Effects of Freezes on Avocado Trees

  • Apr 17, 2013

While healthy avocado trees can tolerate freezes between 30˚ F and 32˚ F, severe freezes are capable of destroying individual avocado trees — particularly freeze temperatures falling below 30˚ F. The colder and longer the freeze, the greater the potential for damage to your avocado grove.

Facts about avocado trees and freezes

  • Young trees are most susceptible to freeze conditions
  • The most susceptible avocado tree parts are (from greatest to least): young growth (new shoot flush and flowers); young avocado fruit; small branches (one to two years old); mature avocado leaves; mature fruit; large avocado tree branches and trunk
  • Select avocado tree varieties are more susceptible than others (from greatest to least): West Indian (28˚ to 29˚ F); Guatemalan (27˚ to 29˚ F), Hass (25˚ to 29˚ F), Mexican (21˚ to 27˚ F). These are general-temperature indications only.
  • Avocado trees can recover from a freeze with correct cultural management  

Symptoms of freezes on avocado trees

  • Firm, brittle, dead and curled leaves, with a brown or bronze hue
  • Water-soaked/discolored small branches
  • Larger branches and trunks can split and lose bark
  • Discolored fruit, with bronzed to blackened skin
  • Browned buds and flowers
  • Fruit stems can be killed or ring barked, causing heavy-fruit drop