Newly planted dwarf avocado tree drooping

Asked December 29, 2016, 4:32 PM EST

I live in South Orange County; Laguna Woods.
We recently planted a 15 gallon dwarf cado tree. We were careful to get the hole dug correctly, use the appropriate soil, water well et cetera. Though the leaves are firm, the branches are drooping. Of course, the first night it was in was the coldest going down to 37 degrees F. Since then, I have mounded mulch around it and cover it with burlap and plastic overnight if the temp is to drop to 40's.
I asked and was told that this is normal for an avocado tree planted in winter, even in our relatively mild winters, and that it will perk up. I also had been told the cold, rainy time is a good time to plant since it is usually so very hot and dry.
What is your opinion? What can I do now that it is planted? Is this normal as I was advised?
With many thanks,

Orange County California avocado tree

5 Responses

Thanks for your question. It certainly looks like it's on its way to the grave! But, perhaps there's hope. As this article (from the California Avocado Commission) explains, avocado trees require an enormous amount of water, unlike other trees. Plants may naturally go through 'shock' after a transplant, and I think yours has had this 'natural' phenomenon plus not enough water. I would not recommend putting plastic on or around the tree; it's a good way to kill beneficial microbes and promote harmful ones. Mulch will both help to keep water in the soil and eventually add nutrients for the tree's use.

So, assuming drainage is adequate, water your tree until it its roots are established in the new area, lest your tree's leaves drop off, which is almost certain death.

Good luck!

Thank you very much for your reply. Wish it were more positive, however, as you point out all is not necessarily lost. I appreciate the advice about the plastic and won't use it any longer. How low a temp can such a plant withstand? It does not freeze here. The lowest is the high 30's which is

I don't think you'll have a problem with the temperature, and the specific answer to 'how low can it go' is dependent on the variety of avocado tree. Here's a link to a UC Extension article that probably has more information than you care to know about, but the temperatures for each species are about halfway down the page.

Hope this helps!

Good Morning, Kristena, The tree has now got a lot of water. Also, I trimmed off any really drooping bits, and today it looks much better. The weather will be drying up, but I intend to see it continues to get lots of water till it is established. Heartening for the New Year! Happy New Year!! Sincerely, Beverly