How to Prune and Train Avocado Trees for Maximum Production

Hass avocado farming in Kenya is no doubt profitable. However, this is only so if it is done in the right way; you must employ all the good practices of avocado production. One of the most overlooked practice is pruning. 

The reason you must prune your avocado trees is to encourage the trees to produce more branches on the side, hence to ensuring that your orchard remains economically profitable all through. These side branches are the ones that carry more fruits.

hass avocado tree with fruits
Hass avocado farming: Lateral branches carry more fruits

Should young hass avocado trees be pruned?

You do not need to do extensive pruning in young avocado trees. However, if you planted grafted seedlings, any branches that grow below the graft or bud union should be cut off. If you don’t do this, the branches of the rootstock (often an indigenous variety of avocado) will outgrow the grafted part (called the scion) and what you will eventually have is a local variety of avocado that might take 10 years before giving you the first fruit.

Pruning to control the height of the tree

Grafted avocado trees require early training to restrict the tree's height and keep it at the desired height. The top shoots of the tree should be pinched off as early as during the first harvest. This practice should continue until the tree grows into the desired shape. Otherwise, the trees will grow too high and narrow. The trees then fruit only in the upper two-thirds of the branches, reducing the harvest and making it difficult to reach the fruits during harvesting.


hass avocado farming in Kajiado
Well pruned Hass avocado tree in Kajiado, Kenya

When should you prune your Hass avocado trees?

The best time is just before flowering or after harvesting. This gives the tree time to naturally adjust and decide which branches will carry fruits during the next flowering season. If there is a need, such as to remove a diseased branch, minor pruning can be done at any time. However, you should avoid pruning just before rains since this can stimulate excessive tender growth that is likely to be injured in case of heavy rains.


How to do the actual pruning

Cut off the unwanted branches using a pruning saw. For large farms, there are some specialized power saws that can be used. We use saws to ensure that we achieve an even cut. Avoid using axes or pangas. After pruning, you must ensure that you apply a copper based fungicide on the wound to prevent any opportunistic fungal infection. You must also protect the branches that get exposed after pruning from sunburn and infections by use of water-soluble paint.

While pruning is one of the most important practices for avocado farmers in Kenya, there are a few other things that we must do to get the highest production per tree. We have explained them in detail in this article: Avocado Farming: How to Get the Highest Yield Per Acre in Kenya

For more information about pruning avocado trees, you can always reach us on 0724698357.  Also remember to download the complete Hass farming guide from our Farmers Resources Page.

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