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DavidACook
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Avocado Tree in Florida

Just planted a young avocado tree. It is about 4 ft. tall. Seems to have a pretty thick root system. Any advice on keeping this alive? I live in Florida. We have been getting lots of sun. Its planted on the side of the house so we are looking at 1/2 sun on it. Help! I want this tree to flourish!!
-David Cook

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DavidACook
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Re: Avocado Tree

Here she is.
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DavidACook
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

help!! i think it might be starting to not take in the ground. What do i do?!!
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applestar
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

Why do you think so? Please provide a little more detail.

Is the ground well drained? Are you watering it until it is well established?
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imafan26
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

I would plant the avocado tree further from the house and in full sun. Avocados can get up to 50 feet tall and while they have fine roots it spreads pretty far and should be about 30 ft away from buildings. I know someone who lives downhill from an avocado tree and he is digging up avocado roots 50 ft away from the tree.
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DavidACook
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

The leaves are starting to look a little more wilted than they originally did. Its on the side of the house that gets a little bit more than half sun. And yes I'm watering it very well. Im not sure why its looking sad.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

I don't know either, could be just transplant shock; it isn't rooted in yet where it is. But that is a good time to move it. As imafan said, you really don't want that tree to flourish that close to the house. Mature size varies between different varieties, but average might be 25 or more feet tall and 20 feet wide. Where it is you will be constantly pruning branches away from scratching on your house and then you will end up with a misshapen half a tree several times as wide from the center on the outside as on the house side.
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DavidACook
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

well the reason it is where it is, is because we needed a tree in that spot. so we won't be moving it. the ground where it is planted is well drained. mostly sandy soil. i put the soil from the pot that it came in the hole too. So the transplant should be taking in theory. it has only been a few days so i suppose we will see how it plays out. Do avo trees like sand?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

Because you want a tree in that spot is not a reason to plant a totally inappropriate one. There are lots of shrubs and small trees that would be better suited to that space. If your avocado tree makes it through this transition, it will only take it a few years to outgrow the space, as far as branches hitting the house and roots tending to invade your foundation. Up to you of course, but don't say we didn't warn you! :) I guess you can grow it for a few years until it gets too big and then if you still live in the house, cut it down and start over.

Yes, they do well with sandy soil.
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DavidACook
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

Im not too worried about it hitting the house. Its on a corner towards the backyard. We wanted to plant something we could get some use out of. Who's to say its inappropriate? thats a little extreme.
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applestar
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

Sounds like you are determined. :D

What cultivar is this avocado? Be sure to look up it's growth characteristics. Any time a large tree is planted near a structure, the key is to stay on top of necessary pruning tasks to head off or train (by pulling the branch down or in a more desirable direction. You need to be aware when is the right time to prune because avocado will fruit on the tip of the branches so you don't want to cut off potential fruits after they have formed.

Is there another avocado near by that would cross pollinate it? Most cultivars will need a second pollinator.

BTW Next time you are driving in residential neighborhoods, be sure to look around and look at some houses with large trees planted close to the house, so you'll have an idea what the other members are talking about. I see them all the time -- sometimes they are still small, but I know how they grow up to be in a few years.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

David

RBG's comment about the tree being inappropriate for the space was not at all extreme. I am a licensed landscape contractor. I had an active landscaping business for 10 years and still occasionally do consulting work.

The most frequent mistake made by DIY landscapers is planting shrubs and trees that are inappropriate for the SPACE.
Jacksonville has a very long growing season. Your plants will quickly outgrow the space you have allowed. In 3 to 5 years you will be beating yourself up trying to keep your plants pruned. -wall-

Even if you manage to keep the overall size of your tree under control you can not control the root system. In a few years you will see damage to your fence and foundation from the roots.

Mature size is a critical factor in plant placement - especially trees. Even a dwarf avocado can have a mature spread of 12 feet. So figure a radius of 6' + 1/3 the radius. The tree should be planted no closer that 8' from any structure . I don't think your tree is a dwarf variety.

David - when members of the forum respond to a question they base their response on experience, both personal and professional, education and research. The responses you receive are all well meant and are never intended to sound critical. Frequently there will be varied opinions based on varied experiences. In your case the advice is fairly unanimous.

Sorry if you got the wrong impression. :(

Good luck
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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

imafan26
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Re: Avocado Tree in Florida

Avocados need well drained soil, not necessarily sandy soil, they do not do well in alkaline conditions and they are intolerant of salt so if you live within a block or two from the ocean, the avocado will not be happy.

Most of the trees here are 40-50 ft tall untrimmed. People do top them to keep them shorter but they put out long branches and you need to stay on top of the water sprouts. Even the topped ones are still about 30 ft tall. Keeping them under 20 ft will sacrifice a lot of the fruit. Most people try to keep lateral branches to keep the fruit low and pickable, but those branches will still go out 15-20 ft.
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