How to Prune an Avocado Tree. Avocado trees are slow to grow, but generally need very little care to become full and strong. Young avocado trees require a bit more care than large adult trees, and with a little pruning you can help to stimulate and speed the growth of your tree. Before cutting away aimlessly, it is important to understand the pruning needs of an avocado tree.
Remove dead or damaged wood on your avocado tree at any time to help stimulate growth and prevent further damage to your tree. Damaged wood caused by freezing is the exception, as what may look to be dead in the winter months, may actually renew itself in the spring. If you believe damage has been caused by freezing, wait to prune the tree until the spring to determine where and how much to cut.
Prune your tree sparingly, unless the wood is dead or damaged. Try to remove as little healthy green wood and green leaves as possible. Pruning should not be performed in late summer or early spring, however any other time of the year is fine.
Stimulate growth by making cuts as close the a lateral hanging branch as possible. If large branches are removed while pruning, your entire avocado tree will be stimulated to grow, however large branches should only be removed if absolutely necessary. Smaller cuts around the tree will stimulate growth near the cuts themselves.
Prevent irregular growth, common in avocado trees, by pruning young trees as they grow. You can help to shape your tree by cutting off the very tips of branches or pinching a bit off of the upright shoots of the terminal buds. Repeating these steps regularly during the first years of growth and development will help your tree to grow in a compact and even form.