Forum home Problem solving

Olive top died but lower stem has growth

jrraikesjrraikes Posts: 2
edited July 2019 in Problem solving
Hi, one of my young olive trees top has died but we have new growth right by the base of the trunk  what should I do should I cut it back and to where? Also should I the  feed it?  I normally fleece the olive trees in winter but as this will be small should I over winter inside?


  • That was an abrupt welcome to the Forum...but yes you'll have to do a bit more research on what it takes to grow olive trees. I'm personally conflicted using productive trees for decorative purposes, but your garden, your choices. If you search on here I bet there will be previous chats about looking after olive trees which may come handy.

    Here's the RHS advice too:
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • jrraikesjrraikes Posts: 2
    Picture of the soil and new growth. Not a fan of trees in pots but got these 3 years ago at a sell off and repotted last year using the RHS instructions. My 18 month old does not help by adding other soil in when we are not watching. Question was more as the top but is dead should I cut it just above the new growth? Not planted in the ground as not I the house for years.
  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    Welcome jr.
    I'd should also point out that many Olive trees are grafted and it's likely that yours is too (there's usually a fairly large bump near the base of the trunk).  That means, in this case that the one you bought has died and that the thing growing from the bottom is actually from the root.  Therefore it's likely to be completely different once it grows (so you might not bother persisting with it)

    You can grow Olives in pots (I've had some in pots for a good few years and don't water them that often), however, these pots are on the small side so you'd certainly want to get them out of way of full sun and water them more often.

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 9,558
    Try gently scraping away a bit of bark with your fingernail, on the area that looks dead.  If it's moist and green underneath it may regrow given better conditions and enough water.  If it's brown and dead, try again lower down.  If it's dead all the way down to the graft point, you might as well cut it right off and see what grows from the rootstock (apparently olives are sometimes grafted onto osmanthus roots to make smaller trees).
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • As @BobFlannigon mentioned about grafting,  it seems to me that the new growth doesn't look like olive at all...wonder what plant they used as root stock. I suppose you can let it grow and see if the leaves change their appearance...nothing to lose.
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    Don't think it is worth persevering. Bin them as a lesson in what not to do. Large trees need large pots. I know photographs can be deceiving but for a tree that size they should have been in pots at least three times that size. We learn by experience so you will know better next time!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,012

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

Sign In or Register to comment.