Can you grow olive trees from seed? April 24, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: affordable olive trees, olive trees, olive trees from seed
Silence Dogood here (again). Since our friend Ben and I are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse here at Hawk’s Haven, our cottage home in the precise middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, we yearn to grow edibles that would normally be out of our geographical reach: limes and lemons, ginger and cardamom, bananas and cinnamon, coffee and tea, figs and olives, maybe even a pineapple. But, while many of these plants are pretty affordable, the price of an olive tree—even a tiny one—is out of sight. Ouch!
The whole olive-tree issue returned to mind this morning when I was straightening up the house and saw that, grrrrr, someone had left some kalamata olive seeds in a non-standard place, i.e. on the coffee table, after an apparent midnight snack. Eeeeewwww!!! As Louis XIII famously said after waking up with a headache, “Someone will pay for this.” But I digress.
I was in the process of tossing them into the trash when I wondered if maybe I could sprout them instead. Hmmm. Unfortunately, some internet research turned up the Olive Oil Source website (www.oliveoilsource.com), which had a comprehensive section on propagating olive trees. It pointed out that few olive pits were viable in any case, but that no olive pits were viable if they’d been brined (like, say, our kalamata olives). Oh, well, back to the trash. It also listed some propagation techniques I’d never heard of. In addition to the usual grafting, hardwood cuttings, stem cuttings, and suckers, it went on to talk about propagating from ovules (and no, this has nothing to do with fertilized eggs) and rooted truncheons. (And anyway, aren’t truncheons those clubs people used to crack each other over the head with back in the day?!) But of course, to do any of the above requires you to have an olive tree to begin with.
Back to the drawing board. Does anyone know of an affordable source of potted olive trees? Maybe I could, ahem, persuade OFB to get me one to compensate for this lapse in table manners…
‘Til next time,