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I have inherited an avocado tree in a hot, arid climate in a very windy spot.

It has been watered well, but its leaves look like something is wrong with it - they have brown edges.

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Perhaps it's been watered too well - the soil it's in appears to be a bit dense and loamy:

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What should I do?

Should I try to loosen the soil manually?

  • If this picture is the actual tree then it might be a mango not an avocado – user6872 Jul 25 '14 at 2:59
  • @mrsuthe Please explain why you think it's a mango, and what you would do to cure or prevent the brown edges on the leaves. As it stands, this doesn't answer the question. – Niall C. Jul 25 '14 at 3:10
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I have seen this same type of damage on an avocado in a pot that was allowed to go dry.

Given that your plant is outdoors in a hot and dry area this looks like stress caused by inadequate water.

Avocados require a well aerated soil with water that is low in dissolved salts. A soil depth of 1 metre is helpful in maintaining water levels.

The recommendations for California are to apply a mulch of organic material at least two inches deep. You could also topdress first with good soil.

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I think there is salt in your water. I had the same problem but when I changed the water the tree started to look alive again: new branches, new leaves and fruits. You should also fertilize it.

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It looks like wind damage to me, especially as the edges are browned and dry. The same can be seen if leaves on delicate shrubs like acers are exposed to wind.

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The leaves definitely look like a mango. Too much fertilizer or fertilizer not watered in well can also cause salt build up. Water less often but more deeply.

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