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mystery asked How do I plant an olive tree from cuttings?
I have cuttings of olive branches and i'm not sure how i should plant them. Does anybody know anything that could help me?
And got the following answer:
Propagation of Olives by Rooted Stem Cutting Mist propagation of cuttings is one of the best ways to propagate many olive cultivars. Being a subtropical, the roots and shoots of olive trees grow rapidly during late spring and early summer when soil moisture is relatively high, soil temperatures are warm (above 70° F), and air temperatures are not excessively hot (between 85° and 95° F.) Towards the end of this rapid growth is the prime time to take cuttings, during the months of late June and early July. Wood should be collected from vigorously growing trees, and kept cool until propagated. Pre-trim and place in plastic bags with moist sawdust, and process the material as cuttings as soon as possible. It is possible to keep the wood for several days under refrigeration without any problems. Semi-hardwood cuttings are selected from healthy branches, cutting pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter, and 4 to 6 inches long, with the lower leaves removed, and 2 to 4 sets of leaves remaining. Some propagationists will "wound" the lower portion of the stem, making slight cuts with a sharp object, and then use either a hormone powder or concentrated dip to help induce rooting. In my experience, quick dips of 3,000 ppm indole butyric acid (IBA) have worked well for many of the olive oil cultivars, such as 'Lucca,' 'Frantoio,' 'Moralolo,' 'Mission,' and 'Picual.' Hormone powders for hard to propagate species should be chosen, such as Root Tone #40. 1 have also gotten tip cuttings to root, but I only propagate those when material is very limited and precious, as often, the wood is not mature enough to root. Some cultivars are just difficult to root, such as 'Sevillano.' A successful rooting rate of 20% would be high for this cultivar, while many of the others are as high as 90%. Sterile rooting media should be used in standard nursery flats. A common propagation mix is 90% perlite and 10% peat moss. Standard nursery flats can often hold up to 70 cuttings without much difficulty. Some propagationists like to place cuttings in trays that keep root systems separate, as they find that subsequent transplanting is easier and less transplant shock means these trees grow more rapidly when placed in one gallon containers. Intermittent mist and bottom heat are critical for success in rooting olive tree cuttings. The "artificial leaf" controller for a pressurized misting system is very effective. The controller consists of a rectangular piece of fine metal mesh on a counterbalanced metallic lever that rises as it dries, activating a mercury switch that energizes an electric solenoid to turn on the misting system valve. When wetted, the screen becomes heavy, traveling down, causing the mercury switch to shut off, closing the solenoid, stopping the mist. The entire cycle usually lasts about 5 seconds, occurring as frequently as every 3 minutes under hot conditions, or as infrequently as once every few hours during cooler conditions. Many propagationists believe this to be the best system available. For small systems electric heating cables buried beneath a thin (one inch) layer of gravel controlled by an adjustable thermostat is quite effective. Bottom heat of 75. F is usually very helpful in getting the cuttings to root rapidly. The cuttings should be placed in a shaded area in a greenhouse or propagating structure, and not exposed to direct intense sunlight, as this often causes desiccation. Air temperature up to 9O° F is acceptable. Temperatures below 7O° F often result in slow or poor rooting. If you don't have a mist system keep the bed covered with plastic film, as close to the cuttings as possible to reduce air circulation and water loss. Under normal conditions, rooting becomes obvious after about 45 days, but may continue for up to six months or longer (since olive trees can live for hundreds of years, they are in no hurry!) When several healthy white roots are present, you can transplant into bigger containers. If the young rootings are going to be kept in a greenhouse, some growers will transplant into smaller containers such as rose pots (about 2 inches square,) and move into one gallon containers when the weather is better the following spring. Young trees need to be protected from heavy frosts, and dry, cold weather.