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Martin
Martin, Engineer
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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Hi, I have an avocado tree that is over 50 years old and higher

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Hi, I have an avocado tree that is over 50 years old and higher than the house. It has been sick for a year not giving any fruit. It also happens that it was when the house was fumigated. Could that be the reason? What should I do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Martin replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome. Other than not giving fruit, what make you thin the tree is sick?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Martin
Other than not giving fruit it shows signs of drying out from the top down. I am attaching a picture of the tree. I hope it helps.
Thanks.
Regards

Juan
Expert:  Martin replied 2 years ago.
The picture upload attachment did not work, can you retry or upload it to a picture sharing site like imgur.com and post me the sharing link.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My Avocado Tree
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Martin
Sorry for the lack of communication but this site is not very manageable. I finally was able to upload the picture but could not write any comments so I am sending you this in another message. Hope the picture shows the problem. Please let me know if you got it otherwise I can send it to an email address.
Thanks.
Regards
Expert:  Martin replied 2 years ago.
Great picture. My avocado are not as big (they are part of an exotic plants collection that i need to trim and get in the house for the winter) but they can comeback from that kind of leaves lost, it all depend on what is causing this.

I don't know the procedure of the fumigation operation that took place but this may have caused a stress. Many things can screw an avocado, too much nitrate, too much direct sun on new shoot when not enough leaves provide shadow, stress condition, drought, shallow root damage, too long period of water at the root (especially in winter). the last one is what seem the most likely but the visit of a certified arborist would be better to be sure. Here is a document on the problem:
http://www.avocadosource.com/CAS_Yearbooks/CAS_25_1940/CAS_1940_PG_40-43.pdf

From the look of the leaves it does not obviously show a lack of nutriment (even if it need it annually because those big pit use lot of minerals). They look more like a plant that is lacking water (caused by root fungus probably). The current damage may not revert as the tree is already big and won't have much vigor to build enough new tissue.

Essentially, the only thing to do would be to make sure the tree don't lack water and let the soil get dry between the watering. The only pro active thing to try would be to add a drain (making sure not to damage the root as they don't go deep).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Martin


Thanks for your help. Very insightful. I would like to show you, if a may, one more picture regarding your observations and perhaps you will be able to tell me if it is relevant. It relates to the way the leaves are drying out at the end - which I interpret that you are right and it has a fungus due to too much water, rather than from the stem which would indicate - I believe - aLeaves of my acocado tree lack of water. Please let me know if you concur.


Thanks


Regards


 


 

Expert:  Martin replied 2 years ago.
I noticed the tip of leaves from the last picture (it was high resolution enough).

It's a lack of water within the tree caused by too much water in the soil at one point as rotten roots don't work well.

A real lack of water would cause new growth to lack hydrostatic pressure and they would look flagging.

"Foliar symptoms of avocado root rot include small, pale green or yellowish leaves. Leaves often wilt and have brown, necrotic tips"
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8100111.html
I am not a big fan to use phosphorous acid to treat the problem. Using it can cause other problem to an already stressed tree. Using bone meal as a phosphor source might be a good idea as it improve water absorption. One lbs should be enough for a tree that big to help.
Martin, Engineer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 4202
Experience: i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
Martin and 73 other General Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Martin


Great help. I am going to apply the bone meal as you suggested.


I appreciate your help very much.


Thanks


Regards


 


Juan

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Martin
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i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting