Potential Olive Shohin

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Potential Olive Shohin

Postby quodlibet_ens » November 5th, 2017, 5:12 pm

I've had this olive tree for close to 7 or 8 years. It has always been in a pot, but it started life out as a full sized plant with the hopes of harvesting olives, with only beginning to train it as a bonsai over the last 18 months or so.

From base to top leaf, the tree stands at about 23cms (9 inches). I am trying to get more ramification going at the moment, though I'm concerned that the trunk isn't thick enough. Looking at the 2nd image, the trunk may even appear to be demonstrating a reverse taper, but it's still hard to tell.

Is there any advice you folks could give in order to turn this into a nice Shohin tree, particularly addressing trunk thickness and shape?

Cheers
Nathan.ImageImage

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Re: Potential Olive Shohin

Postby Akhi » November 5th, 2017, 5:56 pm

Image
I would let it grow to develop a thicker trunk but if you are comfortable
With the thickness, then I suggest air layering it at the red line in the picture attached and then developing it with the two branches on it for ramification.


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Re: Potential Olive Shohin

Postby quodlibet_ens » November 6th, 2017, 5:10 am

Akhi wrote:Image
I would let it grow to develop a thicker trunk but if you are comfortable
With the thickness, then I suggest air layering it at the red line in the picture attached and then developing it with the two branches on it for ramification.


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I'd definitely like to thicken the trunk a lot more. Could this still be done after airlayering the trunk, or is it best to thicken the trunk first, then airlayer?

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Re: Potential Olive Shohin

Postby shibui » November 6th, 2017, 1:10 pm

You are probably better to layer first. You'll be surprised how much the layering process will thicken the area around the new roots anyway. After it has new roots you can allow it to grow freely to strengthen the new root system and that will add more thickness to the trunk as well.
If the layering does not produce a full spread of roots you can spend some time getting the roots filled in while the trunk thickens as well.

Note that I'd recommend ground layering, rather than air layering to get the roots where you want them. Probably just semantics but it is much easier to build up the mix close to the base instead of trying to tie moss and plastic around it.
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Re: Potential Olive Shohin

Postby quodlibet_ens » November 6th, 2017, 7:49 pm

shibui wrote:You are probably better to layer first. You'll be surprised how much the layering process will thicken the area around the new roots anyway. After it has new roots you can allow it to grow freely to strengthen the new root system and that will add more thickness to the trunk as well.
If the layering does not produce a full spread of roots you can spend some time getting the roots filled in while the trunk thickens as well.

Note that I'd recommend ground layering, rather than air layering to get the roots where you want them. Probably just semantics but it is much easier to build up the mix close to the base instead of trying to tie moss and plastic around it.
Thank you Shibui!

I'd been researching ground layering today, anticipating this might be the best way to go.

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Re: Potential Olive Shohin

Postby quodlibet_ens » November 8th, 2017, 4:01 am

shibui wrote:Note that I'd recommend ground layering, rather than air layering to get the roots where you want them. Probably just semantics but it is much easier to build up the mix close to the base instead of trying to tie moss and plastic around it.


I found these instructions for ground layering online but have not found them very helpful. Should I cut back the bark back to the cambium like you would in airlayering then apply root hormone, or do you simply mound the soil around the area you want roots to grow?Image

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Re: Potential Olive Shohin

Postby shibui » November 8th, 2017, 5:15 pm

Prepare the layer just the same as you would for air layer - ringbark and scrape off cambium or/and tie copper wire tightly around the bared trunk to stop it healing over. Remember the new roots will grow from the upper edge of the cut so make the top cut where you want new roots. Also you can cut at any angle if you want to tilt the trunk and have the new roots flat.

Then, instead of wrapping with sphagnum and plastic, just mound up fresh potting mix to cover the cut part. If necessary make a collar from plastic mesh or part of a plastic pot to hold the new mix in place and make sure it does not wash away and expose the new roots before they get established.
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