This tree is growing out of my unused compost bins. It's been growing for a few years, and I should probably remove it before it damages the foundations further.

Update: It seems to be growing from the top of the compost bin so the roots may not be a danger after all. It's over 12 foot tall, and can't be more than 2 years old in retrospect. The stem is green all the way from the bottom to the top, and there are no flowers. The leaves alternate on the branches, and their maximum length is about 6 inches. The leaves are not serrated, and are glossy.

I'm in Wellington, New Zealand and the temperature rarely goes below freezing.

close up

distant shot

  • 1
    It looks like Avocado to me. Do you recall ever introducing Avocado pits into your compost?
    – Brenn
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:33
  • 2
    Mr. Chiu, I have a suspicion that you know exactly what it is and you're testing us! ;)
    – Brenn
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:36
  • Nope, I don't know what it is. And I don't recall throwing avocado pits into that bin! I assumed it was a native. Jan 13, 2017 at 4:19
  • What pictures do I need to take to see if it really is avocado or not? Jan 13, 2017 at 17:51
  • I suspected avocado only because you mentioned it grew from a compost heap. But if you don't eat avocados, then perhaps it's not. You might need for it to flower to positively identify it as avocado. Does it have bright green stems? That's characteristic of avocado.
    – Brenn
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


I believe this tree is Persea americana, the common Avocado. It might be any one of many cultivars but your description of a purely green trunk (and presumably stems) suggests Persea since it is quite unique to the Genus. (It has the uncanny ability to photosynthesize via these parts).

To fortify my post, the fact that this tree has arisen from a compost heap suggests that it may have originated from a discard from an edible.

If the tree eventually flowers or fruits, please post pics to verify or to counter. I remain unconvinced and curious.

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