Newly planted trees are particularly susceptible to sunburn, especially if the trunks have not been exposed to direct sunlight prior to leaving the nursery. This can cause sunburn affected areas of the trunk to die, subsequently a wound is formed that will weaken the branch, potentially resulting in reduced growth or death of the tissue beyond that point.
To avoid sunburn, keep trees in a shaded area before planting. If this is not possible, tree trunks can be painted to avoid sunburn. A common painting formula is 50% diluted, white, acrylic, water soluble, outdoor paint. This solution can be easily applied with a knapsack sprayer or directly with a paintbrush. This technique can also be used to protect trees when a shelter is unable to be established within 24 hours of planting.
For more information on the impact of sun on avocado trees, download the orchard establishment chapter from the grower manual below.