How to Trim Avocado Trees

Overview

Avocado trees need less pruning than many other types of plants. Whenever possible, it is best to let the trees grow naturally so they can balance their foliage and fruiting wood growth. However, you can trim avocado trees to control their height, prevent weather-related damage, fix a poor growth habit and encourage good health. Avocados grow thickly, so you may need to trim the tree to open it up for sunlight penetration.

Step 1

Trim avocado trees in the late winter or early spring. They should not be pruned in the late summer or early fall because you will promote vegetative growth and make the trees more prone to frost injuries.

Step 2

Remove as little of the healthy green wood and leaves as possible. Focus instead on stems growing in the wrong direction, as well as those that are dead or dying.

Step 3

Cut off diseased and damaged wood any time of the year. This will stimulate new growth and prevent more damage. If you notice wood that's been damaged by frost, wait until the spring because it may rejuvenate itself.

Step 4

Cut unwanted branches as close to another branch as possible. Focus on making cuts to smaller branches because they will stimulate growth of new buds near the cuts. Removing very large branches can result in gaps throughout the tree.

Step 5

Snip off the tip of an unruly trunk or limb if the avocado tree is growing sideways, unbalanced or growing tall without branching off to the side. Pinch back the end bud on shoots growing upright. Do this regularly as young trees mature. The tree will spread out more and become bushier.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears

References

  • California Agriculture Service: How to Prune Avocado Trees
  • Gardening Know How: Pruning Avocado Trees: Trimming An Avocado Houseplant
Keywords: trim avocado trees, prune avocado trees, avocado tree

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.