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  • Writer's pictureShelby Pietersen

How to Prune Avocado Trees in South Africa

Avocado trees are a popular fruit tree in South Africa, but proper pruning is crucial for healthy growth and fruit production.


This guide will go over the basics of pruning an avocado tree and provide step-by-step

instructions for pruning your tree in a South African context.


Why is Pruning Important for Avocado Trees?

Pruning helps to remove dead or diseased branches, promote the growth of new fruit-

bearing branches, and shaping the tree for better sunlight and airflow. Without pruning, avocado trees can become too dense and may not produce as much fruit.


When is the Best Time to Prune an Avocado Tree?

Avocado trees have off years and on years. In an off-year pruning could be started after the tree has produced fruit, while in an on-year pruning should be finished before flowering to obtain the best results. Pruning at the wrong time could stress the tree out and cause the tree to produce less or smaller fruit.


Tools Needed for Pruning an Avocado Tree:

  • Pruning shears or scissors

  • A pruning saw (for larger branches)

  • Gloves

  • Safety goggles


Step-by-Step Guide for Pruning an Avocado Tree:

  1. Inspect the tree for any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. These should be removed first.

  2. Cut back any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other.

  3. Remove any branches that are growing towards the centre of the tree, as these can restrict sunlight and airflow.

  4. Cut back any branches that are too low to the ground or growing out of the base of the tree.

  5. Thin out the remaining branches to promote better sunlight and airflow throughout the tree.

  6. Lastly, shape the tree by cutting back the tips of the remaining branches.​


Tips for Successful Avocado Tree Pruning

  • Always make clean cuts at a 45-degree angle just above a bud or branch.

  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the tree's canopy in one pruning session.

  • Be mindful of the tree's natural shape and try to preserve it as much as possible.


Pruning an avocado tree is essential for healthy growth and fruit production. By following the

steps outlined above in this guide and using the proper tools and techniques, you can ensure that your avocado tree is well-maintained and produces plenty of fruit.


Remember to always be mindful of the tree's natural shape, and avoid pruning during the growing season. Happy pruning!


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