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How to prune Avocado

How to prune Avocado

Avocado (Persea americana Mill.) is an arboreal fruit species of the Lauraceae family, native to Central America and, in particular, to a vast geographical area extending from the central and western mountains of Mexico, through Guatemala. to the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Central America.
This plant was already known and used in pre-Columbian times.
Today the Avocado is widespread in Latin America, California, and Florida; in the Mediterranean it is present in Israel and Spain. In Italy, although there is a suitable environment in southern areas, specialized cultivation occupies only a few hectares but is constantly growing, especially in the southern coastal areas.

Pruning technique –
Avocado is a plant that, since its plantation, should be pruned to favor the development of numerous stems or branches from the base of the stem, in order to obtain a sort of large shrub, dense and compact but quite airy inside. .
During the first three years of life, this plant should be pruned occasionally and with the sole aim of removing damaged branches or those growing below the graft.
In the first two to three years, it was to intervene to obtain 5/8 branches, spaced apart, very robust. The shape of the recommended breeding is practically a rounded vase.
For this reason, in the first years of the plant’s life, to prune it quite low, or to trim (or shorten) all the apexes of the branches, to favor the development of many lateral branches. Once a shrub of the desired shape is obtained, in the following years the plant is allowed to develop as it prefers, without pruning it anymore, unless the damaged or particularly weak branches are removed.
In the cultivation areas of this plant, the trees are pruned after harvesting the fruit, to avoid the development of new branches at times of the year when the night lows can still be low.
In subsequent years pruning is done to eliminate dry branches or to slightly thin out the foliage.
It is always advisable to cut the branches with sharp and disinfected shears by cutting the trunks obliquely to prevent filaments from attracting dangerous insects to the plant.

Cultivars and varieties –
The avocado, because of its vast cultivation area, has many varieties that also adapt to particular climatic conditions. The many varieties include:
– Ardith: Variety grown on the coastal strip of Israel, considered to be of excellent quality, it has a creamy pulp and wrinkled, green skin;
– Azul o negro: Thin skin and abundant pulp. It is produced in the regions of Tancítaro, Uruapan and Peribán, but on a smaller scale than the Hass and Méndez varieties because of its delicacy in transport over long distances;
– Bacón: Originally from California. Fine skin and bright green;
– Carmero: Originally from the region of El Carmen de Bolívar, Colombia. Dark green skin when very mature, smooth, easily separates from the pulp, which is creamy and without fibers;
– Criollo: Native to Mexico and Central America. The original variety is not selected. Very thin, dark edible skin when ripe;
– Edranol: Originally from Guatemala. Fine, wrinkled, dark green skin when mature;
– Ettinger: Thin, fine and shiny skin. One of the main producers is Israel, where it represents 25% -30% of plantations;
– Fuerte: Native to Mexico and Central America. Skin with roughness, separates easily from the pulp;
– Hass: Originally from California. Thick, wrinkled skin, peels easily and has a dark color when ripe. The pulp is creamy and without fibers;
– Méndez: Originally from Mexico. Original variety. Thick and wrinkled skin, dark green color when mature. The pulp is creamy and fiber-free. The name comes from its creator Carlos Méndez Vega;
– Negra de la Cruz: Also known as Prada or Vicencio. Originally from the village of Olmué, in the Valparaíso region, in Chile, by natural hybridization in which the Mexican variety leucaria may have had an influence. The skin is dark red or black;
– Pahua or palto: Thick skin and fat-looking pulp;
Sharwil (Kona Sharwil): Originally from the Hawaiian Islands, it represents the main avocado production, but which cannot be exported to the continent due to restrictions dictated by the USDA. The tree is small in size, while the fruit has a thick, dark green skin;
– Torres: Variety originated by hybridization and selection in Famaillá, Argentina.
As for the rootstock this must take into account the degree of salinity of the irrigation water which, in the presence of a low salinity, must be of Mexican breed, vice versa Antillan.

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