Friday, December 20, 2013
Journal December 20, 2013 Arbequina ending chilling cycle
When it was purchased on eBay in the fall this tree had olives on it. Within a few days of receiving the tree, the olives fell off as it went into shock, with the tips of the leaves turning brown. The seller replaced the tree, but recommended that I keep this tree as he thought it would recover.
It appears that the seller was correct, as the tree now has a lot of new growth after having spent two months chilling under the low power LED grow lights in the basement.
The branch that had the olives was the leader and did not appear to be growing, so it was removed, which made the tree lopsided. Using bonsai wire, a lateral branch was bent upward to form a new leader to correct the shape of the tree. The correction will be hardly noticible as the tree grows and fills in.
Deciding to end the tree's chilling cycle, it has been placed in a grow tent using the 150 watt LED grow light with a photo period of sixteen hours. Also, I will begin feeding the tree again, as it has only been getting plain water for the last three months.
While watering the olive trees today, I noticed that one of the other Arbequina trees is forming different shaped growths on the ends of some of the branches. Never having seen an olive tree flower, I am hoping that the growths are flower buds.
Having thought that keeping the trees alive during the winter was going to be a difficult process, I am pleased to say that they have been no problem at all, requiring very little care.
It should be interesting watching the tree in the photo respond to an early spring.