Ask a Question forum: Olive Tree Cuttings

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May 13, 2016 10:28 AM CST
Two years ago after my mother-in-law passed I took some two dozen cuttings from the large kalamata olive growing in her back yard on the very last day before her house changed ownership. Only one cutting survived and it appears to be a healthy growing tree in a one gallon pot. The main branch is 38 cm tall and there are two lateral branches that start at 2 and 7 cm above the soil, each of them about 20 cm in length.

My questions, should I remove these laterals, if I do would the two laterals be suitable for cuttings to propagate two new trees, or would I risk losing all three? The tree has sentimental value and I don't have the option of collecting new cuttings from the same tree.

Other web postings I've read suggest two year cuttings should have a single trunk otherwise one ends up with an olive bush. I suppose I could live with an olive bush for a few more years and take cuttings from a more mature plant.

Coldspring, Texas (Zone 8b)
Plant, watch and learn. My orchard
Permaculture Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
May 13, 2016 2:13 PM CST
If the tree is still young, I would wait to cut those two lower branches. Those leaves are helping it grow. Many olive growers do t prune at all until year 5 to allow for maximum photosynthesis for young trees. Even water sprouts are kept when young. It is wonderful that you were able to save a piece of your grandmother's tree. How precious! Let the baby grow up then take cuttings as you do your first pruning later.

May 16, 2016 9:30 AM CST
Yes, thank you for your advice. Certainly there is no hurry in this situation. All that is required is a good measure of patience.

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