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I'm in Southern California

Currently we have an avocado tree that was planted in our vegetable garden from a seed, it's like 4-5 feet tall now. And it's time to move the tree to a more permanent location. We did not expect the tree to be successful and it was more of a "what if" it grows sort of thing.

The only spot we have room for this tree is on the side of our property that has a 40-45 degree slope. The problem is, i'm used to planting trees on a flat surfaces, and not on a slope.

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  1. These are the only 2 options I can think of to plant this tree. Trees on this slope have been successful in the past, so i'm not worried about that. My question is, is there a different method to plant this tree? If A or B are the only options, which is better? If both A and B are both acceptable is B really worth the extra effort to hold back the soil so the tree can be flat?

  2. How much of the garden soil should I move with the tree? I don't want to shock the tree to a new area. As much soil as possible? a little bit of soil? Or should I just buy some new soil and leave all the surrounding soil where it is?

  3. Is there an issue with moving a tree like this during the summer time? Are there better times of the year to move a tree? Does it matter?

thanks.

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1- Solution A is much better. With a slope of 40-45 degree, you cannot sustain for much time the B solution, but if you build also a wall (a sheet of wood). With A, you have less troubles when dirt will make your B solution into an A. For irrigation B is better, and to dig, you should in any case prepare some shield below, to keep dirt from roll over.

You miss one item: you need one stack, or two, or three. The one is the easier way, but then you should remove before roots will tie it on the ground. Two and three stacks are often better: you can fix them farther from the plant and fix the plant with a rope. The three solution is mostly used where cars and garden machines could hit it (or if you are in a windy place).

2- As much as possible: in this way you have less adaptation problems. Do not overmake it. often I try too much, and so the ball will break before it reach the destination (so giving much less dirt).

3- I will do in winter. But I'm in a much cold situation, and the avocado will nearly die in various winters. So I know that the plant can resist stress in winter. But if you do point 2 properly, any time is good.

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This article contains some relevant information; while it does speak of much smaller transplants it does highlight some useful information such as an ideal slope.

Avocados dislike root interference and need good constant moisture but well drained at the same time. In your situation you certainly have the drainage issue solved once the tree is in place. The problem is getting it there and keeping it happy. Solution A implies some bad shaving of the root ball, and once the transplant is in place it will be hard to keep the necessary mulch in place; it will likely be washed off by the first heavy or persistent rain and most of any irrigation will be lost as surface runoff.

Solution B might look better but it has problems with longevity. Without a deliberate terracing structure the top side will soon be lost.

It seems like a lot of work for little benefit. If that is the only place for this large avocado then forget it. Take some photos, have an artist paint a picture, hang it on a wall and consign it to a fond memory.

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