How to Troubleshoot an Avocado Tree


The evergreen, lush avocado tree is a beneficial addition to landscapes, not only for the delicious fruit harvest but also for shade and as an aesthetic beauty. Although the tree is quick to branch out and can reach heights of 80 feet, the average height is about 30 feet. Avocados are high in monosaturates, second only to olives, and this fruit has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol in humans. Growing an avocado tree is usually low-maintenance, but if you notice problems with your tree, you need to identify the problem and find a solution.

Step 1

Look for a reduced amount of fruit on the avocado tree during the growing season. If an avocado tree blooms but bears little to no fruit, pollination probably wasn't sufficient enough. This could depend on your climate and insect activity.

Step 2

Examine the fruit for dark, rough spots or cracking on the bottom. This is caused by a lack of moisture and an increase in dry or arid conditions. If you notice this problem, water more regularly, but do not soak. When fruits become ripe, harvest immediately so the fruits don't have a chance to hang on the tree after maturation.

Step 3

Observe the leaves of the avocado tree. If they are dropping, turning brown or wilting, this will cause your avocado crop to reduce drastically. This is caused by an increase in arid conditions, not enough moisture in the soil or an increase of salt in the soil. To fix this, make sure your tree is receiving enough water by checking the soil at various depths with an auger.

Step 4

Take notice if any younger leaves start to turn yellow, but the veins stay green. This is called chlorosis and lets you know that your avocado tree has an iron deficiency. To fix this, apply chelated iron around the roots, following the instructions on the brand you use.

Step 5

Determine if the branches or fruit have any yellow or black areas, or become dry and cork-like. This is a sunburn problem. Paint the avocado trunk with a white, water-based paint. Repeat this procedure with exposed limbs that also have the problem.

Step 6

Take notice if harvested avocados have pits. Pitless avocados are called "cukes" and still can be eaten, and they technically still are avocados. No pits let you know that the soil around your tree is very dry and that your tree has dehydration. To fix this, water more often, but do not over-water. If your avocados continue to grow without pits, it could be a genetic mutation, and you should just enjoy the harvest.

Step 7

Write down the problems with your avocado tree, or take a photo if you are unable to troubleshoot the problems. Visit a gardening store for advice.

Things You'll Need

  • Auger
  • Water
  • White paint, paint brushes, ladder
  • Chelated-iron application
  • Notebook and pen


  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Avocado
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Keywords: avocado tree care, understand avocadoes, troubleshooting avocado trees

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.