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Old Yesterday, 07:36 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles
7,354 posts, read 7,673,989 times
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Some low branches of a 1.5 year old olive tree were growing too horizontally, so I tied them to the main trunk so they grow upward at a 45 degree and higher angle. Will there be any long term problems resulting from doing that?
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Old Yesterday, 08:33 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
4,376 posts, read 4,707,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exitus Acta Probat View Post
Some low branches of a 1.5 year old olive tree were growing too horizontally, so I tied them to the main trunk so they grow upward at a 45 degree and higher angle. Will there be any long term problems resulting from doing that?

Your question actually calls for pictures to see if you did it right and used the right kind of materials to tie it up. It's called bracing (in case you want to do more research about it).

If you braced it right and you continue to monitor it carefully in years to come you should eventually be able to remove the bracing materials and there shouldn't be any long term problems. Bracing is a common practice.

I'm posting a couple of links for you, this first one has information about how to correctly prune and/or brace branches and the after care required: How to Keep Branches From Drooping Over | Home Guides | SF Gate

and this second one has images of tree branches that have been braced using a variety of methods and materials. Take note it also has some pictures of trees that were braced incorrectly or with wrong materials and were thus badly damaged. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q...3C94C3AD2A9904

If you're able to post pictures that would be good but if not I think the above information will probably be helpful to you or anyone else thinking about doing the same thing.

.
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Old Yesterday, 10:45 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles
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Reputation: 7559
Thanks for the links.

When I see people allowing low limbs to grow horizontally, and they look like limbs that eventually will either be unsightly or perhaps break under their own weight and damage the tree's main trunk, do people not brace them because they're not thinking ahead or is there some other reason?
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Old Today, 01:57 AM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
4,376 posts, read 4,707,871 times
Reputation: 6147
I think that's a good question. My own personal impression is that most average run-of-the-mill people ..... I'm not talking about people like avid gardeners, landscapers, arborists, orchardists who usually have a natural intuition about what is in their plants/trees best interests ..... but average Joes simply don't have enough knowledge or interest about trees beyond what they learned briefly in high school. They don't know that they should be thinking ahead about what will be best for their trees. It just never occurs to them. Some people will look at horizontal or sagging branches and think it looks cool and they assume it's natural and is supposed to be that way when in reality it might be a type of tree that it's not natural or healthy for it to be growing that way. People don't know what they don't know until the consequences of their lack of knowledge or forethought causes problems for them.

Olives are solar collectors in a huge way and to get the maximum solar exposure they need their branches to grow upwards, not outwards horizontally and not inwards toward the center. Take a look at lots of images of olive trees on internet and you'll see what I mean about the upwards shapes they take, and take note also that mature olives generally don't have low branches either. Low branches don't get as much light as upper branches and so the low branches eventually die and drop off naturally anyway, or else they get pruned off by olive orchard caretakers.

It's good that you had the foresight to brace your horizontal branches on your olive tree at a 45* angle, and good that you caught it in time while the tree is still so young and malleable enough that it can be shaped and groomed into what is in its best interests. If all goes well for your tree as it matures it ought to be strong and shaped enough that you should be able to remove those braces from it by the time it's around 5 or 6 years old at the latest. During that waiting period don't forget to adjust the bracing as needed to compensate for future growth and expansion.

.
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Old Today, 09:59 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles
7,354 posts, read 7,673,989 times
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Thanks once again for the advice -- Happy Thanksgiving.
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