Tips of Avocado Tree Branches Turning Black?

March 23, 2017

Tips of Avocado Tree Branches Turning Black - blackened branchesI have 3 avocado trees planted in a cluster outside. When they were first planted one lost nearly all of its leaves. They turned brown and fell off. I applied gypsum and months later it looks to be doing much better with lots of leaf growth. However I'm seeing some shoots/branches turning black. Any ideas?



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March 23, 20171 found this helpful
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It's said when tree branches turn black it means its a diseased avocado trees. Not healthy.

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September 11, 2020

I have two avocado trees outdoor planted in different locations. One is <1yr the other is >20yrs. Both with direct sunlight. Zone 10a. The trunks on both have randomly turned black about 5" up the trunk to the top. The leaves are dead or dying. One is on drip watering (mature one) and the baby is within a self watering area.



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September 11, 20200 found this helpful
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Avocado trees will develop root rot when over-watered. The soil around the trunk and roots should be allowed to dry out some between waterings. To check if the tree needs watering, you should dig your fingers down into the soil about 5 inches deep. If the soil is still moist, skip the water, and if dry at that depth, water sparingly. From your explaination of your watering system, you may be over-watering.


Another problem can be with the water itself....too many salts and minerals in the water. My best advice is to take away the drip irrigation, carefully dig up and replace as much soil as you can without disturbing the trees' roots too much, and watch your watering. With black trunks and dead leaves, it might be too late to save them. Good luck.

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September 11, 20200 found this helpful
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This is a long term disease that has been studied for years but they still can't find any cure for this. The trees are suffering from root rot. The main feeder root of the tree is diseased and turning black. The small feeder roots that should be white are also turning black. You will see some of your branches at the tip turning black also. There is a way to try and save your tree if you start right now and start using integrated cultural management practices.


The avocado tree roots will die if they are constantly wet. They need a really good drainage system so the roots can stay healthy and continue to grow. Considering one of your trees is on a drip watering system and the other is in an area that has self-watering the trees are getting way too much water and this is destroying the roots of your trees. An avocado tree roots will not reach out and search for water. The roots are in the first six inches under the soil. Only water the trees when the soil is dried out and do not keep the soil moist and wet all the time. You should also apply gypsum and mulch to the soil on the top and around the tree. Here is a good article that will teach you how to control and stop root rot in your avocado tree. I have highlighted the main issues here and there are a few other things that you should look at and do.

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September 12, 20200 found this helpful
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You may be able to save the young tree by transplanting it but I really doubt you can save the older tree.

I would recommend that you contact your county extension agency and ask for help as they will know all about what is happening to avocado trees in your area. It would be best to include several pictures if possible.


If you try to save your young tree; when you dig up the small tree, examine the trunk and roots and try to carefully remove any of the soft, diseased looking bark and roots.

I would ask for advice from the experts before applying any DIY solutions.

Some people say to pour a solution of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with water (one part peroxide -2 parts water) over the entire trunk & root system to kill the fungus but I have not used this solution but I do not think it will hurt the plant.
Another solution sometimes recommended is 2 teaspoons vinegar (white or apple cider are sometimes use) to one quart of water.

Some people say you can pour this solution around the trunk of an older tree and it sometimes helps if the tree is not too far gone.

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November 17, 2018

My avocado tree has branches that are turning black and brown starting on the leaves. What should I do? It's a 5 gallon tree planted about three months ago. Am I doing something wrong?


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November 17, 20180 found this helpful

Is it indoors or outdoors?

Either way it could be poor drainage and it is sitting in too much water. Try improving the drainage with rocks just on general principles.


If it is indoors it could be too much water or water with too high a salt or chlorine content.

If it is outdoors, and you are in a hot climate, it is possible to have sunburn.

It is possible is a combination of these issues also!

Sending up healing prayers for the plant!! They are people too right!

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
November 17, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds like it is rotting from either too much water or not enough drainage

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 424 Answers
November 24, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds like you are over watering it . Is it outside or inside, it is possible it is not getting enough sunlight if inside , and opposite if it is outside. it might have gotten to big for the planter that it is in if inside , it should not hurt it to replant it , if you do put stones at the bottom of the planter.


And as a last resort, cut back the stem to let re-growth. Or start all over again with a new Avocado, it is a lot of fun to watch it split and the first shoot come thru-----enjoy !!

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November 24, 20181 found this helpful

I do not know for sure but it seems like your tree may be staying wet too long.

  • I would suggest removing it (gently - container on its side) and make sure the soil is not damp. If it is damp be sure to let it dry out but keep roots covered.
  • If the roots are very soft or black you may not be able to save your tree but since you have only had your tree planted for 3 months then I feel you can safely remove it to see if wet soil is your problem.
  • To be absolutely sure you have good drainage make at least 5-6 holes in the bottom of the container (large enough to not get stopped up) and then 8-10 holes around the side of the container. This is really about the only way to be sure the water will drain completely.
  • A very good way to keep your soil in your pot (but let water drain) to to place a large piece of landscape material in the bottom before placing any other filler inside the container.
  • If you want your container on the heavy side, you can add some rocks around the bottom but I generally use the small water bottles (maybe about 5-6 - small bottles) as I like my pots lighter in weight.
  • I generally use a good mixture for my soil as it should not be heavy soil or it may stay wet even with good drainage.
  • You can use potting soil but I always add either perlite or vermiculite to keep the soil mixture on the lighter side and afford good drainage.
  • Of course, you should use compost in stead if that is available.
  • Try replanting your tree after you have your soil and container fixed the way you want it. You may have to work on a second container before removing your plant from the bad container.
  • Here are some comments from gardeners if you are not familiar with Perlite or Vermiculite:
  • Both vermiculite and perlite are inorganic products, both are relatively sterile, and both are often used as soil additives. Vermiculite is a soft, spongy material made from super-heating mica. Perlite is a hard, highly porous material made by super-heating volcanic glass.
  • It's low density makes it perfect for trapping air in soil mixes. Perlite keeps soil light, provides plant roots with air, and promotes drainage. ... Perlite is a key component of a good container gardening mix.
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