Making A Bushier Avocado

My avocado plant is growing pretty tall, and everything that I’ve read about avocados tells me I should cut down the stem to encourage side shoots.

I tried this once with a different avocado. Something that I read said that once it gets to be about 6 inches tall, cut off the stem to encourage side shoots. I tried that, and this is what happened:

Not exactly what I had in mind.

I ended up giving that avocado to my dad. It’s doing fine, but just looks a little funny with the kink in its trunk.

So, with my current avocado, I decided *not* to cut it off when it got 6 inches tall.

….But then….the peer pressure got to me. It seems like everyone says you should prune it to encourage bushier growth. And I do want a bushier plant.

This excerpt is from Plants from Pits (it’s not my favorite book, but I got it from the library before COVID-19 happened, and now the libraries are closed, so I’m working with what I’ve got):

My tree now has 14 leaves, so I decided today is the day to prune it.


Be brave…

Blurry again. My camera is focusing on the wrong thing.
I’m trying to take a picture of the plant, obviously, not the side of my neighbor’s house.

I initially just took one leaf and the top off, like the book said. But Stuff You Need to Know says “Prune the tree in such a way to leave many leaves, but prune enough above a leaf so that there are budding areas around the stem.” There were two other leaves very close to the cut I made, and I’m not sure there were any “budding areas” around the stem up there.

So, I took off a little more:

That should leave plenty of stem with budding areas, right? Let’s hope so.

Here’s the final product:

Do you think my avocado tree will ever look like this?

3 thoughts on “Making A Bushier Avocado”

    1. Hi Alison! The avocado tree is doing really well! Thanks for your SYNTK post – it was very helpful. My tree branched out nicely after I trimmed the top off. I posted an update with before and after photos a couple months later
      The tree is now living with my dad since I couldn’t move all of my plants with me, but last I heard, it is still alive and well.
      Is your tree still alive 7+ years later? And if so, do you have any more avocado tree tips you’ve picked up over the years?

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