Avocado trees require little maintenance and can be stunted from pruning. To maximize fruit yield and foliage growth, avocado trees should only be pruned when branches have died or when the trees have become overgrown. Do not prune in late summer and early fall; this will stimulate new growth that will be susceptible to frost damage.
Cut off suckers on the tree trunk with pruning shears. Suckers are small branches that emerge below the tree's graft line. If allowed to grow, these branches will take over the tree and cause it to produce inedible fruit.
Prune off dead wood in early spring. Bend the branches to determine if they are dead; they will snap easily.
Remove entire branches only when the tree is blocking a pathway or growing against a building. Cut the branch just above the collar to prevent infection.