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I am moving cross-country (Minnesota to northern New York) and want to bring my double-stem, 35-year-old avocado tree with me but it's too big to fit in the car (9 feet tall and 6 feet wide).

If I trim it back drastically now (end of July) will it sprout new growth and become more like a bush? I've put it outside for the summer and there is a LOT of new growth on the smaller branches, which are smooth and green, but not on the trunk, which has rough, brown bark.

Any advice would be so helpful. This tree is like a member of the family and we don't want to leave it behind, but we can't figure out how to move it.

Thanks!

  • MsGuac, welcome! Just to be sure: the tree is in a large pot or container? (We love photos here, btw., so if you’d like to edit...) – Stephie Jul 27 '18 at 8:47
  • winter or spring is the best time to give it a heavy prune and you're now in late summer. So, looks like a trailer is your next best option. – Graham Chiu Jul 28 '18 at 23:27
  • What would be the difference between a large pot and a container? – Aleksandar M Jul 29 '18 at 13:19
  • 9 feet? You should be able to pack it into your car and bend the main stems to fit. Cutting the main stem back shouldn't be a problem. Keep that car cool between 50 to 90 degrees F. Cover with moistened newspaper if you are having air conditioning or open windows. – stormy Jul 30 '18 at 1:38
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You can take cuttings from your tree and root them, then give/sell your tree to someone who would appreciate such a well grown potted specimen. This would allow you propagate more than one tree (for the best success) and the original tree would still be around - also a fresh start. Possibly you could even have it (the big tree) shipped to you later. Some avocado cuttings videos are below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGOOUmyn93c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24v1meUCjs0&vl=en

From the sound of your description, you don't want to give it a drastic topping anyway (to get it small enough to fit in a car). Cutting it back that drastically would be too much to test the tree's ability to put out proper new growth. Your next best option - You can probably leave the tree intact (or mostly) and rent a trailer for the move. It may cost some extra, but might be your best choice.

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