Olive Tree Leaves Falling

meisocal(9)December 11, 2012

I received an Olive Tree seedling about 10 months ago and it came in a very small slender plastic pot. The tree came from a supplier that grows trees for olive tree farmers and so I believe that this container was temporary until the farmer got the tree in the ground. When I got the tree home, I transplanted the tree into a larger pot with well composted soil hoping the it would grow bigger and stronger before I moved in to the the ground. Well, ever since then, the leaves have been dropping quite a bit, followed by a growth spurts and then more leaf drop.

I had it outdoors for all summer, moved it indoors hoping to protect from the cold nights, but then I was told that it should do better outdoors. It has been outdoors for two weeks now, but I have not seen any change. When I had it indoors, I was watering about twice a week with a proper soak and fully drain method. Ever since it has been outdoors, I have not watered it because of the rains we have been having lately.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I was hoping to have a large olive tree in my front yard someday.

This post was edited by meisocal on Fri, Dec 14, 12 at 19:28

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Keep it outdoors but protect temporarily if low temps threaten. Continue similarly for the next several years until it's well established in the garden.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 9:10PM
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Thanks for the advice. How low would be considered low? I am in the inland suburbs of LA so the temps rarely go below 40F

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 1:44AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Olives will have no problems with your temperatures. I think your bought a "liner" the way most tree seedlings are sold. Although the container was probable not more than 3 inches wide it was deep and ready to transplant the tree into the ground. I have an idea that you potted it up into a mix that did not drain well enough and the combination of wet roots and low light caused the leaf drop. Olives only need well drained soil and full sun to do well. They don't need a rich soil with lots of fertilizer. Al

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:42AM
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Indoors is bad for that tree. FULL SUN is a must. Even 30F will be OK for olives, and mature trees take 10F overnight.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:34AM
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Thanks for the feedback. I will leave it outdoors and hopefully it will be healthy enough to move to the ground before the summer.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 7:29PM
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