Planting information for your Avocado Tree
Position – The Hass avo tree likes plenty of sunshine and rain, and prefers to be sheltered from the wind, as far as possible. When mature, it is large, so allow an area of about 7 metres around each tree. Dig a hole that’s deep and wide enough for the feeder roots to spread wide. Nourish all of the soil that will be put back into your hole. In terms of fruiting, Hass is a type A avo tree, while some other varieties are type B. Type A’s first flower female flowers, which close and then reopen as males. So, it’s a good idea to plant your Hass avo tree near a type B avo, which is opposite, so that the bees can fertilise from open male flowers to open female flowers at the same time.
Size – The Hass avocado tree grows to between 4.5 and 6 metres high with a canopy spread of 1.5 to 2.5 metres.
Soil Type – Although this avo trees likes to have a lot of water, the soil should drain well. This is to prevent the roots from becoming soggy, which will only cause them to rot and die. Sandy, loamy soil with a pH of between 5.0 and 7.0 is ideal.
Mulch – Because the avo tree needs a lot of water, organic mulch should be used to retain the moisture in the soil. Use wood chips, grass cuttings, compost, old leaves or hay and scatter it around the base of the tree, being careful to stay about 20 centimetres away from the tree trunk.
Watering – The Hass avocados, like all avo trees, are water-hungry. They need and want lots of water, especially when they’re getting established. In drier conditions, they may even need to be watered more than once a day. Mature fruiting plants can drink up to 75 litres (20 gallons) of water a day. In normal conditions, you should be able to water it about 3 times a week.
Fertilising – Fertilise your avo tree in spring, summer and autumn by sprinkling one tablespoon of nitrogen on the soil under the tree. Then, water it very well so that the nitrogen can soak deep into the ground.
Pruning – Prune your tree with clean equipment and don’t prune a healthy tree with the same tools that you used for a sick tree. Generally, remove horizontal branches that are close to the ground, as well as dead or diseased limbs. Keep the canopy fairly open to allow light to enter and to make it easier to access. A light pruning can be done at any time of year. A heavier prune should be done late in winter or early in spring.
Harvesting – Broadly speaking, it’s best to pick the largest fruits first and then allow them to ripen off the tree, before they fall to the ground. Still, it is good to leave them on the tree for as long as possible, as immature fruits won’t ripen after they’ve been picked. So, keep an eye on your tree and try to feel the avos you can reach to check that they are not too soft.