Why Is My Avocado Tree Dropping Fruit

An abundance of fruits on trees can make a garden beautiful. Nothing disappointed more when those fruits stop growing. Avocado tree dropping fruit is a common issue that many growers will face. To understand why this happens requires research into the anatomy and biology of the plant, as well as an understanding of the various environmental factors associated with it.

Avocado trees, also known as Persea americana, respond to environmental stress, pests, and diseases in an effort to protect themselves. Avocados produce fruit as a result of blooming flowers. Avocados are self-pollinating, making a single tree produce fruit without cross-pollination from another tree. Responding to environmental stress or the presence of pests, a single tree can drop its fruit so that instead of producing additional fruit, it’s simply conserving its own energy.

Drought and low humidity levels can cause fruit drop early in development as the tree can no longer sustain the nutrient requirements for fruit production before the development of its leaves. Lack of proper nutrition, water, or wrong variety may also be part of the issue. Avocado trees need full sunlight, plenty of drainage, and air circulation to remain healthy and vigorous.

Under optimal circumstances, an avocado tree can produce hundreds of fruits. But the tree cannot take care of this many fruits, so it uses a type of mechanism called “abscission” to self-regulate. This helps to reduce the load on the tree and helps it make the best of the available appetite.

Temperature and Pollination

Temperature can also be a factor when determining why an avocado tree is dropping its fruit. Avocados experience a period of dormancy in cold weather and this can cause the fruit to drop. In hot weather, avocados may experience drought stress and their fruit may be affected.

Insects can also be the cause of avocado tree dropping fruit, as they can interfere with the pollination of the trees. Without successful pollination, the flower never sets fruit. Insect infestations can be prevented by thoughtful and careful pruning, as well as with regular pesticide treatments.

Improper pruning can also result in too much foliage being removed, ultimately leading to less flowers and consequently, fewer fruits. Pruning is essential for healthy fruit production, as it helps to direct the tree’s energy to the spots with most potential.

Water Issues

Excess and insufficient water can both cause fruit drop in avocado trees, depending on the timing of the water being applied. If the season’s rains arrive late in the year, they can cause an abundance of flowers, a heavy crop, and early fruit drop. In areas of overly wet weather and poor drainage, avocados may experience root rot and resulting fruit drop.

Avocado trees planted too deeply in the soil can experience issues with water logging, leading to a weakened root system, resulting in poor plant growth and fruit dropping. Additionally, root damage from mechanical digging or from poor weed control practices can also weaken the tree’s root system and cause fruit drop. The root system should have a firm, undisturbed and aerated environment which allows for water flow.

Insufficient water is also an issue that may cause fruit drop in avocados. Mature avocado tree will require an average of 10-15 gallons of water per tree during the hot and dry climatic periods. Too little water weakens a tree, and can result in reduced fruit production and early fruit drop.


Nutrition plays an important role in avocado tree production as it provides plants with essential nutrients they cannot obtain from air and water alone. To produce adequate flowers and fruit, the tree needs three essential macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If a soil lacks in the proper nutrients, avocado tree dropping fruit is a common occurrence.

Frequent fertilization is essential to sustain the life of an avocado tree and avoid fruit drop. In non-fertilized soil, an avocado tree will require two to three fertilization applications each year for proper growth and fruit development. When fertilizing an avocado tree, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as too much fertilizer can burn the roots and cause the tree to go into shock.

In order to avoid avocado tree dropping fruit, growers must carefully monitor the conditions of their trees. Adequate water and nutrition must be supplied, and pests, temperature, and environmental factor must all be observed. Doing so will help to avoid problems and allow the tree to continue to produce fruit.

Disease Prevention

Avocado trees can suffer from various diseases which can attack both the fruit and the foliage. If the tree is infected with a disease, the fruit will drop. The most common of these diseases are caused by fungi, and include black spot, botrytis, dry rot, and leaf spot. All of these diseases are preventable with regular maintenance and pruning.

It is also important to inspect the avocado tree for signs of damage caused by pests or animals. In areas of high pest activity, being vigilant and spraying preventative measures can help limit the damage caused by insects. If a large animal begins to feed on the fruit, then a fence or other barrier may need to be put in place in order to protect the tree.

Assuming that pests and diseases aren’t present, there are other reasons for avocado tree dropping fruit, like lack of pollination, that may require a bit more detective work. For this, it might be necessary to bring in an experienced tree care professional in order to help identify and resolve the issue.

Proper Planting Practices

When planting an avocado tree, there are certain practices that should be avoided in order to prevent fruit drop. For example, an avocado tree should not be planted in low-lying areas as these areas tend to collect water and cannot provide adequate drainage. Avocado trees also need plenty of sun, so it is best to avoid planting them in shaded areas. Additionally, the soil should not be too dense so that the roots can thrive and the tree can produce flowers and fruit.

If the tree is planted too deeply in the soil, it can experience moisture problems as well as root rot. In these cases, the tree can easily become weak and begin to drop its fruit. Proper planting practices are essential in order to ensure that the tree can achieve a full life without any complications.

Knowing why avocado tree dropping fruit is the first step towards preventing it from occurring. An in-depth understanding of the tree is essential in order to identify and resolve any issues that may be present. With proper care and vigilant monitoring, growers can ensure their trees remain healthy, vigorous, and able to produce an abundance of fruit.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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