Developing roots on yamadori olive

scrubbyoak

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I collected a large olive stump last November and put in large wood box with pumice. The stump had shot up five or six talk shoots about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 or more feet tall. I trimmed those back to about 2 feet. I left an older trunk of 3"-4" and 2 feet tall that had emerged from the old stump. Have watered throughout winter and spring. The small leaves dried out and nothing new is emerging, though when I use fingernail anywhere on the trunk or remaining branches, it's green. There weren't many roots on the stump when I dug it up. I'm contemplating removing from box and flat cutting the bottom to expose cambium that might grow roots. Any advice appreciated., especially before I take this drastic measure. The tree had grown on a hillside, and is therefore slanted on the bottom; I planted it in the box in a slant.
 

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Wires_Guy_wires

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I have no real advice, but I used to work for this lady that imported thousands of dollars worth of olives and half of them "died".
She wanted to make some money on the dead ones, so we spray painted them in various colors and threw them on a pile (rootball+soil still attached but without the pot). Olives aren't that pretty if they're metallic pink or blue, so none of them was ever sold.

After some 3 years on the pile, most of them grew new shoots. Now we were stuck with a bunch of olive trees with colored bark.. Ugly colors too!
Don't try this at home, but all of them are still alive right now. Olives can be dormant for decades, so I've read. So instead of doing anything, I suggest you do nothing at all. It can just take a few years for them to revive.

If memory serves me right, it was Bjorn Bjorholm who tried something to speed up the revival; by using vigorous olives he got from a nursery, and grafting the tips of those branches on the main specimens trunk. The sapflow and hormones from the nursery plant would give it the kickstart it needed. But I have no clue if that ever worked or if it's even a reliable method.

My own olive is at a standstill after some mediocre repotting. It took roughly 6 months before it recovered, the dead parts turned brown just recently, but the once leather-like foliage that was still green, has taken on a more vigorous color and structure.
It's not dead until it's dead!
 

River's Edge

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I collected a large olive stump last November and put in large wood box with pumice. The stump had shot up five or six talk shoots about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 or more feet tall. I trimmed those back to about 2 feet. I left an older trunk of 3"-4" and 2 feet tall that had emerged from the old stump. Have watered throughout winter and spring. The small leaves dried out and nothing new is emerging, though when I use fingernail anywhere on the trunk or remaining branches, it's green. There weren't many roots on the stump when I dug it up. I'm contemplating removing from box and flat cutting the bottom to expose cambium that might grow roots. Any advice appreciated., especially before I take this drastic measure. The tree had grown on a hillside, and is therefore slanted on the bottom; I planted it in the box in a slant.
Is image 0707 the way it has remained planted? Also it would help to know your location so climate factors could be considered.
 

scrubbyoak

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Is image 0707 the way it has remained planted? Also it would help to know your location so climate factors could be considered.
Yes, still planted as in 0707. Just south of San Francisco, zone 10a. Thank you.
 

River's Edge

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Yes, still planted as in 0707. Just south of San Francisco, zone 10a. Thank you.
Ok so, i would add some more soil and bury the nebari a bit more. This will preserve more moisture closer to the new roots and prevent it from drying out to quickly. I would also consider a layer of sphagnum moss on top for the same reason. Then i would wait! Make sure it stays damp but leave it alone. I assume it is secured tightly in the box, which is important. If not, then i would brace with a piece of wood across the lip of the box and secure with a wood screw through the wood into the trunk to hold it still for the formation of new roots.
In your neck of the woods is an expert on Bonsai Olives by the name of Sam Adina, i would contact him for more specific information. If you google his name it will come up in connection with his nursery and various Bonsai Clubs he works with.
 

Shibui

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I'll support what River's Edge has told you.
We dig most of our olives in spring or summer but later collecting still works OK. Most of mine sprout reasonably soon after collection but each year I get 1 or 2 that just don't bud up for nearly a year but they have all sprouted eventually. There are more than enough roots on your tree to ensure it survives I think so just keep watering as needed and cross fingers.
 

sorce

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It seems a volcano of stored energy.

Sorce
 

scrubbyoak

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I'm hoping sphagnum moss and keeping it moist will do the trick. I may add a clear plastic humidity tent, as has also been suggested. Will post again when and if I get sprouts.
 

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