“If the olive trees knew the hands that planted them, their oil would become tears.” – Mahmoud Darwish. Olive Trees not only represent the steadfastness of the Palestinian people but they are also resourceful in an amplitude of ways. One defining element of Palestinian identity that remains threatened by Israeli forces is the generational farming practice of planting and harvesting olive trees. So we all know what they look like after they’ve been planted and have grown enough to be put to use, but have you ever been told/shown how to plant one of these beauties? No? Well we got you covered! As we embark on Olive Tree season in Palestine which goes over the course of two months, we’re going to plant our tree together! I know... this is really exciting and we’re just as excited as you. Let’s start from scratch and get this olive tree of greatness planted so we can nurture it to come to its fullest potential together!
You’ve got your Olive Wood Bracelet on in spirit of today’s adventure, right? I sure hope so!
How to Find a Resourceful Planting Location and Conditions:
In order for our olive tree to flourish, we have to be really particular about the location and surrounding conditions to aid in its growth. Here are the main components to be mindful of when deciding to plant an Olive Tree.
- Direct Sunlight - Olive Trees cannot grow if they do not receive at least 6 hours of direct sun light.
- A place that does not have a large amount of strong winds - If winds are intense, the tree can be bent and / or broken in its early stages of growth.
- Mediterranean Climate - These trees can only survive long term into their mature years in climates that do not go below 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Long hot summers, and a cool (non frigid) winter.
Supplies & Tools We Need to Plant and Nurture:
Our tree is going to start off in a container of its own while we prepare a happy and healthy home for it to grow into. Here are the things we need to prepare for our Olive Tree glow up.
- A shovel to dig up the hole where the tree will be planted
- Thick and rich soil to add to the hole to retain water and moisture
- A balanced fertilizer - 16-16-16 with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
- Pesticides to keep unwanted olive fruit flies away.
Steps to Planting an Olive Tree:
There are necessary steps and precautions that need to be taken when planting Olive Trees as they require very specific care from the moment they are planted to the time it has matured into its own roots.
- Dig a planting size the same size as your container
- Remove tree from container and exam for any twisted roots that need to be cut or untwisted. (try to keep tampering with base of tree at a minimum)
- Mix fertilizer and soil into the planting hole.
- eliminate weeds within the radius of the are in which we dug up our hole to reduce the likelihood of weeds coming into contact with our Olive Tree.
- If possible, install sprinklers near tree to keep watered as much as possible.
- After growth begins, start fertilizing the tree.
- Add mulch frequently to help conserve water and moisture for the tree to grow efficiently and maintain strength.
How Often We Need to Check on the Olive Tree:
Olive trees need to be watered at least once weekly for the duration of its first year of growth. Deep watering is then needed once a month for tree to maintain steady growth.
There you have it, we have planted our first Olive Tree together! Since we have taken all precautions and followed all the steps we need to for our tree to blossom into a resourceful beauty, we now nurture it through the process of getting there! We are so excited to watch our work grow together. As we cannot wait to put its natural fruitfulness to many uses, check back in with us here at PaliRoots to find out what your hard work and planting efforts can provide! We are eager to see how we can LOVE our Olive Tree this olive harvest season!