Leaf Analysis

  • Oct 01, 2018

Leaf analysis is a critical tool in helping California avocado growers determine whether their trees are receiving the correct levels of nutrients necessary for optimal fruit quality and yields. Recent fire and heat damage may impact which leaves are available for sampling on trees and pruning back damaged limbs will alter nutrient standards. In light of this, Dr. Faber has released a new blog post about leaf analysis. Following are highlights from his article.

Leaf Selection

  • Choose average-sized, healthy, undamaged leaves that are 4 – 6 months old and located on non-fruiting branches
  • Do not sample a terminal leaf
  • Do not choose the “worst looking” leaves on a tree as the reports from those leaves may mask the true cause of a tree’s decline (if a tree has deficiencies, those deficiencies are normally detected in healthy-looking samples as well)
  • Choose one leaf per tree, selecting leaves that represent all four quadrants of the grove’s canopy

Process

  • Place leaf samples in a paper bag and protect from excessive heat
  • Leaves may be stored in a refrigerator overnight
  • Take the leaves to a lab as soon as possible
  • Choose a lab that washes leaf samples for you

Timing

  • Mid-August through mid-October
  • Take samples prior to applying fall fungicidal or nutritional sprays
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