My Poor Avocado Tree

I had such high hopes for my avocado tree this year. It was looking healthy and had its first batch of fruit; maybe 25 avocados in total. I really love avocados and really really wanted to harvest at least one so I proactively defended against possum attack by making protective sleeves for some of the fruit.

Time passed.

Avocados went missing (oh oh).

Avocados were found on the ground, half eaten (darn you possums).

Avocados remained in those protective sleeves (ha ha ha ha ha).

The heat wave hit (46 C / 115 F) and the avocado tree suffered. Leaves on the ends of each branch with a piece of fruit wilted and turned brown (gulp).

Avocado tree singed by the heat wave

Avocado tree singed by the heat wave

Time passed.

The possum realised that all the sleeveless fruit was gone and so went for those sleeves. One was found on the ground with no fruit to be seen (as if I don’t know where the fruit is).

Nibbled avocado protector

Nibbled avocado protector

Another remains on the tree taunting that possum and alarming me (bye bye avocados).

Remains of an avocado inside its "protective" sleeve after a possum decided it was worth the effort.

Remains of an avocado inside its “protective” sleeve after a possum decided it was worth the effort.

Several avocados remain on the tree in their protective sleeves but we all know it’s just a matter of time …


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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16 Responses to My Poor Avocado Tree

  1. Oh no! gosh I really thought that was the answer. You have some hungry possums there.

  2. Wow, that is not good at all! Any way to fence the tree or put something around the trunk so they can’t climb it? Always frustrating when your hard work gets demolished in one way or another.

    • Not with this tree. It is on the fence between my property and the neighbour’s. I even suspect it might be a tree the possums use to move between the houses (an easy jump from either roof). A possum (or 2) live in our roof and a possum (or 2) nightly walk along the handrail of my neighbour’s balcony. It could be different possums or it could be the same. Either way this tree is in a prime possum location – as is my whole garden – as is the whole region. Good food doesn’t last long in trees here. I just hoped my clever little bags would be enough of a deterrent. I was wrong 😦

  3. You have our sympathies. We do not even try a garden due to the wretched groundhogs although if they were absent there would still be deer and rabbit.

  4. Emily Heath says:

    Those avocados must taste real good. I hope you get to try one.

  5. I can’t believe those bags didn’t work! I have a totally different picture of possums and their capabilities now.

  6. Pingback: Not Another Possum Post!!! | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

  7. Kevin says:

    I’m in exactly the same position as you although I live in suburban Sydney. I’ve had nice avocados off my tree until those darn possums found them. I could pull around 40 avocados off the tree for about 3 years. Now I get 40 possum-eaten avocados I have to throw away. I’ve tried many of your methods. Our tree is next to our neighbors fence. Only a week ago we were sitting having our dinner outside with some friends next to our avocado tree. A show-off possum ran along the fence, jumped into the avocado tree and stared at us less than a metre away!!!

    I put a small net on the fence to stop them running on the fence and onto the avo tree. They worked out how to get around it. I even notice possum poo on the hood of my BBQ. Then I figured they jumped from the fence to the BBQ, bypassed the net and jumped back on the fence! Now, they use the neighbors trees to get around.

    I’ve tried using nets to wrap around the outside of the tree (not over top or bottom)… it helped for a while, then they worked out how to get in. I also wrapped some netting around individual fruits… that also helped a bit. I’m thinking of using chicken wire next to wrap loosely around individual fruits. I also think the net might still work, however I need to cover the whole tree. It’s a largish tree though. Good luck getting at least 1 avo out of your tree. Totally worth it. They are the best tasting and NEVER have any black bruises inside. If your’s are HASS, picking time is mid-June and you need to wait 3 weeks to ripen. I usually pick 2-3 every few days.

    • Well, I got exactly no fruit from that tree. What the possums didn’t get, the sun burnt off and well, it was a total write off. Then I moved to the farm which has a giant of a tree – like 3 stories high. I found bunches of eaten avocados on the ground and a bunch of small trees too. Eventually some whole (or nearly whole) avos started falling from the tree and we took them in to ripen. They are wonderful. I would have liked about 5 times what I got but I’m not in the mood to complain, at least the possums left me some!

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