How to Plant, Grow and Maintain an Avocado Tree, Explained by Certified Arborist

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Avocados have incredible power – anyone who has been following the news for the past few weeks would know that. For example, apparently they have the ability to stop millennials from buying their own houses.

That’s just a joke of course but yet it cannot be denied that avocado’s are both incredibly popular but can also be extremely expensive – both in terms of actual money, but also in terms of the natural resources required growing, packaging and transporting the fruit.

Luckily, there is an easier – albeit much slower – way to procure your own avocados.

“That’s right, you can grow your own” says Tom Vanburg, an arbor care professional. Check out Tree Service Pros VA Beach home page for more info about Tom and his company.

A disclaimer at this stage however – it will take a few years to get a fully mature tree that will begin to bear you fruit although whilst the process is long, it is actually surprisingly easy (and kind of fun!)

Step one, not surprisingly, is to secure yourself an avocado. Cut it, peel it, and eat it in whatever is your preferred fashion until you are left with just the pit – the hard, brown seed contained within the fruit.

Give the pit a good clean, but be careful to neither puncture the pit or scrub off the hard brown covering, you’re just looking to remove any bits of avocado flesh that might be left over.

The next task is to figure out which end of the pit is which. Yes, this may seem hard to believe on first glance but an avocado pit is actually slightly oblong, with one end slightly pointy (where your shoot will grow). The opposite end is slightly flat, and this is where your root is going to grow from.

Next it’s time to get your bottom wet – but not the whole pit. If you simply submerge it in water, it won’t grow. If the pit is placed flat into water, the root won’t be able to force its way out either.

So you need to suspend the pit in such a way that the bottom stays wet whilst the top is kept dry and out of the water. To do this, carefully pierce the pit with three or four toothpicks until it looks like a tiny tripod. Use the toothpicks to balance the pit on the lip of a glass of water – this way the bottom will be wet, the top will be held up in the air, nice and dry.

Pop the glass and the pit onto a sunny windowsill, change the water every five days or so…

… and wait.

Eventually, a crack will form in the top of the pit, spreading round to the bottom, from where a small root will begin to emerge. At the same time, a stem will begin to force it’ way out of the top of the pit.

When this stem reaches about 6 inches in height, it’s time to plant your seedling. Use a 10-inch pot and humus soil. Again, place your plant back onto the sunny windowsill and water frequently.

Eventually when it’s too big for the pot, it’s time for your baby tree to take his steps into the outside world! Plant him in the garden, in a sunny spot then kick back, relax and imagine all the awesome recipes you’ll be able to make when your tree starts yielding your very own avocado harvest… in about 3 or 4 years time.

Tom also wrote a fantastic article on tree removal with a chainsaw in case there’s a tree in your yard that has been bugging you for quite some time, now is the time to get rid of it!