Growing from Cuttings

The propagation of the olive tree by “semi-woody cutting” is certainly the most widespread method of multiplication in the professional olive tree nursery sector. About half of the olive trees produced by our company are obtained with this system.

This propagation technique requires less complicated operations than those necessary to produce plants by grafting, but it is important to know and follow carefully all the stages of the chain. The weak point is represented by the fact that unfortunately not all olive cultivars adapt to this method of propagation. In fact, many varieties are incapable of rooting: despite treatments with stimulators, the cuttings do not emit roots or if they do, they are not in sufficient quantity to constitute a new and efficient root system.

The production cycle begins with the removal of propagating plant material from the mother plants, consisting of one-year branches. From the material taken, the cuttings are then prepared, consisting of portions of branch of 5-6 knots.

A cut is made at the base of the cuttings (just under a knot) and the two nodes above are defoliated, leaving the remaining two or three boxes with leaves.

The basal portion of the cuttings is then immersed for a few seconds in a hydroalcoholic solution containing a phytostimulator for rooting.

The cuttings thus prepared and suitably treated are placed in the rooting pallets. These are cement “caissons” 25 cm deep, whose bottom is thermo-conditioned by means of a serpentine where hot water flows (it is used to keep the temperature at the base of the substrate constant).

The rooting pallets are filled with an inert substrate consisting of 15 cm thick perlite.

Perlite, consisting of white mineral granules, obtained by heat treatment (1000 °C) of a volcanic rock, the “riolite”, is an excellent substrate that offers high guarantees of oxygenation and permeability. Once the rooting pallet has been filled, the perlite is wetted and carefully amalgamated, and then carefully stretched and levelled.

The cuttings are placed in the pallet by inserting the basal part for 3-4 cm into the perlite. The leaves of the cuttings are frequently sprayed with finely atomized water (Mist propagation) to avoid dehydration. An electronic system automatically regulates the nebulization system in order to always guarantee optimal ambient humidity conditions.

The cuttings remain in the rooting pallets for 60-70 days, this period represents the most delicate phase of the whole process.

The optimal environmental conditions inside the propagation greenhouse are the basis for the success of the production cycle, imbalances or imbalances due to excess or lack of water can totally compromise the rooting of cuttings.

Once the cuttings (rooted cuttings) are obtained, they are removed from the substrate with extreme delicacy, so as not to damage the newly formed rootlets and transplanted into jars containing a suitable soil based on peat, pumice and organic humified substances.

In full respect of quality, only rooted cuttings that have a well formed and developed root system are transplanted. Our selection is very restrictive and the control system has set up a strict analysis scheme that provides for the observation of the number, length, angle and conformation of the roots. Only the excellent rooted cuttings are transplanted into pots and begin the growth process that leads to the finished plant you buy. With this scrupulous selection you avoid the production of plants originating from rooted cuttings with scarce and weak roots: a good start is everything. An excellent result both in the rooting and in the first growth of the new plants of your olive grove starts from here, we guarantee you.