The importance of the flush

Tony’s Take on avos
with Tony Bradley
Aongatete Avocados Ltd

It’s important to get a ‘flush’, or you might call it the ‘spring growth’. This is because it carries next year’s flowers and the following year’s fruit. If you don’t get the flush, you won’t have fruit in 18 months’ time. Its impact occur over a long time period.

The flush needs to be red, growing fast and strong at the moment, and will harden off through December. Too thin and it’s whispery and weak, too short and it doesn’t carry enough flowers. Just right is having new growth that is more than 300mm, a single shoot and about as thick as your thumb. You’ll get it by feeding your tree, having a good active root zone and not too much flowering. A tree needs to be in a good balance, roots to canopy. Fruit to nutrient status.

Unfortunately it’s a trade-off between getting lots of flowers, getting them pollinated and growing and getting enough growth for next year.

The growth needs to be strong and vigorous. Such growth will reflect the tree’s health, will grow this year’s fruit strongly and sets the tree up to continue its good health and vigorous fruit-sizing during this all-important pre-January growing cycle.

It needs to happen at the end of flowering – to early and it grows over the flower, too late and it doesn’t reach its best. It’s tricky but I feel being bold and striving for growth is important.

If you don’t have the growth now you need to get it. Feed the tree, remove foliage, remove flower, irrigate, inject, add compost, and use seaweed. That’s seven actions you can take to get some red tip. You can do one single action or maybe bits of all seven. And even just a few actions – a mix. But doing nothing won’t help you next year and the following year. It’s a cycle and pathway that has ramification for the future productivity.

Do we have much control over it this time? I reckon no, but we do have some influence and ensuring we do our best with tree health and tree vigour will help influence the outcome. The Avocado industry Council is considering research on the difference between the top-growing performance and the average. There is a big difference and it could be that they will find a lot has to do with healthy vigour and a well-growing tree. Trees having a flush and the right growing wood at the right time, including a good flush, in spring could be a key factor.


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