Olive or olive tree

The olive tree is a plant that has many properties

The olive tree is an evergreen plant, typical of the Mediterranean area. The cultivated olive tree belongs to the vast family of oleata and includes as many as 30 genera. The species is divided into two subspecies: the cultivated olive tree (olea europaea) and the sense of smell (oleata europea oleaster). It is a very long-lived plant and can easily reach several hundred years. As is known, its fruit is an oval drupe. An important feature of this fruit is that it is the only one from which an oil is extracted. The other oils, in fact, are extracted with physical or chemical processes from the seeds. The flowers are hermaphroditic, small, white and fragrance-free. Pollination is anemophilous, i.e. obtained thanks to the transport of pollen by the wind and not by means of pollinating insects (entomophilic pollination). The roots are mainly tap-rooted in the first three years of age. From the fourth year onwards they almost completely transform into adventitious, superficial roots which guarantee the plant excellent vigor even on rocky soils where the layer containing nutrients is limited to a few tens of centimeters.

How to grow an olive tree

Preparing the ground is a somewhat complex and delicate operation. The olive tree can adapt to various types of soils, as long as they are rich in calcium and not too hard. However, it is advisable to use a clayey type. The soil must first be cleaned and cleared of plants and shrubs. In order for it to have the ideal consistency, it is preferable to use a tool called a subsoiler (even if a plow is sufficient for small olive groves). Once moved, proceed to level. At this point we move on to the phase of breaking into the ground, to be carried out from May to June, with a grim spade. It is necessary to create real “trenches”, about 1 m deep and 1.50 m wide. In this way the young plants will be able to develop their own roots. Subsequently the soil must be fertilized, preferably with natural fertilizers based on phosphorus and potassium, to be bought in the nursery or in specialized shops. Once planted, the seedlings must be covered with other fertilized soil. At the end of autumn it is possible to plant trees that have already grown to the seedling stage and cover the roots with fertilized soil. At this point it is necessary to water.

Olive tree in the apartment: bonsai olive tree

The bonsai olive tree prefers above all the external environment, but if placed in conditions similar to those of its natural habitat, it lends itself very well to living even inside an apartment. The creation of an olive tree bonsai can be done in various ways. For example by burying the seed in spring or late summer. This process is very long. It takes a few years, in fact, before being able to transform the olive tree into a bonsai. However, the positive aspect is to be able to intervene from the beginning, giving the desired shape. Another technique, quite complicated and with a low success rate is the cutting. However, this method is faster than sowing. In practice, in the autumn months, you need to take a woody branch, dip the part you want to bury in a hormone solution and plant it in the ground. The best way to get a bonsai is by layering. By obtaining a seedling from the original plant, a branch is chosen that will be debarked. Once this is done, it must be placed inside a plastic bag containing soil. When the roots emerge from the callus, the branch is cut and repotted. Obviously, to get a bonsai, you can simply start from a seedling bought from the nursery.

Olive or olive tree: How to take care of an olive tree

The olive tree prefers a mild climate, not too humid, without temperature changes and with a temperature level that does not drop many degrees below zero. It is necessary to water not too frequently, waiting for the substrate to dry well between one watering and the next. During the summer it is enough to water the plant once a week, while in winter it could be enough even twice a month. It is important to avoid the stagnation of water in the soil, in order to avoid the proliferation of fungi and phytophagous parasites, such as the olive fly or the moth. It is also possible to cover the trunk with Bordeaux mixture, a mixture of copper sulphate and lime, which can be bought already prepared at specialized firms. This operation must be carried out every decade or so,

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