Propagating olive from large branch

Soup Dragon

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I have seen examples in the past of creating olive bonsai by planting a stump or large branch with no roots (OK, a cutting, but a huge cutting, several inches in diameter). As I am about to remove an interesting branch from an olive tree in my garden, I would like to try this out. My question is would this be the right time to do it, or should I wait until spring? This is an ultra-hardwood mature branch.
Note that air-layering is not an option as I would be cutting it right where it joins the trunk (as this is where the shape is interesting).
 

sorce

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Aaahhh... you can layer that!

Perhaps use a tire from a Vespa, cut it, wrap it around, pack it with media, maybe drill some drainage.

My concern is the lack of full radial nebari, maybe go lower, use that wound, or go higher, but then you lose a lot of girth.

I'd slap a Vespa tire around it right where it exits the tree.

What's the other side look like?

Sorce
 

Soup Dragon

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Aaahhh... you can layer that!

Perhaps use a tire from a Vespa, cut it, wrap it around, pack it with media, maybe drill some drainage.

My concern is the lack of full radial nebari, maybe go lower, use that wound, or go higher, but then you lose a lot of girth.

I'd slap a Vespa tire around it right where it exits the tree.

What's the other side look like?

Sorce
I'd never have tried air-layering something so wide, but now I know!

The other side is pretty much the same, except no branch stump. It is dark now so I can't take a photo.

Late spring / summer for layering?

Many thanks!
 

sorce

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Do it when you are over prepared!

I would like to see it chopped and have a new leader growing, maybe some useable low branching, before layering.

This is a right excellent start, with good planning.

I think it's good enough to layer, even though it may be a difficult task, over just cutting it off and crossing your fingers.

But in the case of "making it a Bonsai", cutting it off may not be the best first step. Have you considered designing it further while still connected?

Sorce
 

leatherback

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I would say you are in olive country. Considering how I can get a small branch to root about thousand miles north of you, I would bet you can get that stump to root. I hear in spain that is normal, take a piece of olive wood, plant it, leave it.
But.. I was surprised it actually worked. I did not expect olive to be a good one to grow from cuttings.
 

Warpig

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But in the case of "making it a Bonsai", cutting it off may not be the best first step. Have you considered designing it further while still connected?
This is a good point. I feel like the major downside (delaying being able to get started with working the roots) of putting off the layer to develop more first would be less important on a tree like this as compared to a skinnier tree.
 

BrianBay9

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A large cutting would probably work but air layering is a safer bet. I agree with Sorce, some work on your future tree before you air layer will save you a lot of time. You can set up your future trunk line and major branches while it remains on the mother tree. It will develop faster and stronger. When that is done, air layer and remove. This approach will delay the air layer by about a year, but save you much more than that in the long term. That is assuming you can work on this tree whenever you want.
 

Soup Dragon

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Have you considered designing it further while still connected?
No, I hadn't considered "on the tree" preparation. I was only thinking of if a cutting/layer would survive. Thanks for the expert guidance. I'll chop as you suggest, and play the long game.

Thanks again!
 

Soup Dragon

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A large cutting would probably work but air layering is a safer bet. I agree with Sorce, some work on your future tree before you air layer will save you a lot of time. You can set up your future trunk line and major branches while it remains on the mother tree. It will develop faster and stronger. When that is done, air layer and remove. This approach will delay the air layer by about a year, but save you much more than that in the long term. That is assuming you can work on this tree whenever you want.
Yes, I am fortunate in that the tree is in my garden and I can do what I like with it. I've included a picture of the 'mother' tree, because why not?

IMG_8002.jpg

Thanks!
 

BonjourBonsai

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That's a beauty of an old olive tree! Now is the time to prune it if you were looking at it from an artificial perspective. I would remove a different branch that needs to be pruned and root it while you also work on the branch you identified. Olives can take VERY hard pruning in stride.
 

BonjourBonsai

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If the pile to the right are your recent trimmings and if the haven't dried out too much, I'd plant some in some containers and see if they take.
 

Soup Dragon

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If the pile to the right are your recent trimmings and if the haven't dried out too much, I'd plant some in some containers and see if they take.
Yes, the pile to the right is yesterday's trimmings. I stuck a couple in containers, but I have no shortage of young olives and I'm looking for something with real character and girth.
 

Soup Dragon

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I would remove a different branch that needs to be pruned and root it while you also work on the branch you identified.
The only other branch that I aim to remove isn't as thick, and it is pretty straight and uninteresting. I might layer it anyway to get some practice in. Thankfully I do have other stuff that will keep me busy while working on the original one.
 

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