Need Advice for Olive Bonsai

I’ve had this old olive for about a year or so, and this spring I repotted and chopped it. Probably shouldn’t have done both operations at the same time since the tree responded poorly. First it seemed OK and had new growing tips, but as time went by, it started deteriorating. Branches kept drying up, no new growth. I have overwatered it as well, which might have been the worst part, since a lot of the roots died.

The tree seems to be alive still somehow, but in sever shock. There are soft, pliable branches with unwilted leaves, but that’s only three or four twigs. The wood is green under the bark, at least at the base where I checked. Is it salvageable? I don’t really care if the top dies altogether, as long as the base stays alive.


Thanks for any advice.


One caveat I use… Never give up on a dead decideous tree untill the third spring… olive are designed to survive…
Mowed a stump for two summers. Third summer, dug it up; now its one of my favorite bonsai… ( not a olive, Ive killed two of those…:joy:)
Keep the soil damp, not wet. Mottled shade, not blazing sun. No fertilizer. Winter protection from freezing.
Good luck. Repost next spring!
Bonsai On!

1 Like

Keep it nice and warm. Don’t over water it. Just let it do it’s thing. Ps. Don’t repot olives in spring. Here in Spain we doing in the heat of Summer. Be patient. If any tree can survive it’s an Olive. Oh and make sure your water isn’t too acidic. They like calcium.

1 Like

Spring may not have been the best time to repot it or to chop it. I have an old olive in my collection, I chopped off 85% of the growth in the fall and it reacted by pushing new growth all over in the following spring. I am still trying to find a way to repot it as it is still massive and would require several people to lift it off the pot.

1 Like
  • 1 on the sturdiness. Good care as described will see you through this. There is very good podcast from the Mallorca Bonsai folks on how to care for them.
1 Like

Thanks for the advice guys! @antelion What podcast are you referring to? Do you happen to have a link, if not to that specific podcast, at least to the channel?

Sorry, not sure anymore. Maybe miirai (the trophy series). It is the guys from bonsai sense.

Found it! It was the 2020 Trophy series on Asymmetry. Thanks, gonna give it a listen in the morning :slight_smile: