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Olive tree pruning on inside branches

dilbydilby Posts: 77
Hi all - I have an olive tree that unfortunately has been quite neglected. The inside is full of dead twigs and although growth continues around the outside I really want to get new shoots on the inside to make it more full. But my question - probably a stupid one - is do olive trees grow like that or will they only ever grow from the outside? For instance if I cut off all this dead growth will new shoots comes from the center of the plant or will it just encourage more growth on the ends of the more alive branches? And is there any particular way I should prune it? 

Thanks so much!


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Yes, it may well produce new shoots from low down (once it has received some TLC and is a lot happier!)  Mine has produced a new shoot low down on the main trunk this year, after I re-potted it into a larger container.
    It's important to prune-out all of that dead wood at this stage, as it is entry point for disease.  If you are not sure if a branch is dead, scrape the bark near the tip with your thumbnail - if brown underneath, then that section is dead, so scrape a little further down until you find green and cut it back to into that green wood, just above a bud or side shoot.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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