an old avocado tree with a forked trunk on our property which behaves
very strangely. It's in a sheltered spot, is healthy and grows well,
but one side of the tree yields lots of fruit, with nothing from
the other side. It's the same side every year that fruits - the
right-hand trunk in the photo. Can you help?
are propagated by grafting a piece of a good cropping variety, such
as 'Hass' or 'Feurte', onto a rootstock (usually an avocado grown
from seed). It looks as if, during the early years of your tree's
growth, a shoot grew from below the graft (the left trunk in your
photo). This shoot should have been cut off while it was still very
small to allow the grafted part (the right trunk in the photo) to
grow and form the upper part of the tree.
It's too late to cut
it off now, as removing a branch this large would not only seriously
affect its health but would also ruin the look and shape of the
I suggest you prune
out branches on the "unbearing" side each year to encourage growth
on the other side, otherwise the shoot from the rootstock may eventually
dominate with the result you'll get fewer fruit each year.
Gardener, Issue 144, 2004, Page 27
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.