styling question EU Olive

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styling question EU Olive

Post  JudyB on Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:57 pm

Hi all, I'm looking for a bit of help with my European Olive. I have pretty much come to the conclusion (with some encouragement from others) that the tree would be better without the current top. And by top, I mean anything above the lowest ring of 3 branches. It has taken me some time to agree that starting it over there, would be nice, and be in the spirit of the form of a natural spreading olive. I have two questions.

Sometimes I still like it as it is... and I would like to know what the folks here think of the form currently. Or perhaps any other road that you might see.

When (if) I chop it back next summer, how do I work on filling the center of the tree? Should I leave a v shaped stub, and hope for budding from that in the middle? Or should I work with the existing branches to fill the center. I feel like it'll look too manufactured, just working with the current lower branches, and working it towards center, but don't know how uglyfied a stub will look to leave.

Thanks for any input, critique or ideas!

JudyB
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  MrFancyPlants on Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:21 pm

I sure like it the way it is. I would recommend sticking to refinement and maybe taking out a couple of the thicker branches from the top section. I generally like to go for the smallest tree myself, but in this case I wouldn't mess with success.

MrFancyPlants
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  coh on Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:45 pm

I've never worked with olives, and haven't really seen very many photos of old olive trees. That said...the biggest potential issue I see is that thick upper branch/trunk segment that goes off to the upper left. There doesn't appear to be very much trunk movement from the big lower bend all the way to the top (and not much taper either). What if you were to remove that big segment (see heavy mark on image below) and then either bend (if possible) the upper right branch upward, or grow a new one to establish movement and taper?



Additionally, would the root system allow the planting angle to be changed, perhaps resulting in something like this? This is not meant as a final image/polished virtual, just a possible approach if you wanted to save more of the current tree.



Overall I think it's a great piece of material...look forward to seeing what you decide to do!

Chris

coh
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  Sakaki on Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:07 pm

Hi judy

Do you have shot from back?

Sakaki
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  JudyB on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks for the replies, here are some other angles, this was before the root reduction, and some overall top reduction, and wiring. It sure was bushy!!! Hope this gives you enough of a view.

JudyB
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  JudyB on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:52 pm

Chris, I've thought of doing that, but there is such a long empty segment below that branch... And there is that knob as well at the base of that branch. Also I'm not sure that a triangle shape is what I should do with this one, more of a broom would suit the tree I think. But as is, I still look at it sometimes, and think am I going to be sorry??? It is better than it was, maybe if I stay the course for another year. It has the tiniest leaves for new growth, it could be a super tree if I do it right.

The reason a lot of advice was given to cut it off above the lower branches, is that most folks think it looks like two different trees, with the bark difference. Like the top part was glued on or something.... Smile

JudyB
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  Jason Eider on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:56 pm

MrFancyPlants wrote:I sure like it the way it is. I would recommend sticking to refinement and maybe taking out a couple of the thicker branches from the top section. I generally like to go for the smallest tree myself, but in this case I wouldn't mess with success.

Second that.
do like coh's virt though

Jason Eider
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  coh on Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:55 pm

JudyB wrote:Chris, I've thought of doing that, but there is such a long empty segment below that branch...
I've got a jaboticaba with the same problem (bare trunk segment). I haven't been able to induce budding and am going to try grafting. I don't know if it's easy to graft onto olives but that might be worth a try if you want to try to save part of the top. If it doesn't work then you can always cut back hard later.
JudyB wrote:And there is that knob as well at the base of that branch.
Yeah...it's tough to really see that feature well in the photo. Also tough to tell exactly where the branches come from. Have you had other local people look at the tree in person? Maybe take it to a workshop...

Hopefully you'll get some other ideas from members who've been at this longer than me! I'm not very creative with trees yet, but I hope to get there some day.

coh
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  milehigh_7 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:33 am

Judy I have said before, for me this is a tale of two trees. You have a fantastic rugged and natural looking base and a top that seems artificially "pine-treed". So I still say, find the olive tree and bring it out. Looking at this I truly believe it is there. It is hard to insist that you chop it so I will just say wait until it speaks to you.

milehigh_7
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  JudyB on Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:32 am

So Milehigh, I'm pretty into that very option, what I'm looking for specifically here is how to go about dealing with an empty middle. Can I "V" cut the central trunk and backbud it, or do I direct the outer branches inward (which I'm not sure will look authentic...)

Haven't had this particular instance, so would like to know how to deal with it, when (if) I take that top off...
Thanks all.

JudyB
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Re: styling question EU Olive

Post  Bob Pressler on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:13 am

I don't know how they'll grow in Ohio but here I regularly take tree like that and cut all the branches off and the trunk back and they bud out all over like crazy. If you did it late spring next year after it's 60 consistantly at night I would think it would work for you.
I have dozens of very similar olives and the tops have the same different bark. Over time it starts to change to more like the lower trunk. That would make an awesome small tree.

Bob Pressler
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