Citrus and Avocado Planting
|Fresh is better, grow your own. A dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon 28" tall in Italian pot. Pot and tree are separate items.||We have a huge selection of Sub-tropical fruit trees. Take your self back to that relaxing trip in the tropics with fresh fruit from a Guava tree.||We can ship our trees ready to harvest. Large trees have a lot of tasty fruit.|
Container Planting Of Fruit Trees
|Choose a pot style that works for you and the setting where the plant will be.||Wash the pots, residue from fertilizers and pollution that may could the roots may be in the pot.||Wash the saucers, you have no idea what kind of junk may have accumulated in the saucers.|
|Pots need to be supported with "feet" to keep the roots out of the water line.||Saucers need to be large to hold the pot and the feet. When watering, the water must drain out and away from the roots.||Choose a good starter fertilizer. We use Structure from Actagro and Dr Earth fertilizers.|
|Slide the plant out of the container, do not lift it out of the container.||Hold the root ball with your hands and set it inside container.||Take a nursery stake or another stick and tamp down the soil around the edges of the container.|
|Choose the proper stake for supporting your tree and use some green nursery tape to tie the plant to the stake.||Take about a handful of your Dr Earth #7 fertilizer and spread it around the surface of the soil.||Evenly treat the soil, then water it into the soil.|
|Prune off new long growth. Citrus and most fruit trees do better with regular pruning. Leave Avocados alone, they do not like a lot of pruning.||Energy from the plant is used to finish this good crop of mandarins, instead of long leafy runners. Pruning may be needed on a monthly basis.||Lightly water the container until the water runs through the soil and the potting soil is saturated. This can make the pot very heavy, so either have some help or may be water it where it will stay for awhile.|
Landscape and Orchard Tree Planting
A fully-leaved, sub-tropical evergreen must be treated differently than the standard, deciduous, temperate plant. Normally, it is planted somewhat later in the year so as to capitalize on the warming spring soil, and special allowance must be made for the plant's high transpiration rate.
Take care when planting our root rot resistant root stock Avocado tree. These are grown with clonal rootstocks do not have a central taproot, so their earthen balls may not be as physically stable as those of non-clonal, seedling-stocked tree. Therefore:
(a) Never lift or carry them by grasping the trunk or stake, and
(b) Be sure the tree is lowered into, and correctly set in the planting hole before you slit the poly container.
Water the tree right after planting: The planting of avocado trees is different from deciduous trees. Your new tree has a large number of active, working leaves which must be kept well supplied with water at all times so as to function and not wilt. Since the ball of the tree contains all of the tree roots it must be kept moist to serve as reservoir for the water. When you remove the plastic sleeve from the ball, you will find that many of the roots are concentrated at the outside vertical surface. It is, therefore, very important that the tree be watered immediately after planting, since these surface roots will otherwise be unable to function properly.
Leave the upper surface of the ball exposed: The soil in the ball has been specially formulated -- it contains special nutrients and is designed so the ball will readily absorb water that is added directly to its upper surface.
12. Under normal circumstances, water the young tree every 5 to 10 days for a period of 6 to 10 weeks. Two to five gallons of water per irrigation will be sufficient provided the ball itself receives water each time and remains damp inside. Do not allow the soil to remain soggy; a happy medium is mandatory.
If you plan to plant these trees in areas where root rot has occurred, or if the area has become secondarily contaminated with Phytophthora cinnamomi, chemical control of this pathogen is recommended to assist the establishment of the trees. Ridomil® and Aliette® are suitable systemic fungicides registered for use on avocados.
Do not allow the ball - ever - to dry out. Avocados are native to areas which, unlike California, have almost daily rains during the summer. Their favored soils under these conditions are often acid, sandy and weak, characterized by good internal drainage which doesn't allow them to remain soggy. Therefore, once your tree has begun to establish a root system, keep the soil damp but not soggy. Water deeply. We recommend the use of a soil core probe, slanted toward the side of the ball so that it penetrates the ball about 12" below the soil surface, in order to determine soil moisture. Apply water according to the needs of the tree.
The tree may be watered by basin for a full year. However, the basin should be broken down during the wet season if water has any tendency to stand in it. After a year you should consider the use of sprinklers or drippers.
Warning: Avocado roots are very easily suffocated by excessive water. This problem is most severe between planting and the period when the roots reach out into the surrounding soil. This means that the trees are particularly vulnerable when planted in the fall. Therefore, under no circumstances allow water from rains or other sources to stand around the tree ball or run over the ball for extended periods of time. Such treatment will almost certainly result in rotting roots, and probably, in an unsatisfactory tree. If the tree is planted on a slope you may consider placing a diverting trough above the tree in such a way as to deflect any water currents away from it.
Mounding: In heavier soils it has been shown to be helpful to plant the trees on 12" to 18" mounds sloping to 5' to 8' bases. This allows optimum aeration for the root and assures the proper planting height.
During the first two or three years, your tree should be fairly heavily fertilized so as to make maximum early growth. Heavy fertilizer to one person often means entirely something else to another, so we suggest that the following rates be used during the pre-bearing years:
NOTE: Dosages are given on the basis of the quantity of water applied to the tree. The most effective way to apply the fertilizer is probably by proportional and continuous addition of the fertilizer to the irrigation water. Since this is frequently impossible, the next best thing may be to add it during alternate irrigations. Be sure to double the amount per application in such a case. Remember to be careful not to apply all of the fertilizer in one batch while irrigating, but find some manner in which to spread out the application during a large part of the full irrigation cycle.
If you are unable to add the fertilizer to the water, or estimate the correct amount from the foregoing, you may sprinkle a tablespoon of nitrogen-bearing salt (ammonium nitrate, urea or such) over the root area and water it in thoroughly. Repeat every three or four weeks. Take care not to concentrate it in one area. Increase the dosage gradually according to the increasing size of your tree. Apply the plant food around the drip line, or in the path of irrigation water.
A fully bearing orchard is usually fertilized at the rate of 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of actual nitrogen for an average sized avocado tree (one that has a foliage diameter of about 20 feet). This can be taken care of by sprinkling 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of dry ammonium nitrate on the ground around and beneath the skirts of the tree two or three times a year. Wash the fertilizer into the ground with a good soaking (2 inches of water). Early spring, summer and fall are good times for fertilizer application, as the avocado roots will be active then. We suggest, as a special precaution, if you have only one or two trees, that you add also, a half pound of Ciba-Geigy 138 iron chelate and a zinc chelate to the soil at the same time that you are adding the nitrogen. The chelates will correct many cases of leaf yellowing.
Young avocado trees are very vulnerable to prolonged frost conditions. However, there are certain precautions you may follow during the first year or so which will often save a tree.
Wrap the trunk of your new tree with heavy paper, corn stalks or the special thermal wraps. If this is done to a point above the bud union, the chances are that you will have a complete budded tree when winter is over even though the exposed parts of your tree are killed.
At the onset of spring, you will be able to unwrap the damaged tree and select a shoot or shoots, above the bud union, so as to renew your tree. Do not remove dead tree parts until new shoots are growing well.
An even more effective insulation to preserve the bud union is a collar filled with sawdust to a point 6 to 12 inches above the union. The collar may be 5 or 6 inches in diameter. It is almost impossible to freeze tissue within this mass of sawdust.
Foliage is more difficult to save under severe frost conditions. Any wrapping around and through it will help. Sometimes bunches of straw are intertwined with the foliage and matted around the branches to serve as an insulating mass. A suspended canvas and wood canopy above the tree will help. Under very extreme conditions, people have erected tents and placed lighted electric bulbs within the structure. Remember two things:
1. A complete enclosed covering of polyethylene or other non-breathing plastic is often worse than nothing -- especially where it touches the tree.
2. Trees do not survive well in darkness, so the tree must be allowed to see sunlight during the day.
All in all, we recommend the thermal wraps mentioned first above or the sawdust filled-collar.