Olive Stems - Care & Wintering of the Olive Tree Tree Trunk

The Content Of The Article:

Olive tree - Olea europaea


German names: Olive stems, olive tree trunks
Botanical name: Olea europea
Family: Olive family (Oleaceae)
Origin: Mediterranean area, Middle East, South Africa
Height: not fixed, on average about 100-200 cm
Flower color: different (for example white, yellow, pink)
Bloom: April June
Location: full sun, warm, wind and rain protected
Ground: wet, but not wet
Others: not hardy, potentially perennial, lime tolerant

Basic notes

Although the olive tribe is botanically considered a true Olea europea (olive tree): From a practical point of view, the olive tree tribe has only limited to do with his "big brother". Of course, some people ask themselves the (legitimate) question of why you can even buy olive stalks ?!
The answer: Olive trees are trendy, but in the "correct" version, they can only be pulled up very slowly. The situation is different with the high strain of the plant: it grows very quickly. What sounds like an advantage at first, is rather detrimental to the trunk and the owner - and these parties are logical to us.
The olive tree tribe does not thrive in a natural way.
Here are the (in) typical characteristics at a glance:
An olive stalk can be pulled up quickly.
This is exactly what is done: you do not cut off the rapidly growing initial instinct until you reach a stately height.
For comparison: Normally you pay attention to the rearing of an olive tree on a good branching of strong main branches.
The untypical structure continues to contribute to the high-seated branches, which are formed into a dense crown.
Caution: Such tight crowns favor, among other things, fungal infection. In addition, plant lice in the thickets feel perfectly well.
When quick growth of the trunk, the quality of the root system usually falls by the wayside.
-> Voluntarily an olive tree would never grow in such a form. And it is to be noted once again that the unnatural structure tends to harm him.
TIP: If you want to grow old with your olive tree, you usually do not like it with an olive stalk. Rather, then the tedious, but much more natural way should be taken with a really genuine Olea europea.

Olive tree - Olea europaea

The following details are often added to the problem of selling olive tree trunks:
  • The olive stalk is planted in a (too) small pot.
  • The pot contains inferior as well as excessively poured or completely dried soil.
  • The plant "lives" until it is sold in a warehouse that is unsuitable for plants.
For this reason, we advise anyone who decides to purchase an olive stalk to repot the plant after transport home - in real garden soil with sand. This is the gentlest solution and gives the plant the opportunity to recover from the hardships expected of it.
Many people buy olive tree trunks with the aim of harvesting olives. And indeed, the stems are often refined so that they bear fruit comparatively quickly. Whether or not the olives will taste depends on two conditions:
  • Is there a second olive nearby? Cross-pollination optimizes the quality of the fruit (even with a self-pollinator)!
  • Is additional lighting available? Olives can mature in our climate only in good, intense light!
TIP: Modern LED plant lighting is absolutely efficient (cost effective and effective).
Note: A guarantee for the education of fruits does not exist in this country. The summers in our latitudes are usually not long enough to support the ripening of the olives. Therefore, the olive stems as well as the real olive tree is often "only" cultivated as an ornamental plant.
Anyone who decides to raise an olive stalk, must bear in mind that the Hochstamm can be cultivated in the bucket EXCEPTIONALLY. Planting in the garden is not possible.
The care largely corresponds to the measures that also apply to the real olive tree. However, the focus is on the regular cut and a generally very vigilant and careful care of the plant. In the following we describe all important tasks for the cultivation of the olive stalk.


The olive tree and thus the stem are native to the Mediterranean, where sun and heat are the order of the day. So it's up to the high tribe to procure these or at least similar conditions in their new home. If the location is not correct, the plant can not develop well.
Properties that must have the space for the bucket mandatory:
  • warm
  • sunny
  • protected


High-quality garden or potting soil is the best solution. It does not have to be very nutritious. Most importantly, to avoid getting wet. Therefore you build a drainage into the pot. It allows excess water to drain off.
Here are some basic recommendations:
  • Adjust the size of the planter to the size of the trunk
  • Do not use planters or coasters as supplements
  • It is essential to assemble the lowest layer of porous material
  • Loamy, sandy and calcareous soil is ideal for the Hochstamm
TIP: In the bucket, the olive tribe can only form roots to a limited extent to absorb moisture. Therefore, while avoiding waterlogging, it is essential to keep the soil slightly moist at all times.

to water

Olive tree - Olea europaea

Olive trees do not get much water in their homeland in the climes around the Mediterranean Sea. With us, too, they do not need too much moisture. Excessive casting is therefore not required and equally inadvisable.
Rules of thumb:
  • Permanently keep the substrate moderately moist
  • Pour on feeling or finger test
TIP Finger test: Put your whole finger in the ground. Before the next casting, the substrate should be dried to the point the finger reaches.
  • pour a bit more in the heat of the day
  • Avoid waterlogging under all circumstances
Important: Make absolutely sure that no puddles form in the pits and holes of the trunk and / or the branches. These places are otherwise prone to rot.


The Olivenstämmchen presents itself extremely frugal, concerning the nutrient supply. So fertilization is not necessarily required unlike most other plants. However, it does not hurt either. Therefore, we recommend to plant the olive tree high stem once a year, namely in spring, with container plant fertilizers.

To cut

Cutting is pretty much the most important task in caring for the olive stalk. If the high stem is to remain a high stem, it must be cut regularly.
As a reminder: The olive stalk was brought into a form that runs counter to natural growth before being sold. To keep it that way, you have to make sure by eager trimming.
That's how it's done:
  • Every spring remove all branches that grow out of the round crown (restore spherical shape).
  • Throughout the year remove all the shoots on the trunk that grow below the crown.
  • Always round out the crown if it becomes too dense (also throughout the year).
Here are a few basic tips for comprehensive cut care in spring:
  • Just do not be squeamish. The lush cut in the spring has no influence on the flowering, so it does not detract.
  • Cut the trunk down, as the lower shoots "pull in" a lot of juice, which costs the plant immense power.
  • Cut out everything that grows inside, otherwise the sun has no way to penetrate.
  • Make sure that the shoots do not touch each other - they not only need sun, but also air.
  • Remove branches that are too far down.
  • Only cut outwards if the trunk comes too close to other plants.
  • Never cut around on the main drive! Leave him and three or four main branches completely.
  • Always remove the shoots that look sickly, grow across and / or otherwise "dance out of line".


There are three ways to grow the olive tree: sowing, cuttings and finishing. For the practically oriented hobby gardener, however, none of the variants is really satisfactory.


Although the sowing in and of itself is very simple. However, it takes an extremely long time until a tree grows from the seeds - apart from the fact that the result is usually anything but satisfying: not only that the crops are minimal, pass even many years before you even get there. If you want to try it anyway:
  • You need a mature and untreated olive.
  • From this olive, the pulp is removed.
  • The olive core is inserted 1 cm deep in Anzuchterde.
  • The vessel is covered by glass or a transparent plastic bag.
  • You put the whole thing in a warm and very bright place.
  • The soil is kept slightly moist for a long time.
  • The container is aired regularly (otherwise risk of rotting due to drops of water on the glass or on the plastic bag).


Also, the propagation of cuttings is rarely crowned with success. This is because the woods are often not well rooted.
This is how it works:
  • Cut off young, as strong shoots as possible.
  • Put shoots in potting soil (not too deep).
  • The remainder corresponds to the sowing procedure.


Undoubtedly, the refinement functions as the literally most profitable type of propagation. Disadvantage: For laymen, the method is unsuitable.
For the sake of completeness we would like to briefly explain the two main steps to you:
  • You cut a half-timbered cutting. The best time for it is in the summer.
  • For rooting rooting hormones are used.


Olive tree - Olea europaea

Of course, the olive stalk is not hardy. In this respect, you have to overwinter it in the house (only as late as possible!). Unfortunately, finding a suitable accommodation is a challenge that should not be underestimated. But once a good place has been found, further measures (also with regard to pest management) are manageable.
  • For overwintering the olive tree trunk are temperatures around 10° C ideal.
  • Since it is an evergreen plant, sufficient light must be guaranteed.
Note: Anyone who winters the olive stalk quite darkly, for example in the garage, should not be surprised about leaf waste. Although the small tree usually drives reliably again in the spring. However, it weakens such a gloomy hibernation, which is not good in the long run.
To do:
  • pour little (rule of thumb: the cooler the temperatures, the less water the plant needs)
  • But do not let bales dry out
  • do not fertilize
  • air regularly (several times a day)
It is recommended to bring the olive tree trunk back to the open as early as possible. As the warmer days gradually gain the upper hand, the trunk should be slowly acclimated to the sun so that its leaves do not burn. It is best to put it in a shady place for the first one to two weeks.
Note: For a short time, the plant can cope with low temperatures.
Finally, the temperatures in the Mediterranean during winter time also occasionally below 0° C.

Diseases and pests

Actually, olive trees and olive trunks are quite insensitive. They even forgive minor care mistakes as long as they are not too wet. And with that we are already at the main reason for diseases: waterlogging is poison for the plant.
Here are the most common problems and their causes in quick overview:
Problem: root rot
Causes): lack of drainage and too much irrigation water
Problem: leaf loss
Causes): too dark location in winter quarters
Problem: Brown leaves
Causes): disturbed water absorption (often due to too much water or frost)
Problem: Hanging leaves
Causes): Lack of water (less frequent) or incipient / progressive root rot (more often)
Problem: tree rot
Causes): Caves or holes in the plant are filled with water for a long time
Problem: spider mites
Causes): wrong wintering (too warm or too dry air)
Taking all the problems and causes together shows that in principle it is not too difficult to effectively prevent diseases and pests.


The owner of the olive trunks should be prepared for the fact that the plant first begins a break in growth at the beginning. However, this is not a cause for despair, but rather normal and even good: the temporary stop indicates that the olive tree tribe is trying to form a decent root. Such a tree needs, in order to be able to take care of and develop well.
Anyone who grows an olive tribe definitely takes on a big challenge. The unnatural start of life of the olive tree high stem causes various problems that can only be absorbed with thoughtful and intensive care. However, the effort is worthwhile, because the tree is a feast for the eyes. And maybe you are even lucky and can soon be happy about one or the other delicious olive fruit!

Video Board: Olive tree pruning 101.

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