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Will olive tree survive tap root being cut?

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Olives, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Olives

    Olives Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi there, I have an 8ft olive tree which is in a large pot but has rooted through the bottom, through the patio and into the ground. Does anyone know whether it will survive this huge root being cut through? Is there anything I should do to help it cope before and after? Many thanks
     
  2. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I don't have any experience of olive trees but I think you will better off sacrificing the pot, smash it apart and dig up as much root as possible to give yourself a fighting chance. I'd do this in late autumn (not during this current hot dry spell). Give the pot and ground a really good soaking for at least 24 hours before you start.
     
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    • Verdun

      Verdun Passionate gardener

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      Agree with JWK but, since you will cut the root anyway, I would do just that and then try extricate the plant from the pot. Sounds like a 2 man job going by the height of it.
      Olive trees have proved very hardy in this part of the world.....my nearest town, for example, has made a feature of them throughout. :) The Beast from the East earlier in the year did not harm them

      Will it go into another pot or into the ground?
       
    • pete

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

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      Personally I dont thing olives have a tap root as such, they have anchor roots like most trees do, but the feeding is done by the fibrous root system.
      So having said that, I think you can cut the root off without bothering too much.

      They actually dig mature olive trees up from hillsides in parts of the Med and pot them up for sale, you can often see a very gnarled specimen for sale at garden centres for stupid prices.

      Just cut it off cleanly, and repot if you can, I'd do it now, before the autumn comes and the plant can make some new roots in its new pot before winter.
      Best if you can plant out in the ground though, keep well watered but not soaking wet, whatever you choose to do.
       
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      • WeeTam

        WeeTam Total Gardener

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        Just repotted a dozen smaller olives yesterday,didnt notice any tap root. But as said i would try and get as much root as possible,break the pot,dig into the patio if possible too.
        Expensive plants to replace when 8 ft .
         
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        • Dave W

          Dave W Total Gardener

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          We've an 11 year old potted olive grown from a cutting we took in Greece. I've repotted it twice and never noticed a tap root.
          Had lots of blossom this year and loads of olives. I've been thinning them in the hope of getting enough decent sized ones to preserve.
           
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