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Can an avocado tree survive and grow in Australia?

I planted an avocado plant and it grew to about 15 inches in the shade. We placed it in the sun under a big lemon tree and Australia is pretty hot so it hasn't been doing very well at first with its leaves getting scorched and a few at the top even getting too scorched it fell off. It's been doing ok now however still not so great when it's a hot day but I can see several new shoots with leaves emerging from it.

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Re: Can an avocado tree survive and grow in Australia?

It's a tropical tree, native to South Central Mexico, so I would think so. But tropical (as opposed to desert) trees often need a fair amount of moisture and not such hot direct sun as you are talking about.

I keep hearing about the terrible heat waves going on in Australia this year (and the last couple years!) I think that is most severe in eastern Australia. I don't know where you are and if this is affecting you. It would make a difference to keeping your avocado tree alive.
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Re: Can an avocado tree survive and grow in Australia?

Avocado does sunburn easily, especially while young. You may need to put up some kind of shade -- shade cloth, etc. for it.
I have to be very careful and acclimate them to the sun when I bring my potted avocados outside after spending the winter indoors. (Full shade at first, part sun and more sun, etc.) Miscalculation can result in scorched leaves. One year, I was overenthusiastic in pruning one and the exposed trunk and branches turned black -- fortunately it recovered.

I imagine it might be similar to the north American PawPaw which needs to be planted in a shady spot that will get more sun later as it grows and benefits from being surrounded with a shadecloth when first planted if in an open location. I planted mine where it was shaded by a 5 foot fence and an elderberry shrub at first -- they have outgrown the protective shadows now though.
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Re: Can an avocado tree survive and grow in Australia?

Since you had it in the shade and brought it out to the sun, it might have needed a bit more hardening off. The best time to harden things off is in the cooler months of the year. If the leaves are growing then it will probably be alright and it is adjusting. I would not worry about it much. The new leaves that are coming out will be adjusted to the light, just make sure the avocado has enough water and is fed now that the leaves are growing. Avocadoes are big trees, they do take a fair amount of water and they are not tolerant of salt. Actually if the tree survives and grows in, it should help cool the house and the yard. They can be messy though especially when the leaves and fruit drops. Most avocadoes will bear fruit around 7 years old from seed or 3-4 years from a graft. Avocadoes are not usually self polinating unles you have a tree that is grafted with both A and B types.

Apparently they do grow in some parts of Australia. In Hawaii it is an orchard crop. The sharwill is an Australian cultivar that was being developed by the local industry.
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