The Avocado fruit is one of the most nutritious and delicious fruits there is. A lot of people love to grow them in their yards, but they do require some special care and maintenance.
In general, Avocado plants like full sunlight, but one of the issues that many people face is when their Avocado trees are dying. Is it possible to bring them back to a healthy life?
Dealing with a Diseased Avocado Tree
One of the leading causes of Avocado tree death is root rot and fungal diseases. There are a number of varieties that affect Avocado trees, and if this is not addressed quickly it can take over the tree and kill it. But how do you recognize when there’s a problem with your tree?
Consider the following signs and symptoms:
- The leaves of the tree are turning brown and falling off
- Many of the leaves in the upper part of the canopy are pale green, small, have brown tips, and fall off easily
- Any new shoots turn brown and recede from the tip, leaving only the bare branches
It’s important to be aware that brown leaves on your Avocado tree don’t always mean it is diseased. There are times when too much sun and too much heat will certainly cause the leaves to yellow or turn brown. In these cases, watering them more consistently and keeping them out of full sunlight is a good idea.
So, what can you do if your Avocado tree is diseased? Here are some steps you can take to return it to a healthy state:
1 – Identify the Issue
The first thing you need to do is take note of all of the symptoms. Take them to a local gardening center and talk to someone who understands what it might be. Doing this will determine how you are going to handle reviving the tree and potentially eliminating the disease that is causing the problem.
2 – Use Gypsum
Gypsum is rich in calcium and some varieties of root rot will not thrive under these conditions. Use around 25 pounds of crushed gypsum and work it into the soil surface to a depth of around six to ten inches.
This calcium rich environment will help to prevent new spores from forming in certain fungal diseases and will help to prevent the life-cycle from continuing.
3 – Use Mulch
If you liberally spread several inches of wood mulch around the base of the tree so that all of the root areas are covered, you can help to promote better growth. The wood mulch will actually promote the growth and development of bacteria that can inhibit and eliminate some fungal diseases.
4 – Don’t Water as Much
One issue with some trees is that they are overwatered. Overwatering any plant can create conditions for fungal growth. Try holding back on the watering so that you don’t encourage fungal growth. The spores don’t like dryer conditions.
5 – Test the Water
Sometimes, certain elements, such as boron, can encourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria and fungus. If you’ve tried everything else and the tree isn’t getting better, you can take a sample of your yard water to be tested.
6 – Check the Drainage
Poor drainage in the soil will hasten the appearance of root rot and other problems because the water stays in the soil and soaks the roots. One way to prevent this situation is to dig drainage channels around the tree roots.
Some people use channels of PVC piping, but it may just be easier to dig small tunnels with a spade around the roots and leave them filled with loose soil. This will provide a reasonable channel for excess water to drain through. If your Avocado tree is located on sloping land, the drainage channels become more effective.
7 – Replace with New Soil
In conjunction with other methods, you can also try replacing the top layer of soil with new soil. This will help to eliminate any pathogens around the roots that could be causing problems.
8 – Use Good Fertilizer
Avocado trees need the right mix of nutrients in the soil they are growing in. Sometimes, the nutrition balance is not right, such as too little nitrogen. This can encourage the growth of pathogens, but can also affect the ability of the tree to fight off things like root rot.
To fix this, invest in some good quality fertilizer. Make sure that you use it liberally four times a year and start in the winter season. This will ensure that the tree has access to good quality soil and nutrients and will enable it to fight off diseases more effectively.
9 – Use Fungicides
Finally, if all else fails or you want to use multiple treatments at once, you can invest in a good quality fungicide. This will help to eliminate the pathogens causing the disease.
Taking Care of Your Avocado Tree
Ultimately, the health of your avocado tree largely depends on the conditions in which it is growing. By caring for it correctly throughout the year you can reduce the chances of disease forming and other problems.
Make sure you water the tree properly. Don’t water it in the heat of the day as it will simply evaporate and cause dry soil. On the other hand, it is not wise to overwater and cause soggy soil either, as this can be the cause of fungal growth and root rot. You should also ensure that there is proper drainage, as mentioned earlier.
Avocados are a fantastic and nutritious fruit and many people love to grow them in their yards. They do need proper care and maintenance to thrive. One issue that many Avocado trees have is root rot and fungal infections.
By taking the proper steps, you can revive a dying tree and restore its health long term. You’ll then have a healthy tree and healthy fruits for a long time to come.