Cultural Management Tips for Excessive Flowering on Avocado Trees
Having a good idea how many flower buds are developing and the progress of flower bud growth are useful pieces of information for growers in their decision making. By determining if flowering will be stronger than expected a grower can alter harvest timing decisions.
If avocado growers notice in winter that their spring avocado flowering is going to be heavier, there are several cultural management practices they should consider in order to manage the alternate bearing cycle. Remember, excessive flowering and/or fruit set in one year determines the crop load for the following year because the avocado tree growth cycles are competing for resources. Flowers and fruit require a lot of resources from the tree and thus excessive flowering or fruit can lead to less new shoot growth required for the following years’ crops.
If the flowering on the avocado trees looks like it will be heavy:
- the fruit will compete with the flowering and new fruit set
- bees may need to be placed in the avocado groves earlier and in greater numbers
- trees can fail to grow enough new fruiting wood resulting in a poor return crop
- trees with very heavy crop loads should be targeted for early harvest once fruit maturity is reached
- trees may need to be pruned in order to better balance flowering to shoot growth for the following year.