Olive Soil

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Olive Soil

Post  Lee Brindley on Wed May 23, 2012 5:24 pm

I recently bought an imported olive (from Italy, I believe) and the soil is very dry and compacted - almost cement like. The vendor told me that this was "special soil" for olives. Should I repot it into something more free draining? (I am in the UK)

Thank you.

Lee Brindley
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  stavros on Wed May 23, 2012 5:49 pm

Lee Brindley wrote:I recently bought an imported olive (from Italy, I believe) and the soil is very dry and compacted - almost cement like. The vendor told me that this was "special soil" for olives. Should I repot it into something more free draining? (I am in the UK)

Thank you.

There is no special bonsai soil for olive trees.
We collect dozens of trees every year and we plant them and we have tried many types of substrates. I personally like open, airy, inorganic substrates with 10-15% of organic material. Especially in your climate your substrate should dry very well, since olive trees do not like "wet feet"

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed May 23, 2012 5:51 pm

I live in Florida and can't grow the true Olive, but I can tell you that in Israel they grow in what we would have called adobe (a hard, packed clay) in California.

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  jrodriguez on Wed May 23, 2012 6:21 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I live in Florida and can't grow the true Olive, but I can tell you that in Israel they grow in what we would have called adobe (a hard, packed clay) in California.

Billy,

Why is this? I live in Puerto Rico and have old olive trees in my collection, including one from Mallorca, Spain, and they grow fine. In Puerto Rico, we have been growing olive bonsai for over 40 years, without problems. Robe Kempinski also has one and it grows well for him.

Well, in terms of soil, in my part of the world Olive grows best in 100 percent sifted mountain sand or 100 percent lava cinder.

Warm regards,

Jose Luis


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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Poink88 on Wed May 23, 2012 6:27 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:... I can tell you that in Israel they grow in what we would have called adobe (a hard, packed clay) in California.
Is the adobe crushed (coarse)? If so that makes sense since adobe reminds me of turface almost (just a different color).

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  tim stubbs on Wed May 23, 2012 7:19 pm

try Kaizen no 3 , have a read of this http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/shop/the_olive_tree_as_bonsai.php

it works for me

tim

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Lee Brindley on Wed May 23, 2012 8:26 pm

Thanks guys.

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:I live in Florida and can't grow the true Olive, but I can tell you that in Israel they grow in what we would have called adobe (a hard, packed clay) in California.

Billy, that is just how I would describe it - like dry clay. Get it out of there then?

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Sakaki on Wed May 23, 2012 9:28 pm

Lee Brindley wrote:I recently bought an imported olive (from Italy, I believe) and the soil is very dry and compacted - almost cement like. The vendor told me that this was "special soil" for olives. Should I repot it into something more free draining? (I am in the UK)

Thank you.

Dear Lee

Although there are many olive varieties, this tree tolerates almost all soil types!!! Dont worry about soil for olive. Just worry about your climate!
I am not so sure that olive is suitable for your country.
This tree grows wild eveywhere in my region/country. Just avoid water-absorbent and retainer materials in your mixture.
Its roots hate staying wet! And put it under direct sunlight all day, it likes to burn all day Smile
No water - no problem, too much water - too much problem!

Taner

Sakaki
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  marcus watts on Wed May 23, 2012 10:41 pm

Sakaki wrote:
Lee Brindley wrote:I recently bought an imported olive (from Italy, I believe) and the soil is very dry and compacted - almost cement like. The vendor told me that this was "special soil" for olives. Should I repot it into something more free draining? (I am in the UK)

Thank you.

Dear Lee

Although there are many olive varieties, this tree tolerates almost all soil types!!! Dont worry about soil for olive. Just worry about your climate!
I am not so sure that olive is suitable for your country.
This tree grows wild eveywhere in my region/country. Just avoid water-absorbent and retainer materials in your mixture.
Its roots hate staying wet! And put it under direct sunlight all day, it likes to burn all day Smile
No water - no problem, too much water - too much problem!

Taner

this is the best advice lee-
i'm in cornwall and have a lovely olive on the decking and it's purposly left in the grey solid lump of soil it came in - water does not penetrate so the roots stay dry as can be - come winter into the dry greenhouse to keep it dry - water is the killer but all the sun you can give it is essential

cheers Marcus

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Guest on Thu May 24, 2012 2:17 am

Poink88 wrote:
Billy M. Rhodes wrote:... I can tell you that in Israel they grow in what we would have called adobe (a hard, packed clay) in California.
Is the adobe crushed (coarse)? If so that makes sense since adobe reminds me of turface almost (just a different color).


Yes they are almost the same. I also add coarse adobe in the bottom part of the pot. Although more solid and heavier than volcanic cinder.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  stavros on Thu May 24, 2012 6:11 am

tim stubbs wrote:try Kaizen no 3 , have a read of this http://www.kaizenbonsai.com/shop/the_olive_tree_as_bonsai.php

it works for me

tim

I think that Graham Potter (kaizen bonsai) has lots of experience with olives (maybe more than most people in the UK) and you should have a look at the article.

Now, if you want the tree to stay alive, you should make sure that it does not stay wet.
If you want it to thrive, then you must use an open, airy, mostly inorganic substrate.

stavros
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  my nellie on Thu May 24, 2012 7:55 am

Hello everybody!

Mr. G. Potter clearly states about climate conditions of his region that :
"... ...Here the weather is fairly mild. The spring time is generally a little cooler than many places but the autumn time is warmer. Winter nights are usually a few degrees warmer than further inland thanks to the warming effect of the sea... ..."
So, this should also be taken into consideration.

I can tell you about Greece that : Yes, there are olive varieties which are not so hardy as others and the variety to be sown is ALWAYS taken into consideration when planning a new olive plantation in combination with the climate conditions of each specific region.

Taner (Sakaki) above has written... everything about olives. They don't mind compacted soil but they do mind wet feet! They thrive burning under sun all day long and they do love the wind blowing among their branches!

For those who do not know this already, there is something else which I have tested on my own olive trees is about their pruning and backbudding. I have learned this from a Spanish bonsaist who I thank heartily.
Well, when you have reached the time to prune back the branches (you do this in May) you keep only a set of two leaves at the point of the cut and you cut off all the remaining leaves keeping only the stems.
You will be amazed that your olive will backbud from every single stem you have kept on the brach.

I hope this will be of help for you.

my nellie
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olive-soil

Post  Neil Brough on Thu May 24, 2012 11:49 am

The humble olive, last year while completing a landscaping project i lifted a number of olive trees destined for removal. Took them home most of them i removed some of the thick roots and planted back into the ground. After reading Dougs olive tour my chainsaw came out and performed its task , with great results new growth on the trunk and fibrous roots being produced. My other stumps in the garden are producing good growth on the trunks as well.
On the subject of soil i agree an open soil mix,my stumps are in a loam and i dont let the soil dry out if they are actively growing. Regards Neil

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  stavros on Thu May 24, 2012 2:09 pm

Neil Brough wrote:
On the subject of soil i agree an open soil mix,my stumps are in a loam and i dont let the soil dry out if they are actively growing. Regards Neil

We are a company of 3 bonsai enthusiasts here in Cyprus and between us we dig dozens of trees every year. Our success rate touches 100%. Sometimes, the trees come out with very little root (people who dig olives know that we never get to see the fibrous root system of trees like maples, elms etc). Once planted in open airy, almost 100% inorganic material, we water them properly and in 2-4 months time, the trees flourish with new growth. WIth some of the trees we dug 2 years ago, we used more compact substrate, with less inorganic material than what we use now, and the success was lower, but also the vigour of the trees was not as goo.
It all depends on what you want to achieve.
As i said in my previous message, if you want to keep it alive, it can grow in any substrate.
if you want it to thrive, then you must use go with airy, open mostly inorganic substrate.

stavros
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Sakaki on Thu May 24, 2012 3:32 pm

stavros wrote:We are a company of 3 bonsai enthusiasts here in Cyprus and between us we dig dozens of trees every year...

Dear Stavros,

You say that you dig up many olive trees every year together with your friends, and I am curious: is it permitted in your region/country to dig them up freely? Or you can easily get the required permission for this?
It is impossible to dig olive trees in Turkey. Authorized bodies NEVER permit or allow this action since olive trees are protected by laws in my country, and never allowed to dig up (even wild ones) in order to support and protect olive oil industry here.
We can dig up only those which are already growing in our garden or field, and in any case we still need to get permission to dig up those already in our garden or field.

Taner

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  tim stubbs on Thu May 24, 2012 3:33 pm

the problem with Cheshire and the north west of England is we can be very wet and sometimes cold with it , we have had three days of 20c temperatures after nearly two months of cool and wet weather so not exactly perfect for olives etc

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  stavros on Thu May 24, 2012 4:10 pm

Sakaki wrote:
stavros wrote:We are a company of 3 bonsai enthusiasts here in Cyprus and between us we dig dozens of trees every year...

Dear Stavros,

You say that you dig up many olive trees every year together with your friends, and I am curious: is it permitted in your region/country to dig them up freely? Or you can easily get the required permission for this?
It is impossible to dig olive trees in Turkey. Authorized bodies NEVER permit or allow this action since olive trees are protected by laws in my country, and never allowed to dig up (even wild ones) in order to support and protect olive oil industry here.
We can dig up only those which are already growing in our garden or field, and in any case we still need to get permission to dig up those already in our garden or field.

Taner

Dear Taner,

I do not understand why you are asking me this specific question and i am do not like the tone you are using. Let us not get into politics please as this is a bonsai forum. Cyprus is a democratic country, member of the EU and we have laws for this and we respect nature.

Please do not make assumptions.
We dig trees with permission, especially from lands of people we know of.
I have been long enough here and i was never told off about anything that i have posted, since today. Isn't it funny??? I would let the administrator and the moderators do this job in case there is something foul.

Now, let's stick to the subject and give some ideas to our friend according to our experience and knowledge and leave politics and preaching outside the forum.
Thank you.

stavros
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Lee Brindley on Thu May 24, 2012 4:29 pm

Thanks folks. Graham Potters article was the first thing I read on Olives when I googled the subject. He makes them sound easy and gave me a lot of hope. Every other thing I have read makes olives out to be much more delicate. I wondered if those who have kept olives in cooler climates could perhaps advise on over-wintering too, without needing to begin a new thread? G. Potter says they are hardy down to at least -10. Should I leave outdoors for the winter, or bring indoors (I do not have a greenhouse).

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu May 24, 2012 4:36 pm

Gentlemen

Hopefully this is partly a language/culture thing. We in the Bonsai community are very sensitive to collecting trees properly and if you look back in posts dealing with collecting you will see frequent admonishment to collect legally and responsibly. I wouldn't think that there was any insult intended. I think one of the strong points of this forum is its international nature and learning about the challenges we deal with in different countries and cultures.


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Re: Olive Soil

Post  tim stubbs on Thu May 24, 2012 4:43 pm

Lee Brindley wrote:Thanks folks. Graham Potters article was the first thing I read on Olives when I googled the subject. He makes them sound easy and gave me a lot of hope. Every other thing I have read makes olives out to be much more delicate. I wondered if those who have kept olives in cooler climates could perhaps advise on over-wintering too, without needing to begin a new thread? G. Potter says they are hardy down to at least -10. Should I leave outdoors for the winter, or bring indoors (I do not have a greenhouse).

mine just goes into a plastic greenhouse (aldi £15) out the back and it survived the last 3 winters

tim stubbs
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  Oliver Muscio on Thu May 24, 2012 5:01 pm

Billy, Thank you. You are exactly right. It seemed to me that the question was just an inquiry regarding the regulations in Cyprus, not any kind of accusation.
Oliver

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  stavros on Thu May 24, 2012 5:01 pm

Lee Brindley wrote:Thanks folks. Graham Potters article was the first thing I read on Olives when I googled the subject. He makes them sound easy and gave me a lot of hope. Every other thing I have read makes olives out to be much more delicate. I wondered if those who have kept olives in cooler climates could perhaps advise on over-wintering too, without needing to begin a new thread? G. Potter says they are hardy down to at least -10. Should I leave outdoors for the winter, or bring indoors (I do not have a greenhouse).

Graham was here in March 2012 on a workshop at my place.
One of the things we were discussing is the substrate that is used. There are products like the terramol (the one that is also used as a cat litter) that can be harmful to the roots if used in high percentage in areas where the climate drops around freezing. This applies to every tree not just olives.
One thing you can do during the winter time, when the temperatures are low for many days, you can move the trees in a sheltered spot, even a small cold frame will probably do.
I have also seen Graham's olives last year in April when i visited him and they looked happy, after going through the winter:)
It will not be as easy to keep them as if you were in south europe, but you can find ways to manage.

stavros
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Re: Olive Soil

Post  akhater on Thu May 24, 2012 6:29 pm

not intending to hijack the thread but I need an advise

I have collected a wild olive 1.5 month ago and it is a a free draining purely organic mix. it is still alive but no leaves whatsoever.

I have been advised to put it in partial shade and to water it everyday until it starts pushing new leaves. I have noticed that some branches are turning a bit dark could it be too much water? any advise would be highly appreciated


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Re: Olive Soil

Post  savvas on Thu May 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Hi Akhater,there are various points here that need clearing up.....For some olive trees 1 1/2 months is too soon to bud,mind you i have 2-3 that reacted within 3 weeks of digging them up,but others after 3-4 months and they are only starting....so be patience...off course,i am not quite sure of course of your "purely organic mix"and keeping it wet all the time....i dont do that....my mix is 80% inonganic,not wet all the time and not in the shade....so i think you should let it dry out a bit,because its a fact from nature as well that olives dont like their feet always wet...they survive long droughts.

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Re: Olive Soil

Post  akhater on Thu May 24, 2012 7:08 pm

Thank you Savvas, our climates are basically the same so I think it is safe to follow your lead. Do you advise to let it have more sun even at this stage ?

akhater
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Re: Olive Soil

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