KittyCatastrophe
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Kitty Ate My Homework

So I just got a new kitten, and he decided last night that my avocado tree, which I have been nurturing for a year, was worth chewing and knocking over. It is about two feet high, and he got it right in the middle.

So far I have tried tying it back up, and putting moist soil around the break. Is there a better way to try and salvage my poor tree?

I read that it might be possible to cut it below the break to encourage new branches, but I don't want to risk it on cursory information.

Thanks!

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applestar
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

Avocados are great at growing new shoots. :D

Look below the break for a cluster of bumps which are proto-buds and make a clean cut just above them at a 45° angle, choosing a primary bud you want to have grow out. (If you are in the northern hemisphere) this is a good time for it. It will grow back in no time at all, and you will have multi-branched, bushier tree that ultimately will look better than before.

Reduce amount of water you give at each watering and possibly wait a little longer before watering again compared to before since it has less foliage to transpire now.

If you want, post a photo before cutting. :wink:
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KittyCatastrophe
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

My break is pretty far away from any leaves, so I want to make sure before I recklessly destroy my poor avocado. Below is a link to two pictures of the tree. The first is its overall condition, and the second has the break near the top, and what I THINK might be a node in the lower third, near the piece of electrical tape. (I used whatever I had handy to put support together.

https://imgur.com/a/WeBSr

Thanks!

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Cola82
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

Wow, I can see why she went after it. It looks exactly like a cat teaser.

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feldon30
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

KittyCatastrophe wrote:So I just got a new kitten, and he decided last night that my avocado tree, which I have been nurturing for a year, was worth chewing and knocking over. It is about two feet high, and he got it right in the middle.
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

One of my cats will not allow ANY object with filling to remain on ANY flat raised surface in the house. Be it a cup of coffee, a jar of coins, a potted plant.... If it's left unattended, it will be broken.

BUT...there is a fix that's worked well for us. At least for the plants sake. It scares me too, when I forget about it.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000DZFFN ... ot_redir=1
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imafan26
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

I have three cats. I have no house plants. Actually, I have been able to keep orchids in the house with the cats I have now and they have not bothered them. The cat I had before would dig out the plants from the pots overnight, but she was a hunter.

I haven't had a christmas tree in the house since 1995. That tree was set up in a bedroom that the cats were not allowed access to. Otherwise, the cat would go after the ornaments and then climb the tree, knock it down, and get sick licking the tree resin off her claws. Instead of a dead tree in the house, I have a rosemary that has been shaped and I will park it outside of my front window and put some light decorations on it. The rosemary replaced the stone pine that I had for many years.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

Interesting .... until fairly recently we had three indoor cats (down to one now, because the others were elderly and finally passed on). We alway have a (real, cut) Christmas tree every year (including when the cats were younger) covered in ornaments and in cold weather I have 20 some containers of plants, from trees on down, in the house. The cats don't bother any of it except that sometimes they chew on plants, especially the grassy ones and then puke it up. Usually they don't injure the plants in that process, just chew leaves that are sticking up.
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applestar
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

OK it looks to me like there are several proto-bud bumps just below the blackened break point.

I realize it's really scary, but it should be OK to cut immediately below the edge of the black damage. I see a good bump to the right of the stem. Do you see it? You'll want to cut about 1/4" above it with a very good sharp pair of pruners. If you don't have one, cut way above it, then lay the plant on its side and put the stem/trunk on a cutting board, then make a clean cut with a sharp knife with a rocking motion -- 45° angle with pointy tip about 1/4" above the bud.

The lowest part of the angled cut should be exactly or just above the opposite side of the stem to the top edge of the bump.

What you don't want is crushed stem.

I hope I'm explaining clearly.

NOW if you are really nervous about this, another way to do this is to actually let the damaged part flop down but not completely sever it. IF the proto-bud is at the highest part of the plant, the bud will be stimulated to grow and new shoot will begin to grow.

The upper foliage may begin to shrivel and the tip may try to turn up and grow. Just keep it from getting higher than the bud you want to be the new leading shoot. Tie it down if necessary.

After good growth has begun, you can sever the trunk just above it.
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KittyCatastrophe
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Re: Kitty Ate My Homework

Thanks so much! I don't have a sharp pair of pruners, but I have the scissors I use to cut through people's clothes, including leather, so hopefully those will work!

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