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Avocado advice

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SandGroper starts with ...
Hello all

I have a number of questions regarding my avocado tree and I am hoping someone out there can help!

I have a dwarf Hass avocado. I have had it for around 3 years and its was planted into the ground. Being in Perth it is a relatively sandy soil.

The tree is around 3.5 metres tall and this year the flowering and fruit set was really good. There was about 80 fruits set. However this is where the bad news starts...

Over the course of the last few months most of the fruit has dropped. Just recently I had more fruit drop and now have around 10 avocados left on the plant. Some of the avocados that dropped were quite a decent size - around the size of a babies fist. I suspect this should not be occurring..

I believe this has been caused by perhaps heat stress. The plant is in full sun for most of the day and is also near a brick wall. The other day we had a 40 degree day which is burnt some of the branches. I know that an avocado can drop fruit quickly should it be stressed in any way. I have provided a good thick layer of lupin mulch around the entire tree and ensure the soil is relatively moist.

This brings me to my first question. How do you know if you are over watering or under-watering your tree? I am afraid that if I over water it I will eventually kill it and conversely if I under water it the fruit will drop. So can someone please tell me what the sweet spot is? Should the soil be moist by not wet? Being in Perth my drainage should be good but I am still unsure.

I also note that some of the branch ends have wilted and died turning it black. I suspect this is a fungal disease. I did spray the tree in July and have sprayed it twice since then using Yates copper liquid copper. When spraying I was sure to spray the foliage and root zone. The last spray was 2 weeks ago, should I wait and see before spraying again or should I use another product? Based on the photos what fungus do you think it is I was thinking Phytophthora or Anthracnose. I have also read that over watering can cause the same type of rot..

Finally my fertiliser regime I thought was pretty good. I did notice the trees leaves were a light green and they were also veiny so I have applied trace elements and other fertilisers. I have also been spraying the foliage with seasol and power feed several times since fruit set. With regards to fertilisers how do people apply them and how much should I apply to ensure the tree is getting enough. I am concerned that I will upset if I give it to much.

All comments are welcome, thanks for reading!
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About the Author
18th December 2020 7:15pm
#UserID: 25151
Posts: 1
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TimJoh says...
Hi SandGroper,

You're not alone experiencing avocado fruit-drop. My 4yo Hass had a great fruit set this year but is now down to about 15 fruit. Last year there were 3 fruit and the year before 40. I'm at Dunsborough. WA Ag has a bulletin on avos and comments, trace elements deficiency, particularly molybdenum in sandy soils, may cause fruit drop. Monthly applications are suggested. A sudden hot day may also contribute to fruit-drop and brown leaf-tips if the humidity is low (all of WA in summer!)

As an aside, I'm after suggestions for stone fruit varieties which members have found to be successful ie cropping and flavor. My picks so far are Sun Snow nectarine, Tropic Snow peach, Trevatt and Fireball apricots a 3-way plum including Maraposa and Flavor Supreme, and Blueberry Burst

Good luck
About the Author
MOUNT LAWLEY 6050 WA Australia
20th December 2020 5:07pm
#UserID: 25023
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