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How to Plant and Space Avocado Trees

Avocadoes produce a beautiful shade canopy and rich delicious fruit. These trees grow best in a Mediterranean climate with hot sunny summers and cool wet winters. If you live in a hot dry desert climate, growing avocadoes is still possible, you will just need to provide shade and wind protection for the young trees. When you buy young trees from a nursery they are most likely started from a graft. These trees should produce fruit in 2 to 3 years after planting. Avocadoes can be a little particular about soil, sun exposure and water, but with a little care and attention you will have a beautiful fruit-producing tree in a few years.

Space your new avocado trees 15 to 20 feet apart when planting. If the trees are too close together, fruit production will be low to none.

Prepare the soil at your chosen planting site. If you have loose sandy soil that drains well your avocado will grow well, but if your soil is thick and wet you will need to dig out the area, mix the soil with coarse sand and refill the area with the new mixture.

Dig a hole in the earth that is the size of the nursery pot you avocado is in. You can place the potted tree in the hole to measure the hole before you remove the tree from the pot.

Carefully remove the tree from the nursery pot. You can turn the pot on its side and, grasping the base of the trunk, wiggle the tree free. If the pot is thin enough, consider cutting it away from the root ball, this will prevent damage to the tree roots.

Place the tree in the prepared hole and fill in the earth around it. The earth should cover the root ball and come to the base of the stem.

Water your newly planted tree thoroughly so that the roots can get established in their new environment.

After the initial watering allow the ground to dry out for a few days before you water again. Feel the ground, if it is still damp to the touch wait until it is dry.


Avocados like lots of water but need well draining soil. If water sits around the roots, the roots will rot and kill the plant.

If you live in a very hot dry climate you will have to water every couple of days, but if you live in a cooler moist climate you can water every week, or when the ground begins to feel dry.

Avocadoes need shade for the first few years after planting. Once the roots are established they need full sun for fruit production. Build a shade structure for the young tree and then remove it after the first year or two.

Avoid fertilizers for the first year, after that you can use a citrus fertilizer 4 times a year.

Avocadoes are heavy feeders; it is unlikely that you will be able to grow other plants around or under your avocado tree.

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