Olive grafting

Olive grafting is a form of plant multiplication that involves the introduction of a piece of branch or one, even more buds into another plant. This branch or yolk is known as “Graft”, while the plant that receives the graft is known as “Pattern” or “Rootstock”. It should be noted that olive rooting has long been used in specific areas, particularly those areas where there are many nurseries.


Everything you need to know about olive tree grafting

In the Valencian Community, for example, grafting is frequently used with the intention of multiplying olive trees. In fact, farmers make their own nurseries from olive bones or also from olive trees, which are later used as grafts depending on the variety of olive tree you want to grow. In the current times, olive grafting is used almost exclusively for variety change in adult trees.

What is the purpose of olive grafting?

There are many and very good reasons why farmers would want to do grafting, especially olive grafting on their crops, starting with the fact that this makes you have a quick change of variety of adult olive trees or also to take advantage as a pattern of the characteristics of a certain variety of olive tree and graft on it the variety of olive tree to be obtained. In the shoots or olive branches that have to be used to obtain the grafts, three different types of buds can be identified: wood buds, fruit buds and dormant buds.

1-year branch

It is a type of shoot or branches where the auxiliary buds at the base of the leaf are perfectly appreciated, which in turn will evolve into flower or wood. It should be noted that these are the branches that are used for the grafting of PUA, in case the thickness is adequate. For the Escudete or Chapa graft, this is not relevant due to the small diameter they usually have.

2-year-old branch

In this case it is a type of branch in which the buds evolve into wood or fruit. They are branches at the base of the leaves that have not borne fruit, you can see the auxiliary bud, however some lose their vigor, which is why some olive grafts where these branches are used, do not evolve the following year, however they can still be used for the Chapa or Escudete graft.

3-year-old branch

In this case it is a type of branch in which the leaves have already fallen and will not evolve. It is a type of branch that is smooth, an indicator that corresponds to the incision of the leaf or the fruit that has already fallen and a third, which is the upper one and that corresponds to the latent bud and that will not evolve into wood at the time of making the graft. Thanks to its thickness, this type of branches is the most suitable for when you want to make the chapa graft or the escudete graft.

What systems are used in the grafting of olive trees?

In olive tree grafting, the systems that are most used are: the Escudete system, the Chapa system and the PUA system. Each of these systems is chosen based on the diameter as well as the age of the pattern.

PUA grafting

It is a type of olive tree grafting system that is generally used in young patterns and has a smaller diameter, between 1 to 2 cm. In this case, the branches to be used as a graft must have an age of 1 year, as well as they must come from the middle part since with this wood the first vegetative bud evolves very well. It is worth mentioning that if the graft is done near the ground, it is essential that it is tied perfectly with plastic tape or raffia, in addition to the fact that it is also convenient to make a small pile of earth in such a way that it can be covered until the last yolk.

Escudete Graft

It is another of the olive grafting systems that stands out for being simple, especially when a young plant between 1 to 2 years old is used as a pattern, or in its case when it comes to adult tree branches between 3 to 6 cm in diameter. If it were a thicker trunk or branches, this type of graft would be much more complicated.

Sheet Metal Grafting

Finally this is a system of grafting olive trees, considered the best, especially when you want to graft trunks or thick branches of more than 6 to 7 cm in diameter. The reason for this is that by having a wider surface for the placement of the graft, it can be made much larger with the intention of achieving a greater contact surface between the graft and the pattern, it is even possible to place more buds per graft.


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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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