I am planning on purchasing an avocado tree (grown from seed) online, as the seller has agreed to provide me with a cutting from his mature, fruit bearing plant, and I want to experiment with grafting. Unfortunately the avo trees (I think they are 1 or 2 years old) I'm purchasing are already in the ground - so they need to be dug up as well. [ I expect the trees to be very cheap, so it doesn't really matter if I fail, but I'd like to get as much right as possible ]

Questions -

  • I understand that avocado trees have sensitive roots. Are there any tips for relocating an avocado which is already in the ground ?
  • Do avocados have tap roots, and if so, how far down would they typically go ? (I've heard and read a lot of conflicting information here)
  • how tall are the trees you are purchasing? Doesn't the seller dig them up?
    – kevinskio
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 1:25
  • Apparently they are approx 2 foot high and 1 year old. The seller about digging up the plant and the reply was " I am happy to dig the avocado tree seeding from the garden but probably best for the buyer to do that when they actually come to collect the tree rather than uproot it before then. The root structure is fairly shallow and not big - so it is very easy to dig up."
    – davidgo
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 1:29
  • So, you're going to buy some seed grown avocados as root stock, and take some cuttings from his fruit bearing trees and graft them onto the root stock? (I'm told the nurseries will have trees to sell in Sept) Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 2:45
  • Yes, thats the idea - hopefully it will give me some insite into how hard grafting avos actually is - I'm not that worried about the finished product, mainly want to see if I can pull off a graft. (My "properly grafted" trees are way to small to provide cuttings - thanks in small part to the escapades my wifes sheep and goats!)
    – davidgo
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


(Posting because no one else did, and a partial answer is probably better then no answer)

Avocados do have tap roots, but they do not go down very deep at all, so much so I'd hardly even call them tap roots. (Source - I dug up a couple of smallish avocado plants yesterday).

I'm still dubious, but the person who's plants I dug up recons they just dig up the plants about at the tree line without going to deep, and gently pull out the plants.


I transplanted 3 avocado trees from a veg garden to pots. The tap roots on 2 of them stayed in tact. The other snapped off leaving only an inch. Surprising that the snapped tap root plant is doing much better than the other 2.

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