The current trials underway in the Olea Project are linked to our objectives:
- Determining the most effective olive propagation techniques
- Establish relative cold hardiness of olive cultivars through field evaluation
- Evaluating transplanting and up-potting practices to achieve rapid orchard establishment
- Disseminate information to industry stakeholders, growers, and the general public
Trial 1: Olive Propagation Study
This study aims to compare propagation techniques in the hopes of assisting farmers in generating their own planting stock from cuttings taken on-farm. We will explore three different topics: propagation substrates or growing media, the use of rooting hormone, and the timing of collection and propagation of cuttings taken from local orchards.
Trial 2: Cold Hardiness Evaluation
This trial will focus on acquisition of a wide variety of olive cultivars from around the world, and evaluating them for their ability to grow successfully in Oregon’s climate. Data will be collected on plant growth, flower number and timing of bloom, and ratings of cold injury.
Trial 3: Transplanting and Up-Potting Research
The up-potting trial will compare the success rates of establishing orchards with plants of different sizes and ages, to explore observations made by growers that more mature trees fare better when first planted. This trial will also investigate orchard establishment with varying rates of irrigation, and the use of flat or sloped land.