Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With a wiener dog.

September 17, 2015

Trimming the little shoots off of the base of your olive tree

I just love the architectural and sculptural quality of the base of an olive tree. It always reminds me of the pictures I saw as a kid of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Like most desert-adapted trees, olive trees are really just big bushes that are trained up to look like trees. That is, left to their own devices, they tend to splay out and get all bushy. Of course, what I want here are trees, not bushes, so I have to keep after my olives trees.

Caring for the base of an olive tree is a great "puttering around the garden with your coffee" activity. If you neglect the shoots for a long time, you will need to do some heavy pruning, but if you're like me, and wander around every morning, just take an ordinary chisel along with you every once in a while. A couple of times a month is plenty.

I sit at the base of the tree and gently scrap away the shoots. Sometimes I just sit there with my coffee, and I am thankful to be there.

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