Growing from Seed 2

A few days before grafting, usually in March, the propagation plant material, the so-called “grafts”, or branches, of one year of age, well lignified, is taken. Obviously not all branches present on a plant are suitable

to provide the grafting material that must have a suitable diameter and consistency.

The operator who cuts the grafts, wise, flexing between his fingers the branch, the consistency of the wood and discards the not very lignified portions not suitable for grafting. The actual grafting is carried out in April, when the plants are in “juice”, i.e. with the bark that is easily detached by laying bare the tissues of the wood.

The young seedlings, which in this period have reached a few millimetres in diameter (on average 4 to 6 mm), are cut 5 cm above the ground. Subsequently, before grafting, the graft goes over the cut, making a new one underneath, with a well sharp knife, in order to leave a perfectly clean and slightly oblique surface.

At this point, the graft makes a longitudinal incision on the cortex of two cm from the point of the cut. With the blade of the knife, it raises the edges of the engraved bark and inserts the “sciza”, consisting of a portion of a one-year-old branch (with only one knot and the leaves sprouting just above their insertion), which has an oblique cut like a clarinet beak 2-3 cm long. An operator, using special rubber laces, tightens and stops strongly the cutting surfaces in contact and concludes the grafting operation by immasticizing with beeswax the grafting point and the cut at the apex of the scion.

A few days after grafting the buds of the scion begin to germinate and a new olive tree seedling comes to life. Even after this phase the young olive trees are subject to numerous and careful cultivation care until the month of November when the plants, which in the meantime have reached a height of about 60-80 cm, are removed from the nestaiola and placed in 3.5 litre plastic pots filled with a special substrate.

The young olive seedlings are grown in pots for another nine months and, finally, in September-October, they are ready to be sold to our customers. The plants thus obtained, represent a concentrate of technique, tradition and time, a long time, for a product of high commercial and agronomic value.