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Straggly olive tree

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by GardeningFin, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. GardeningFin

    GardeningFin Apprentice Gardener

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    :) Hi all
    My olive looks a bit straggly.
    Perhaps it’s fine and I should leave it, but wondering if there is something I can do to add some vigour to it and make it bushy?

    Enjoy the lovely Spring day

    Thanks
    Fin
     

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  2. kazzawazza

    kazzawazza Total Gardener

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    Once established olive trees are extremely drought-tolerant, but plants will do better if watered regularly in dry spells during the growing season. To encourage strong growth, it’s a good idea to feed each spring with a general fertiliser.

    Olives naturally shed their older leaves in spring (April) as new growth begins.

    Container cultivation
    Olives are not entirely hardy. Although they can cope with dry periods, olives in containers need regular watering and feeding. During the growing season, keep the compost moist and feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser such as Phostrogen, every month. In winter, reduce watering, but don’t let the compost dry out completely.

    Pruning and training
    Olives grow very slowly, so don’t require much pruning. However, pinching out young plants can help to encourage them to develop a branching shape. Once they are 1.5m (5ft high), select three or four of the strongest and best-placed shoots to retain, and pinch out the others.

    If needed, in late spring or early summer, remove dead, diseased or dying branches. At the same time, thin out branches to allow light into the centre of the tree and remove any branches that spoil the shape. Avoid pruning too hard as this will result in the over-production of non-fruiting water shoots.

    Container-grown plants may need additional summer pruning to keep their size in check. When plants in containers get to about 1.5m (5ft), pinch out the tips to encourage growth.


    We have an olive tree in a pot, which looks very similar to yours, so you have nothing to worry about. And be mindful that April is when it will lose its older leaves. Therefore, your olive tree will not look it’s best this month :)

    If you have not done so already, now is a good good to give your tree a feed such as blood, fish and bonemeal. You can also feed it with a fast release fertiliser such miracle grow.

    I hope this helps :dbgrtmb:
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      The pot is too small;)
      Or the tree is too big.:smile:

      Id cut the head back really hard to about 6ins above the fork in the main stem.
      Preferably plant in the ground or get a pot about 2-3ins bigger all round the root ball.
      Keep it watered and start feeding in July or add Osmocote to the potting compost which needs to be soil based with some added sharp sand.

      They are not slow growing, only slow if containerised and slightly starved.
      Cut mine hard back last month as it was way out of control only 2 yrs after I last did this.
      DSC_0122.JPG
       
      Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    • GardeningFin

      GardeningFin Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for the great replies. I’ll give it a good feed and see if it’s time for a bigger container with more tlc wow Pete, you’ve really given your trees a good prune!
       
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      • Marley Farley

        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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        @pete is yours in the ground.? I was thinking of planting mine out but not sure.. I do have a sheltered corner it could go in.. What do you think.?
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        Yes been in the ground for a few years now, never had any problems with hadiness
        Does make them grow though, if you have space go for it, great evergreen tree IMO, just sad I really dont have the room for it and have to cut it back every couple of years or so.

        Mine is sheltered from cold winds to be honest, so maybe totally exposed would not be a good idea.:smile:
         
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        • Marley Farley

          Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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          Thanks Pete, I think I might try the sheltered corner, south and west facing walled corner. Should be pretty sheltered there.. :SUNsmile:
           
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          • Verdun

            Verdun Passionate gardener

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            Our local town has Olive trees as features throughout .
            I would do exactly as Pete has described.....hard prune, repot or plant out......took the words out of my mouth! :)
            Olives are tougher than many think they are
            Now is perfect time to do this GardeningFin:)
             
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