Olive suckers

Forum for discussion of Evergreen bonsai – Buxus, Cotoneaster, Olive etc.

Olive suckers

Postby Jesselpk » November 4th, 2017, 6:33 pm

Hi all just after some help.I have these suckers growing off base of the trunk on my olive.
am I right in thinking that if I leave these on for a while it may increase the trunk in diameter?
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Jesselpk
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Re: Olive suckers

Postby shibui » November 5th, 2017, 7:37 am

Any growth will increase the trunk size below the growth so I suppose those suckers will help thicken the base. Olives normally already have a really thick base so that's not normally needed. You'll need to be a bit careful that the suckers don't take all the strength from the trunk so I would not let them get too large or too vigorous.
Eventually you'll want to get rid of any suckers. That can be a full time job with olives. I should do all mine today :(
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Re: Olive suckers

Postby Jesselpk » November 5th, 2017, 8:51 am

Ok thanks for your help . They have been there since the start of spring .I gave the tree a massive clean up last week, I might leave them on for a little longer.
Cheers
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Re: Olive suckers

Postby Graeme » November 29th, 2017, 5:59 pm

Have had this conversation with a couple of Olive Bonsai people over the years and there doesn't seem to be a conclusive answer. First off, wood growth on Olive Bonsai seems to be a fairly slow event, so leaving the suckers on to thicken the trunk isn't worth the effort, just in my opinion. However, sucker growth does seem to have a positive effect on root growth. So, with that in mind I leave the suckers there for a year or so and seem to get nice strong roots around the outside of the trunk, which of course is where we want them. The downside to this however is, leaving the suckers to grow to strongly does appear to have an adverse effect on the top growth of the tree, reducing the vigor throughout the rest of the tree.
To overcome that, I keep the sucker growth to single suckers, based a bit of a distance from each other and I keep them pruned down fairly short. On a tree around a foot high, I tend to keep sucker growth down to around 2 or 3 inches high. Once I have a nice strong spreading root growth, as I said before around a year or so after planting, I remove all the suckers and try and keep them removed - a difficult job if the tree is growing strongly.
I have noticed a marked increase in in the growth of the foliage pads once the suckers have been removed and quite nice pads can and are constructed in a fairly short time span.
That's what works for me anyhow.
Graeme
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