Olive trees are useful plants for fruit cultivation and as shade trees. For those seeking to cultivate the fruit, olive trees typically need a helping hand to maximize their productive years. To achieve this goal and ensure that the desired fruit variety is grown, gardeners use a technique known as whip grafting. Whip grafting is the process of taking the root system (rootstalk) of a locally grown olive tree and combining its trunk with a stick (budstick) of the desired fruit variety.
Select the desired budsticks for grafting. The budsticks should be roughly the same diameter as the trunk of the root system being used for grafting. Budsticks should be selected in the winter while the trees are dormant and should measure roughly 12 inches in length and have at least two leaf buds.
Wrap the budsticks in moist newspaper and store in a plastic zip-lock bag in the refrigerator until spring.
Select the rootstalk and cut the branch at a diagonal when you are ready to graft.
Cut the budstick at a diagonal similar to the rootstalk and place the two pieces together so that the center parts of the branches are aligned.
Wrap the graft with grafting tape and leave the tape in place for at least eight weeks, or until new growth can be seen on the budstick.