Winter Avocado Grove Cultural Management
Following are several avocado grove cultural‐management tips for the winter season.
Protect avocado trees from freezing temperatures
Be aware of temperatures falling below 30‐degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of weather forecasts. Rather than rely on forecasts, establish a frost-management plan, and follow it. Key points to consider, when preparing for a freeze are:
- prevent trees from experiencing water stress
- keep soils surrounding trees clear
- healthy, well-nourished trees recover faster
Monitor wet winter soils in avocado groves
Increased rain in winter is often beneficial in recharging dry soils and reducing salinity. However, heavy rainfall also can be detrimental, as slow-drying soils can result in stressed trees and increase the chance for root rot. Trees stressed by wet soils may have premature leaf drop, bear small and pale green leaves, and show signs of avocado shoot die back. Unhealthy trees should be treated for root rot at the beginning of spring. If not properly treated, these trees will flower excessively in spring; but fail to grow new shoots.
Monitor avocado leaf damage caused by cold, sunny days
When grove temperatures are cold (generally below 60-degrees Fahrenheit) and the day is sunny, avocado leaves can stress and bleach or yellow because they cannot metabolize the light being received in such cold temperatures. The leaves produce hydrogen peroxide, which damages the leaves. It is important to maintain healthy, green productive avocado leaves because they help trees accumulate starch that assists avocado trees with flowering and fruit set in spring. If the leaves yellow during winter, consider reviewing your nutrient program.