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I received this as a gift and I don't think it's ever been pruned. I just learned today that for avocado trees to grow lateral branches, it needed to be pruned at 8 inches. Is it too late for this tree to grow lateral branches? If not, how much should I prune back to get lateral branches?

Also, this tree is outside in full sun and it can get really windy out here.

Thank you!

  • I see three, possibly four branches, two at top and two? lateral. I'd leave it alone for another year. Then again, in my hands, avocados do not so well. Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


There's no reason I can see to prune this avocado. Lets talk about what they like:

  1. Good drainage is imperative.
  2. Regular watering; keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  3. Young Avocado (like yours) is prone to sunburn. So, get yourself a nice shad net to help protect the little guy.
  4. Frost, protect the guy in the winter with a nice blanket.

I would suggest you get some mulch built up at the base of that tree. Avocado do well when their surface roots can spread and grow healthily. So provide him with some mulch to grow into.

You can worry about pruning him once he's in the ground and has established some hardened branches; around 2-3 years or so.

  • Thank you! Just curious, will my avocado tree start branching out when I plant it in the soil? Also, if you don't mind me asking, do you recommend pruning seedlings?
    – Avocadoes
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 18:23
  • Yes it will branch out once its planted in the soil and no I do not recommend pruning seedlings. In fact, I don't recommend pruning anything unless there is a need for it. For instance, if the plant is beginning to choke itself or is choking other plants or maybe for looks and aesthetic appeal.
    – Rob
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 19:21

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