I am needing to bend a branch of 100mm diameter (4 inches) permanently upwards on a avocado tree. Needs to be raised by about a meter at a distance of 1.5 meters away from the trunk. I've used ratchet straps to bend it about half of the way upwards but I'm not sure if I should proceed further and risk breaking it off or perhaps wait a few weeks before continuing. Any other ideas?

Edit: I need to bend it because I am planning to put a shed right below the branch (which is in the way, and I can't move the shed over cause of the fence). I don't really want to cut it off cause of the additional fruit and shade it provides. It is fruiting at the moment, and I live in Perth Western Australia which is a hot-summer Mediterranean climate. The tree is about 15 years old.

I would also like to make another bend up higher in the branch so that it isn't growing into itself. Here is an image of it: (the colours of the leaves look desaturated because I had HDR on)

an image of it

It isn't a problem for me to continue to support the branch for some time afterwards with the straps, even a few years is fine. But I would like to have it bent within a month or two to put the shed up.

  • Saw it off, and hope that a more suitably-located branch sprouts. – Ecnerwal Mar 6 '18 at 22:34
  • Welcome cheapskate! This is an interesting question. We could really use some pictures. including the whole tree, and the area where you have the straps. How old is this tree? Do you need to bend it because the tree would be compromised if you cut it off, or you just want to be able to keep it intact? Where do you live, or what is your temperature range? Is the tree fruiting right now? We ask a lot of questions because the more we know the better we can help. I invite you to check out our help center. It explains our system, especially since we're different from some others. Have fun! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Mar 6 '18 at 23:04
  • I hesitate to provide an answer because all the corrective work I've done has been on deciduous trees while dormant in a temperate climate. My rule of thumb is to avoid a new bend where there is an existing bend, whether natural or artificial. Apply gradual force with a hand on the outer side of the trunk or branch so as to feel for minor cracking, stop at that point. Moving upwards, several segments of the bend can be accomplished rather than one sharp turn. All my hardwoods, fruits and nut trees have responded very well to this treatment, I can't say anything about avocados. – herb guy Mar 7 '18 at 15:49
  • Shaping trees is an ancient art practiced for many reasons. Certainly by farmers but also shipbuilders: cryptoforest.blogspot.com/2011/06/… – herb guy Mar 7 '18 at 15:54
  • That's a lot of bending you've already done. I'd wait a year and bend more then. Hard to see from pic, but you may need some cloth where the bands go round the branches, so wind doesn't rub the bark off. Ecnerwal may have the right of it though. You're near the edge of the possible. – Wayfaring Stranger Mar 7 '18 at 16:22

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