get rid of the grass - it is robbing the tree of nutrients and moisture - and add a mulch of fine compost.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
Jun 30, 2017 4:40 PM CST
I agree with Daisy. Keep the compost at least three inches away from the trunk, or you will be inviting rot. You didn't mention drainage. Does your soil drain fast? If not, you may be over watering, depending on how much you give it 3 times a week. If you are just sprinkling, it may be to dry. I would think a deep watering once a week would be enough unless the water runs through like a sieve. You could check the moisture near the root ball with a moisture meter or a bamboo chopstick pushed in as far as it will go.

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