Avocado Growing Advice


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I have a Lil Cado (Wertz) tree. I got it in April 2014 at about 4 feet tall. I planted it into a large pot. Right away and we got many flowers that turned into about 30 tiny avocados. Unfortunately, I decided to adjust the stick because the trunk of the tree was taped to it and I was afraid that it would inhibit growth. So I took all the tape off and the trunk just flopped over. It was so limp! I tied it back to the stick with twist ties, but all but one of the avocados fell off. That avocado is still growing and should be ready to be picked at the end of this month!

Here is the exciting part.... after purchasing the tree and planting it, a new shoot sprouted out of the seed. This shoot shot up fast! Today (Sept 2014), the new shoot is 6 feet tall whereas the original tree is still just 4 feet tall. Also, the leaves of the new shoot are about 3 times larger, the trunk is about 3 times thicker, and the trunk is solid (is not limp limp). It seems like I have two completely different trees growing from the same avocado seed. Very weird!

Here is my question.... once I pick the single avocado growing from the original tree, should I cut it off? It is still limp, the leaves are smaller, and the trunk is thinner. I wanted to snip that small tree and let the new large tree keep going. Is there any drawback to this? Should I keep the weak little tree? Do they need each other for pollination or anything like that? I would not think so because the original tree pollinated itself and grew avocados when the new tree was not there.

Thank you!

Steve
 
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I have a Lil Cado (Wertz) tree. I got it in April 2014 at about 4 feet tall. I planted it into a large pot. Right away and we got many flowers that turned into about 30 tiny avocados. Unfortunately, I decided to adjust the stick because the trunk of the tree was taped to it and I was afraid that it would inhibit growth. So I took all the tape off and the trunk just flopped over. It was so limp! I tied it back to the stick with twist ties, but all but one of the avocados fell off. That avocado is still growing and should be ready to be picked at the end of this month!

Here is the exciting part.... after purchasing the tree and planting it, a new shoot sprouted out of the seed. This shoot shot up fast! Today (Sept 2014), the new shoot is 6 feet tall whereas the original tree is still just 4 feet tall. Also, the leaves of the new shoot are about 3 times larger, the trunk is about 3 times thicker, and the trunk is solid (is not limp limp). It seems like I have two completely different trees growing from the same avocado seed. Very weird!

Here is my question.... once I pick the single avocado growing from the original tree, should I cut it off? It is still limp, the leaves are smaller, and the trunk is thinner. I wanted to snip that small tree and let the new large tree keep going. Is there any drawback to this? Should I keep the weak little tree? Do they need each other for pollination or anything like that? I would not think so because the original tree pollinated itself and grew avocados when the new tree was not there.
Most if not all purchased avacado trees are grafted. What you are seeing is a shoot from the origional root stock. What you are also seeing is an example of a bad graft. The tree should not be limp. I would take it back. If that is not feasible and you want to keep the characteristics of Lil Cado cut the new shoot of at ground level. With gardening tape tie the limp tree loosely to 3 sticks, just enough so it can't fall in any direction. What it also could be, instead of a bad graft, is that you planted the tree much too deep when you repotted it. The graft should be above the ground. If you can't see the graft remove the dirt until you can.
 
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Most if not all purchased avacado trees are grafted. What you are seeing is a shoot from the origional root stock. What you are also seeing is an example of a bad graft. The tree should not be limp. I would take it back. If that is not feasible and you want to keep the characteristics of Lil Cado cut the new shoot of at ground level. With gardening tape tie the limp tree loosely to 3 sticks, just enough so it can't fall in any direction. What it also could be, instead of a bad graft, is that you planted the tree much too deep when you repotted it. The graft should be above the ground. If you can't see the graft remove the dirt until you can.
Wow, that is very interesting. So what is wrong with keeping the new shoot? Are you saying that it could be a different type of avocado tree or that it may not produce any avocados? Do you think the original shoot will strengthen over time? I am amazed at how much bigger and stronger the new shoot and leaves are. It makes sense now that it is a completely different type of avocado tree. I could have also planted the tree too deep. I have to check it. I'm not sure about this. What is wrong with planting it too deep? Thanks a lot for your help!
 
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Wow, that is very interesting. So what is wrong with keeping the new shoot? Are you saying that it could be a different type of avocado tree or that it may not produce any avocados? Do you think the original shoot will strengthen over time? I am amazed at how much bigger and stronger the new shoot and leaves are. It makes sense now that it is a completely different type of avocado tree. I could have also planted the tree too deep. I have to check it. I'm not sure about this. What is wrong with planting it too deep? Thanks a lot for your help!
Yes, it will be a completely different tree. There are many different root stocks for all kinds of different fruit trees. Different growers use different root stocks for different reasons. In the case of avacodos the main reasons are cold hardeness and disease resistance. Your hybrid was developed for its dwarf size and it was grafted onto a root stock that may be one of the full size avacado trees that grow to 80 feet tall. If you keep the new shoot you will have no clue as to what it will end up as. It may be a non-bearing stock. You just don't know.
Planting too deep. There is a name for which all trees have in common with each other. It is called Root Flare. Root flare is where the underground roots of a tree meet and become the trunk...Trees are genetically engineered by Mother Nature to have the root flare exposed. By burying the root flare it is something that a tree is not designed for. It will eventually kill the tree, maybe years down the road, but it will kill it and in the meantime it will be a sickly unhealthy tree. On your tree if you stake it like I said and make sure the root flare is exposed you have a better than even chance the tree will thrive. Also fruit trees will abort many of their baby fruits if the tree senses it cannot grow them to maturity. This is natural and you can't do much about it. Just like what happened to your 30 avacados
 
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Yes, it will be a completely different tree. There are many different root stocks for all kinds of different fruit trees. Different growers use different root stocks for different reasons. In the case of avacodos the main reasons are cold hardeness and disease resistance. Your hybrid was developed for its dwarf size and it was grafted onto a root stock that may be one of the full size avacado trees that grow to 80 feet tall. If you keep the new shoot you will have no clue as to what it will end up as. It may be a non-bearing stock. You just don't know.
Planting too deep. There is a name for which all trees have in common with each other. It is called Root Flare. Root flare is where the underground roots of a tree meet and become the trunk...Trees are genetically engineered by Mother Nature to have the root flare exposed. By burying the root flare it is something that a tree is not designed for. It will eventually kill the tree, maybe years down the road, but it will kill it and in the meantime it will be a sickly unhealthy tree. On your tree if you stake it like I said and make sure the root flare is exposed you have a better than even chance the tree will thrive. Also fruit trees will abort many of their baby fruits if the tree senses it cannot grow them to maturity. This is natural and you can't do much about it. Just like what happened to your 30 avacados
You really know a lot about trees. Thanks for your help! I will be sure the root flare is exposed when I get home. Is there a way I can strengthen the original trunk? It is so limp and weak.
 
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You really know a lot about trees. Thanks for your help! I will be sure the root flare is exposed when I get home. Is there a way I can strengthen the original trunk? It is so limp and weak.
That other shoot coming up has drained a lot of energy from the growth of your tree. Cut it off. Tie you tree loosely to stakes placed at the edge on the inside of the pot at 10 2 and 6 oclock. The tree has to be able to move a little. Keep it sunny, warm and moist, not wet. Do not fertilize until the tree is healthier. Make sure there is good drainage in the pot. You might also do an avacado tree dance
 
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I went home and took a closer look at the base of the tree. I took a picture and attached it. I originally thought there was a seed, but I don't see one here. I'm not sure if it is buried deeper or if there is no seed. It appears that the root flare is not buried, so that's good. What is interesting is that the two shoots appear to be coming out of the same spot. Can you tell from the picture if the new sprout is from the original root stock? At the base, both sprouts are thick. The sprout on the right is the original sprout. About 6 inches up, it appears that the sprout split, but one side was snipped off. The one that was allowed to keep growing gets thinner and thinner as you go up. The left side is the new sprout. It stays just as thick all the way up about 5 feet before getting thinner. From this, does it look like a different species or is it the same species but just stronger and healthier?
 

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I went home and took a closer look at the base of the tree. I took a picture and attached it. I originally thought there was a seed, but I don't see one here. I'm not sure if it is buried deeper or if there is no seed. It appears that the root flare is not buried, so that's good. What is interesting is that the two shoots appear to be coming out of the same spot. Can you tell from the picture if the new sprout is from the original root stock? At the base, both sprouts are thick. The sprout on the right is the original sprout. About 6 inches up, it appears that the sprout split, but one side was snipped off. The one that was allowed to keep growing gets thinner and thinner as you go up. The left side is the new sprout. It stays just as thick all the way up about 5 feet before getting thinner. From this, does it look like a different species or is it the same species but just stronger and healthier?
I cant tell for sure from this pic. Please dig the dirt away from the base of the plant. Also take more pics of the two shoot from different distances and perspectives.
 
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Thanks for your advice. I think you were right in your initial assessment. There was a clear V shaped scar which must be front the graft. The new growth clearly comes out of the root stock, not the grafted part. Therefore, I cut off the new growth this weekend. Thanks!
 

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This lesson in growing an avocado tree has been very informative. I didn't know you could even grow an avocado tree from a seed, I know you start a new plant from the seed but I did not know it would become a full size tree and give you more avocados. Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge on growing this type of tree.
 
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I want to grow one as well but didn't really know where to start. Thank you for all of this great information too. I will insert a link to some really great instructions.

I found this helpful :)
Danyel :)

http://rebeccascudder.hubpages.com/hub/An-Almost-Foolproof-Way-to-Grow-an-Avocado-from-a-Seed

An almost foolproof way to grow an avocado!!!
There is a reason commercial growers do not grow from seed. First of all you will have to wait years (6-9) for the tree to become mature enough to produce and second, the fruit that is finally produced will more than likely not be anything even similar to the fruit that you planted. 99.9 % of the avocados you find at the grocery store are from grafted trees. You will have better luck on the seeds if you buy the small Mexican avocado but even that is iffy and they are also cold sensitive. There may be folks out there that have successfully grown a good avocado from seed but it will be a rare occurrence.
 

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