How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Training and pruning avocado trees

Young avocado trees should not require extensive pruning. Whenever possible, allow trees to develop naturally. Be sure to prune off any suckers that arise below the graft or bud union.

Avocados require early training. Terminal shoots should be pinched beginning the second growing season and continuing until the tree is properly shaped to promote lateral growth. If upright-growing varieties are not trained early, they tend to grow too high and the fruit develops in the upper two-thirds of the tree, making harvest difficult. Training early will help restrict the tree's height, and fruit will be produced closer to the ground and more evenly throughout the tree.

Pruning and thinning are not required to keep avocado trees productive or attractive. If you do prune to keep trees smaller or more confined, the ideal time is just before bloom or just after fruit set. That way the tree can naturally adjust its fruit load during the June drop. Minor pruning can be done at any time, but avoid late-season pruning, which can stimulate excessive tender growth that is likely to be injured by frost. Prune sparingly and remove as little green wood and as few green leaves as possible. Protect any exposed branches after pruning from sunburn by painting with a 50:50 white latex paint and water mixture.

avocado pruning
Prune off suckers and terminal shoots

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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