Avocado in distress!


Joined
Jul 26, 2014
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I planted an avocado tree in my backyard a week or two ago that was growing in a porch of a town home. Immediately it started to show signs of distress and the leaves are looking discolored in certain spots. I know the soil drains well and its been pretty rainy here (Central Florida). Could this be sun burn? Or is it something else, like a water issue?

BTW the woodchips are layered on top of a layer of mushroom compost which was put over the existing grass. Underneath the soil was fairly good and we dug a decent sized hole to place the tree in.

Avo2.jpg


Avo1.jpg
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
8,657
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I planted an avocado tree in my backyard a week or two ago that was growing in a porch of a town home. Immediately it started to show signs of distress and the leaves are looking discolored in certain spots. I know the soil drains well and its been pretty rainy here (Central Florida). Could this be sun burn? Or is it something else, like a water issue?

BTW the woodchips are layered on top of a layer of mushroom compost which was put over the existing grass. Underneath the soil was fairly good and we dug a decent sized hole to place the tree in.

View attachment 3231

View attachment 3232
I think this is sunscald and the plant should acclimate and be ok. Usually a water issue will show on the edges of the leaves first. Same thing with root damage. Is the plant wilted like this in the morning? Was this plant in a pot before transplanting. Is that plant in the background also wilted?
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2013
Messages
859
Reaction score
168
Location
Connecticut USA
Sunburn is what is causing the brown, it was moved from a porch where it was protected and now its in the open. The wilting is probably due to not enough water, stick something down along the outside edges of the plant into the ground and see if it comes back dry, damp or soaking wet. If its dry then it needs to be watered. Its probably in shock too from the sudden change from porch to ground.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2014
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
@Chuck: The plant is droopy like that all the time, not just in the morning.
@firelily99: I dug down into the soil earlier in the day and noticed it was kindave dry. It had not rained for the past two days so I watered it with the hose until the soil was moist.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
8,657
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
@Chuck: The plant is droopy like that all the time, not just in the morning.
@firelily99: I dug down into the soil earlier in the day and noticed it was kindave dry. It had not rained for the past two days so I watered it with the hose until the soil was moist.
I have another question. What is put on the grass, if anything, to keep down weeds? Something else to consider....if the plant was in a pot how big and how dense was the root system and did you seperate or open up the root ball? I really don't think this is a water issue though. This looks like burning, either from the sun or from chemicals. It would not surprise me if the grass was fertilized with Scott's Weed and Feed or something similar and if it was you can forget about planting any broad leaf plant in that area for quite some time. Also, remove the mulch and compost just enough so it doesn't touch the tree
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 26, 2014
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
@Chuck: It was in a pretty decent sized pot, about 1 1/2 ft wide I want to say. When we removed the plant we did break up the caked dirt in the root ball. I know that the grass has not been treated for weeds with chemicals, at least not in a looong while (like years). I unfortunately didn't put anything to stop grass and weeds from growing through the compost and mulch, which I dearly regret :/

Avo.jpg


Also, Chuck, forgot about your other question, the plant in the background was transplanted the same day, I think its guava. It was wilted also in the beginning but has been recovering much better. Here is a photo of it.

Guava.jpg


I was thinking of creating a little canopy with some shade cloth and spikes for the Avo tree, it seems to be getting burnt from the side facing the east.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
8,657
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
@Chuck: It was in a pretty decent sized pot, about 1 1/2 ft wide I want to say. When we removed the plant we did break up the caked dirt in the root ball. I know that the grass has not been treated for weeds with chemicals, at least not in a looong while (like years). I unfortunately didn't put anything to stop grass and weeds from growing through the compost and mulch, which I dearly regret :/

View attachment 3233

Also, Chuck, forgot about your other question, the plant in the background was transplanted the same day, I think its guava. It was wilted also in the beginning but has been recovering much better. Here is a photo of it.

View attachment 3234

I was thinking of creating a little canopy with some shade cloth and spikes for the Avo tree, it seems to be getting burnt from the side facing the east.
If it were being sunburned it would be from the hot afternoon sun not weak morning sun but a canopy of shade cloth would not be a bad idea. There is a product called SuperThrive. It is made with synthetic vitamins and is an amazing product. I don't normally recommend products that aren't organic but in this case I think it is justified. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way so be sure to follow mixing directions. I have literally seen this stuff bring back to life plants I thought were dead. You can get it at any real nursery. Also, was the hole you dug deeper than soil level in the pot? If so dig it up and plant it shallower. Also if the root flare of the tree is not visible it is planted too deep. It is important that the root flare be visible.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 16, 2013
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
763
I planted an avocado tree in my backyard a week or two ago that was growing in a porch of a town home. Immediately it started to show signs of distress and the leaves are looking discolored in certain spots. I know the soil drains well and its been pretty rainy here (Central Florida). Could this be sun burn? Or is it something else, like a water issue?

BTW the woodchips are layered on top of a layer of mushroom compost which was put over the existing grass. Underneath the soil was fairly good and we dug a decent sized hole to place the tree in.
Having looked through the various responses to your problem as well as having a good look at the various pictures that you have posted - as someone who has some experience of growing avocado trees these are my thoughts as to what is going on with your avocado tree

As avocado trees are sensitive to sun due to the fact that their bark doesn't protect them and especially so when young and because of that - are best grown in a shady sport with bright light rather than a sunny one - until they are at least a couple of years old - I feel more than sure that the marking on your leaves - is sun scald.

As avocado tree roots are very sensitive and don't like having their roots disturbed at all and are known to suffer transplant shock - even if you been extremely careful not to disturb the roots and even more so if transplanted outside of the normal planting time - which is between March and June and as they generally have a tendency to look exactly as yours does at present - makes me think that is what the problem is with yours - transplant shock.

My apologies to Chuck on this one - but I would strongly advise you NOT to use SuperThrive on your tree and especially not in its present condition - particularly as it is very strongly recommended that you don't fertilize an avocado tree for at least the first year - as fertilizing is best left until the tree is well established and even then only a yearly application of a light solution of a potassium and phosphorous rich fertilizer is all that is needed.

In order for your tree to start improving - I feel that giving it some shade is the greatest priority at present - as until it is in its more natural environment - instead of it recovering you are likely to see it getting weaker and weaker the longer it is exposed to the sunlight and if once you have given it some shade you wish to help it along a bit - as your tree can't take up water properly while it is in shock - you could try a light misting of the leaves every couple of days - as that often works wonders :)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
8,657
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Having looked through the various responses to your problem as well as having a good look at the various pictures that you have posted - as someone who has some experience of growing avocado trees these are my thoughts as to what is going on with your avocado tree

As avocado trees are sensitive to sun due to the fact that their bark doesn't protect them and especially so when young and because of that - are best grown in a shady sport with bright light rather than a sunny one - until they are at least a couple of years old - I feel more than sure that the marking on your leaves - is sun scald.

As avocado tree roots are very sensitive and don't like having their roots disturbed at all and are known to suffer transplant shock - even if you been extremely careful not to disturb the roots and even more so if transplanted outside of the normal planting time - which is between March and June and as they generally have a tendency to look exactly as yours does at present - makes me think that is what the problem is with yours - transplant shock.

My apologies to Chuck on this one - but I would strongly advise you NOT to use SuperThrive on your tree and especially not in its present condition - particularly as it is very strongly recommended that you don't fertilize an avocado tree for at least the first year - as fertilizing is best left until the tree is well established and even then only a yearly application of a light solution of a potassium and phosphorous rich fertilizer is all that is needed.

In order for your tree to start improving - I feel that giving it some shade is the greatest priority at present - as until it is in its more natural environment - instead of it recovering you are likely to see it getting weaker and weaker the longer it is exposed to the sunlight and if once you have given it some shade you wish to help it along a bit - as your tree can't take up water properly while it is in shock - you could try a light misting of the leaves every couple of days - as that often works wonders :)
We agree on what is happenning to the tree. However on the use of SuperThrive I strongly disagree. ST is not a fertilizer by any means. No nitrogen, potash or phosphorus nor are there any minerals. If there were it would have to be listed It is made of synthetic vitamins. It smells like vitamin E. This stuff hs been sold for many decades and it works. It is privately owned and controlled by a family, an old old man and his 2 sons. As of 3 years ago he was still alive I've heard. Anyway, they aren't saying what is in it nor are they required to because it is not a fertilizer. They do not claim it be. It is made exactly for this type of thing. Transport and transplant shock, chemical poisoning, over fertilizing with chemical fertilizers, lightening strikes, physical damage of any sort etc. I have literally seen this stuff used on trees that I would have sworn were already dead. The scratch the bark and dried brittle stem test for example. I only rarely recommend this stuff and that avacado tree is in need of something other than what can be done by waiting and giving it shade.
 
Last edited:

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top