How often do olive trees produce fruit


Learn How to Grow Olive Trees in the Home Landscape

Olea Europaea

Are you up for a challenge that is extraordinarily rewarding? Grow olive trees!

Of course, if you’re located in the US and you don’t already live in certain olive-friendly parts of California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, Oregon, Alabama, or Hawaii, you’ll have to move there.

These trees require warm summer temperatures as well as about 200 hours of winter temperatures below 45°F. But nothing below about 20°F, mind you.

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At around 17°F, you’ll see leaf and small stem damage, and the tree will likely be killed to the ground at temperatures below 10°F, although mature trees may regrow from the roots.

Anyway, are you settled in your new home, or already based in an ideal location? Good! In this growing guide, we’ll learn more about this Mediterranean import that gifts its caretakers with fabulous fruit, healthful oils, and an attractive addition to the landscape.

Here’s what’s covered in this article:

How to Grow Olives

  • What You’ll See When You Survey Your Orchard
  • Which Type Is Right for You? (And Where to Buy)
  • No Additives, Please
  • Prune for More Fruit
  • A Bit More on Fruitlessness
  • Pests and Disease
  • Young and Bitter
  • Preparing Your Olives
  • Recipes and Cooking Ideas
  • Quick Reference Growing Guide
  • The Right Setting, The Right Tree

We’ll share everything you need to know to grow Olea europaea, the tree beloved by ancient Greeks and Romans, and whose fruit has been popularized in the modern age by Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards.

What You’ll See When You Survey Your Orchard

Olive trees are evergreen and can grow to 25-30 feet tall, with a spread just as wide. Their oblong leaves are silverish and grow from branches emanating from a gnarled, twisted trunk.

Some experts believe that more space between trees – about 16-20 feet – will yield better fruit production. If this isn’t practical for your new parcel of land, consider a dwarf variety, which we’ll discuss in a bit.

Mind you, if an expansive orchard isn’t at all what you were after, you should know that the olive makes a fine specimen tree that you can plant and enjoy simply for its beauty, with nary a thought to harvest and curing and pressing and whatnot.

Which Type Is Right for You? (And Where to Buy)

The type of tree you select will depend on what you hope to get out of it. Different cultivars produce different flavors of olives and oil, of course.

You might sample various oils at a farmers market, for example, to select a variety that appeals to you.

‘Mission’ is a variety well-suited to home gardeners who wish to press or cure their harvest. Bob Wells Nursery offers this variety, and it’s available via Amazon.

2-Year ‘Mission’ Trees

The tree they’ll ship to you is two years old.

If you have the patience of Job and don’t mind starting out small, consider this petite ‘Manzanillo’ plant, available from Wellspring Gardens via Amazon.

‘Manzanillo’ O. Europaea Live Plant

They’ll ship you a three- to eight-inch seedling in a three-inch pot, along with a fertilizer sample. At maturity, it will reach 30-40 feet with large, great-tasting fruit that are also excellent for producing oil.

‘Arbosana’ is a cultivar that is suited for smaller spaces, growing to be 12-15 feet tall with a spread of 12-20 feet. You can find this type at Nature Hills Nursery.

‘Arbosana’ in #1 Container

This Spanish native produces large crops of small fruit with a high oil content that are very flavorful. You’ll receive a tree in a 2.3- to 3.7-quart container.

If you’d like the beauty of an olive tree without the hassle of the fruit, consider ‘Wilsonii,’ a fruitless variety available from High Desert Nursery via Amazon.

Fruitless ‘Wilsonii’ Live Rooted Plant

You’ll receive a 16- to 20-inch tree, or several if you want to take advantage of one of their package deals.

Most cultivars are self-pollinating, though some are not. Furthermore, some self-pollinating varieties produce heavier yields when a pollinator – such as ‘Pendolino,’ ‘Maurino,’ or ‘Leccino’ – is growing nearby.

No Additives, Please

As we mentioned above, O. europaea is native to regions that have mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.

You’ll want to place your trees where they’ll get full sun all day.

These trees are tolerant of a wide variety of soils, including those with somewhat high clay content, as long as there is good drainage.

Planting a young tree in the fall gives it a chance to become well-established. But this is an option only if temperatures in your area won’t drop below 30°F, or if you can protect the tree.

This is because container-grown trees are susceptible to frost damage during their first winter outdoors.

If waiting until spring seems more prudent, hold off until all danger of frost is past. Planting in the heat of summer is not recommended.

Dig a hole about the same size as the container, and about an inch shallower. Water the tree thoroughly, remove it from its container, and untwist or cut any circling roots.

Set the root ball in the hole. Use soil you removed from the hole to build up about an inch of soil on top of the root ball, and grade down from the trunk to the surrounding soil.

Don’t add compost or other soil additives; the plant has to learn to love the native soil. But do top the planting area with mulch.

Prune for More Fruit

Water young trees two or three times a week during their first summer. Give them a good four inches of water at each watering, and hydrate again when the soil dries out.

Once established, they need little supplemental water.

Keep weeds removed from within at least a three-foot diameter of the young tree.

Fertilize newly planted trees in the spring, after new growth begins. They only need a small amount of nitrogen, which can be delivered via compost, as well as conventional or organic fertilizers.

In its first four years, prune the tree only as needed to maintain its shape.

As your tree matures and begins fruiting, you’ll discover an olive oddity: they never bear fruit in the same place on a stem, so new growth each year is necessary for flower production and fruiting.

Starting in the fifth year of growth, you’ll want to prune not only to increase airflow and maintain height or form, but also with future fruiting needs in mind.

A Bit More on Fruitlessness

If you’d rather not have an established tree set fruit, you can apply a plant growth regulator, or use a strong spray from the hose to blast off blooms.

Some gardeners do this only to areas of a tree that overhang a paved area, in an attempt to reduce the mess from falling fruit.

But, because Mother Nature is persistent and these methods don’t always work, if fruitlessness is truly your goal, you might be better off purchasing a fruitless variety such as the one described above.

Pests and Disease

Olives aren’t plagued by many pests, although scale can be a problem.

You can prune off infected stems, or treat these greedy critters with neem oil, such as this one from Bonide, available from Arbico Organics.

Bonide Neem Oil

This 32-ounce spray bottle is ready to use.

For twenty years or so, California olive growers have been plagued by the olive fruit fly, which lays its eggs inside the developing fruit, destroying it.

Management of fruit flies is difficult, and best achieved via clean gardening practices. Some home gardeners have had luck with fly traps, such as these from Terro, available via Amazon.

TERRO Fruit Fly Trap (Pack of 3)

Trees can also be affected by olive anthracnose, a fungal disease. Treat this problem with a fungicide, such as this one from Garden Safe, available through Amazon.

Garden Safe Fungicide3 Concentrate

This 28-ounce container connects to your hose end for easy distribution of the concentrated product.

Young and Bitter

If you’ve provided your olive tree with a happy home, it will begin to bear fruit when it’s around five years old.

Bear in mind, however, that it’s perfectly normal for olive trees to produce fruit only every other year, or to produce alternating heavy and light crops from year to year.

When you harvest your olives depends on what you intend to do with them, and what flavor you seek.

All olives start out green before turning a purplish color, and then deepening to black. The younger the olive, the more bitter it will be.

Typically, olives are harvested at their green stage if their intended use is for the table, although some varieties are best when black.

If a pressing is in the cards, the fruit is at its oiliest when it’s in its purple stage.

Olives must be processed – more on this in just a minute – within three days of harvest.

You can either handpick the fruit from your tree, which is quite time-consuming, or you can place a tarp under the tree, and shake the limbs with a rake or other garden implement to dislodge the fruit onto to the tarp for easy pickup.

Preparing Your Olives

Raw olives are not tasty. They must be cured to dispel their inherent bitterness, which is caused by the chemical compound called “oleuropein.”

Inventive humans have developed a number of ways to banish the bitterness from these otherwise tasty little ovals, curing them in oil, water, brine, lye, or simply salt.

None of these methods is particularly difficult, but the olives do have to marinate in your chosen mixture for several weeks – so don’t plan for an appetizer spread complete with homemade tapenade immediately after harvest!

If it’s oil you’re after, you’ll find as many extraction methods as there are days in a month.

At its most basic, the process entails:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Mashing
  3. Squeezing the mash to extract juice
  4. Separating the oil from non-oil liquid and particulate matter

It can take anywhere from 40-90 pounds of drupes to make one gallon of oil. A mature tree will produce between 30-100 pounds per season, though the giant ‘Chemlali’ may produce close to a ton per year.

Recipes and Cooking Ideas

You’ve planted, harvested, brined, and pressed. It’s time to savor the fruits of your labor! We don’t have to tell you that a galaxy of recipes await the olive-laden, but we’ll share just a few to get you started.

Begin your meal with a classic Greek salad like this one, from our sister site, Foodal. Made with homegrown cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion, basil, oregano, and parsley, this is truly a garden-fresh delight!

For removing those pits, explore Foodal’s guide to the best cherry and olive pitters.

If you’re looking for picnic fare or a light meal, try a Sicilian pasta salad with zucchini, green beans, and marinated artichokes. You’ll find the recipe for this one on Foodal as well.

From Vintage Kitty comes this delightful recipe for an asparagus salad, which features a lemon and light olive oil vinaigrette.

And while we’re on the subject of lemon-olive pairings, consider this chicken recipe from Sugar Love Spices. This rustic delight evokes the Italian countryside.

And for dessert, how about a citrus olive oil cake, also from Sugar Love Spices? This confection utilizes a full cup of extra virgin oil, as well as a variety of citrus juices.

Quick Reference Growing Guide

Plant Type:Small, evergreen tree or shrubAttracts:Bees and other pollinators
Native to:Mediterranean, Asia, and AfricaTolerance:Drought
Hardiness (USDA Zone):8-11Maintenance:Low
Season:Fruits ripen are ready from August through November depending on cultivar, desired ripeness, and locationSoil Type:Various loamy soils including sandy loam, clay loam, silt loam, and silty clay loam
Exposure:Full sunSoil pH:7-8
Time to Maturity:3-12 years depending on cultivar; most around years 5-6Soil Drainage:Well-draining
Spacing:Minimum of 12 feet between trees in an orchard environment; 6 feet for hedge type plantingCompanion Planting:Other Mediterranean plants including thyme, lavender, oregano, various grasses, and bulbs
Planting Depth:Same as nursery pot, or set crown of bare root stock just below the soil surfaceFamily:Oleaceae
Height:25-30 feet tall at maturityGenus:Olea
Water Needs:Moderate; usually irrigated in commercial plantingsSpecies::europaea
Common Pests:Fruit flies, aphids, olive moths, black scaleCommon Disease:Olive anthracnose, olive tree Xylella (quick decline), leaf scorch

The Right Setting, The Right Tree

So, what are you thinking? Is it time to add an olive tree to fill that blank spot in the backyard?

Pick the variety that fits, water it heavily until it’s established, watch out for olive fruit flies, and soon you’ll be sharing your homegrown olive products with friends and family.

Do you have an olive tree? Which variety? Tell us about your adventures with O. europaea in the comments section below.

And if you decide a different fruit tree of the pitted variety is in your landscape plans, read these guides next:

  • How to Grow Avocados
  • Give the Gift of Fruit: How to Grow Peach Trees
  • How to Grow and Care for Fruiting Cherry Trees

Product photos via Bob Wells Nursery, Wellspring Gardens, Nature Hills Nursery, High Desert Nursery, Bonide, Terro, and Garden Safe. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. First published July 9th, 2018. Last updated May 3rd, 2020.

Olive Tree Not Fruiting - Why My Olive Tree Doesn’t Produce Fruits?

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Your olive tree not fruiting and doesn’t produce olives? There may be several reasons why your olive tree is not producing olive fruits such as an age of the olive tree, lack of sun or insufficient irrigation, lack of nutrients, too acid soil, lack of pollination, pruning, olive cycle, and others.

So your task is to identify the cause first. Here in this article, I will suggest a few possible causes for the olive tree not fruiting that may give you sufficient guidance. 

If you don’t think any of the causes that I’ve listed apply to your olive trees, you can see a list of questions at the end of this blog that gives a bigger picture of possible problems and pinpoints what you should consider.

Table Of Contents

  1. Age of Olive Tree
  2. Lack of Sun or Insufficient Irrigation
  3. Lack of Nutrients
  4. Too Acid Soil
  5. Lack of Pollination
  6. Olive Cycle
  7. Pruning
  8. Generic FAQ on Olive Tree Fruiting
  9. Checklist on why Olive Tree Not Fruiting

Age of Olive Tree

One possible cause of the non-fruiting could be the age of the olive tree. Many varieties of olive trees do not produce fruit until their third year.

Some other olive tree varieties (including, for example, the Arbequina olive tree) may start producing at a younger age. But the olive fruit that is produced in the early years is often smaller than the olive tree will produce as it matures. And in the early years, the olive fruit can also appear very rough and misshapen.

For instance, I have a Koroneiki cultivar olive tree growing in a large container that took four years after planting to start producing.

Olive Tree CultivarYear to Bear Fruits
KoroneikiCan bear olives in 1st year
ArbequinaCan bear olives in 1st year
Amfissa2-4 years
Leccino1-2 years
Frantoio2-4 years
Table 1: 5 olive cultivars year when they start producing fruits

Lack of Sun or Insufficient Irrigation

Another possible cause of your olive tree non-fruiting could be a lack of sun or insufficient irrigation.

Olive trees perform best when it receives the sun for most of the day. Proper irrigation is also very important since olive trees prefer to be on a dry side comparing with moisture.

An under-watered olive tree will produce few if any olives. But it is also important not to overwater olive tree which can also cause problems.

In the attached short video we provide some very good guidance on how to water olive trees.

Potted Olive Tree Deep Watering Met...

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Potted Olive Tree Deep Watering Method

Ensure your olive trees are not water-stressed during the period of flower induction and fruit development. Since in drought conditions, leaf development is favored at the expense of flower development. Resulting in malfunctioning flowers that do not blossom correctly and prematurely drop without setting fruits.

Lack of Nutrients

Lack of soil fertility could also cause problems in producing olives. Olive trees do need to be fertilized especially in the fruiting phase.

Nutrients such as nitrogen, calcium, and boron are essential for optimal flowering and fruit sets. Feed your olive trees early in spring, avoid fertilizing in winter to avoid encouraging excessive vegetative growth during the dormant season and resulting in poor floral development.

Soil test or leaf analysis taken in spring or mid-summer will give a good understanding of the olive tree’s nutritional status and fertilizer requirements.

Also, check out our article with good information on how and when to fertilize olive trees with guidance on how much fertilizer to use (which depends on the age and size of the trees).

Olive trees need lots of sunlight and fertilizing in order to produce healthy large olive fruits

Too Acid Soil

If you have low fertility and very acidic soil, it may lack the nutrient calcium which is a very important nutrient to help olive trees to unlock other essential nutrients and vitamins. These vital elements are locked up in the soil due to the excessive nitrogen you have in such acidic soil.

In that case, you should get a soil amendment or fertilizer to acid soils that assists in increasing soil pH to a sustainable level for your olive trees. Whilst providing useful amounts of macroelements calcium, magnesium, silicon, and phosphorus as well as a range of micronutrients required for olive tree fertility, flowering, and fruiting.

Lack of Pollination

Another possible cause for nonproducing olive trees is a lack of pollination. It can be affected by the bloom time, pollen vitality, and weather conditions during the flowering period.

While many olive varieties are capable of producing olives without bees, wind, or other pollinizers visiting the flowers, a few varieties do require cross-pollination.  

Based on research, if you introduce another compatible olive cultivar for your mono-varietal grove, the olive yield (fruit set) can be improved from 1% up to 4%.

For example, some Leccino and Mission cultivars require cross-pollination by another olive tree to produce fruit.

Olive Tree CultivarsPollination
KoroneikiSelf-pollinating
ArbequinaSelf-pollinating
FrantoioSelf-pollinating
LeccinoCross-pollinating
MissionCross-pollinating
ManzanilloCross-pollinating
Table 2: Pollination characteristics of 6 olive tree cultivars

Read more about self-pollinating and cross-pollinating olive trees including olive tree pollination chart:

Olive Cycle

Finally, some olive trees will produce well only every other year, producing a good number of olives one year and only a few olives (or none at all) the next year.

So, if you’ve observed the olives trees for less than two full years, you may have seen them in their non-productive year.

Olive tree not fruiting if it lacks sunlight, feeding, and pollinators if it is cross-pollinating olive cultivar

Pruning

If you are a beginner in olive tree growing, and if olive fruit yield has been poor in the previous season, prune your olive trees only when they are flowering. Don’t do it before spring. And only prune the branches that are unproductive so that you leave as many flowering branches as possible.

Check out when to pick olives for oil or brining and how

Generic FAQ on Olive Tree Fruiting

How Long Does it Take for an Olive Tree to Produce Fruit?

It takes around 3 to 5 years for olive trees to produce fruits and have a full production in 7 to 9 years depending on the variety. For example, Arbequina or Koroneiki olive variety may bring fruits in the first 3 years. Other olive cultivars may take 5 to 9 years to bear olives.

Do Olive Trees Produce Fruit Every Year?

Yes, olive trees produce fruit every year. However every second year they produce full production: one year you may get full production, another only a few olives.

Do You Need Two Olive Trees to Produce Fruit?

No, there are self-pollinating or self-fruitful olive tree cultivars, which means that bees or wind can pollinate a single tree and it doesn’t need another tree as a pollinator to bear olive fruits. Though there are many other olive tree cultivars that require cross-pollination.

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Checklist on why Olive Tree Not Fruiting

Hopefully with this information above you can determine what causes your olive tree to not producing and correct it. If not, here’s the type of information you should consider on your particular olive trees.

  • Where do you grow your olive trees? Which City or part of the country?
  • What olive tree varieties do you have?
  • When did you plant your olive trees?  What was the size of the olive tree when initially planted?  What is the current size?
  • How many hours of sunlight per day do the olive trees receive in the spring and summer months?
  • How are the olive trees irrigated?  How much water is provided and how often do you water?
  • Are the olives trees planted in the ground or in containers?
  • If the olive trees are in the ground, what type of soil do you have (for example, is it heavy clay or are you one of the lucky souls who have more loamy soil?  If the trees are in pots or containers, what type of soil mixture was used to fill them?
  • Is the area under the canopy of the trees covered with weed (which helps the soil retain moisture)?
  • How have you been fertilizing the olive trees?  (frequency, amount, and type of fertilizer used)
  • Does the foliage on the olive tree look healthy?  Are the leaves silver-green or are they yellowing?
  • Any signs of insect damage on olive leaves, branches, or trunk?  (for example, curly olive leaves, spots or holes in the leaves, sticky substances on the leaves which could be honeydew from insects, ants crawling in the olive tree)
  • Do the olive trees have flowers in the springtime? 
  • If the olive trees have bloomed in past years, have you observed any bees or other pollinizers visiting the blossoms?  Are there many bees or just a few?

I hope this information is helpful in finding a root cause and getting your olive trees in shape to produce.

If not, I encourage you to provide the additional information described above to the Olive Tree Growers and Enthusiasts Group on FACEBOOK including the pictures of your tree and your observation.  In order that group members can focus more precisely on your particular problems and focus more closely on what is causing problems to your olive tree.

Read more about olive tree flowers look and needs
Read Next

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  • Olive Tree Not Growing & Producing Leaves? Try this
  • How to Grow Olive Trees Indoors – 20 Facts
  • 15 Greek Olive Tree Varieties for Oil
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Are You Looking to Buy an Olive Tree? 

If you are looking to add more potted trees or other plants to your orchard, or if you like to replace a neglected olive tree, the best places to get them are your local nursery or an online nursery.

One of the most reliable and the world's largest online nurseries is Fast Growing Trees. They deliver fast, neat, and healthy plants backed with a 30-day guarantee.

How to grow an olive tree at home

On the windowsill Author Julia Volkova

Perhaps no other tree in the world has been as popular as the olive. This is a real cult plant for the inhabitants of the Mediterranean and not only. A dove carrying an olive branch is considered a universally recognized symbol of peace for many peoples of the planet and is used as an emblem in peacekeeping organizations.

The olive tree is one of the most ancient fruit crops, it is repeatedly mentioned in biblical parables and ancient Greek myths. The history and life of the Mediterranean peoples is inextricably linked with it. It is used in the food industry for the manufacture of oil and preservation, used in medical and cosmetic products, in inlay and wood carving, in the fight against landslides and soil erosion.

Olive is also valued for its decorative effect of silver foliage by designers who are working on creating a Mediterranean style in the interior or landscape. Trees in tubs decorate courtyards and terraces, create miniature trees - bonsai. For room culture, special varieties were bred and exotic lovers can grow a real olive tree.

Olive leaves

Characteristics and varieties

Olive tree or European olive ( Olea europaea ) is an evergreen tree of the Olive family ( Oleaceae ) from 4 to 12 m in height. This plant is a real long-liver. Some specimens are known that grow for about 2 thousand or more years.

The twisted trunk and long knotted branches of the tree are covered with gray bark. Light green with a silver tint, narrow-lanceolate leaves do not fall off in autumn and stay on the tree for up to two years. It blooms from mid-spring to mid-summer with small, fragrant bisexual flowers, which are collected 10-40 pieces in cream or milky inflorescences.

Flowering olive tree

After four months, the first fruits begin to ripen. These are oblong-shaped drupes about 4 cm long. Covered with a wax coating, they are green, dark purple or black - the color depends on the plant variety.

Important: The tree begins to actively yield after 20 years of age. Fruiting occurs every two years.

The olive is cultivated in Mediterranean countries and in areas with similar climatic conditions. The most famous manufacturing countries are Greece and Italy.

Of more than 30 species of this plant, only European olive is grown in agriculture. Its varieties were divided into groups depending on the application:

  • table - with large, fleshy fruits used for conservation, salting and pickling;
  • oilseeds - have fruits with the highest oil content. It is from these varieties of olives that the famous olive oil is made;
  • universal - with fruits, from which both oil and preservation are made.

Oilseed varieties are very popular and make up about 90% of all trees grown.

Green fruits of the olive tree

Fruiting the olive tree in a pot

Growing the olive tree at home

The olive tree is very resistant to the conditions of urban apartments. To grow it in a room, it is recommended to select varieties of table olives, such as Della Madonna, Urtinsky, Nikitinsky, Crimean, Razzo. The plant will soon perform a decorative function and you should not count on fruiting.

It is quite possible to get a dozen fruits only under the following conditions:

  • The plant is very demanding on lighting, it is important that it be under bright sunlight from morning to evening. In apartments, southern windows are suitable for this, and in the summer it is put on the balcony.
  • One of the main conditions for fruiting is the temperature regime. During the winter, the olive tree needs a temperature of +10°C. For flower growers who have recently bought a plant, the question often arises: should the leaves fall for the winter? Do not forget that this is an evergreen plant, and each leaf can grow on a tree for up to two years. Falling leaves will also be normal, so do not be afraid and apply some kind of resuscitation.
  • In nature, trees tolerate long periods of drought and in an apartment they are also able to withstand short-term drying of the soil. Water the plant only after the soil in the pot has completely dried out and make sure that no water remains in the pan. With excessive moisture, the leaves can become stained and fall off. In winter, watering should be rare and moderate.

Leaf spraying

Olive tree in the interior

  • The plant is adapted to dry indoor air, but if you have it hibernates near the heating radiators, it is advisable to spray the crown with a spray bottle.
  • Autumn forming pruning is definitely needed, you can arrange the olive in the form of a bush or a standard form. If you do not strive for flowering, pruning can be done at any time of the year.

Important: As you can see, it is very difficult to fulfill the temperature requirements of an olive in an apartment, and, most likely, a glazed sunny balcony will be an ideal place to keep it throughout the year, if in winter the temperature on it does not drop below +5 ° С .

Tree trimming process

Formative pruning of the olive tree

Propagation and planting

The olive tree is propagated by cuttings from old and young shoots. They are rooted, as usual, in a closed greenhouse. Plants grown from cuttings can please the first harvest in three years. Reproduction with seeds from fresh fruits is problematic, as they are very hard, and germination will require treatment with sulfuric acid.

Important: Trees grown from seeds give the first fruits only after 10-15 years.

For transplanting, choose a pot a couple of centimeters larger than the diameter of the root system. They make good drainage from expanded clay or polystyrene foam and cover it with light fertile soil. Young plants are transplanted by transshipment once a year, and adults - once every few years.

Growing an olive tree

Transplanting a tree

In fact, caring for an olive tree is not that difficult. Try growing this amazing plant in your home. If you manage to make friends with him, then you will surely surprise your friends with olives of your own production.

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Amazing olive tree - zagrebchanka — LiveJournal

Olive or olive is one of the most mystical, ancient and revered plants in our Europe. If birch was sung in Russia, then the entire culture of the Mediterranean, starting with the ancient Greeks and Palestinians, was associated with the cult of the olive tree. The olive tree is mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey. With the help of him, according to the myths, Athena received her city in a dispute with Poseidon.

Almost that olive tree on the Acropolis

Winners of the Olympics, victorious military leaders, emperors were decorated with wreaths of olive branches. Holy olive oil was used for lamps in sanctuaries.
The olive tree is mentioned more than 30 times in the Bible. Noah was informed of the end of the flood by a dove with an olive branch in its beak. Good news symbol.
The more I learn about the olive tree, the more I am amazed by it. This year we were in Corfu, where olive trees make up more than 60% of the growing season. During the tour, I learned a lot about them.

This photo shows that the entire slope between the cypresses is olive trees.
All olive trees in Corfu are registered and owned. The value of land plots and the boundaries of these plots are determined by the number of olive trees growing there. It is impossible to cut down the trunk if it bears fruit. That is, you bought the land, but you can’t build a house, there is nowhere. They say that the fires two years ago were partly caused by the self-burning of people who wanted to free the territory from old trees.

The olive grows for a very long time. The saying goes that you plant an olive tree not for children, but for grandchildren. Only after 50 years, the olive begins to bear fruit normally.

Well, the longevity of these trees is also well known: some of them live for several thousand years. An olive tree growing in the Algarve in Portugal has been radiologically confirmed to be over 2,000 years old. Two thousand years old are olives in the city of Bar in Montenegro and Crete. Imagine: they are contemporaries of Christ!
On our island of Brijuni, an olive that has been bearing fruit for 1600 years and, according to Wikipedia, produces about 30 kg of fruit annually.
The older the olive tree gets, the more strange and confused its trunk looks. It forks into many thinner trunks, and the old tree looks like a picturesque interweaving of dozens of trunks, creating intricate patterns.

An old tree is very valuable in crafts. It is durable, resistant to water and temperatures. It was with an olive stake that Odysseus killed the Cyclops. Many olive tree souvenirs are sold in Corfu, but you need to be careful: a young tree does not have the strength and stability of an old one. The spoon we bought is greenish in color with a beautiful "wooden" pattern, can withstand boiling and greasy food, and soups and stews take on a certain nuance of taste.

Olive oil was called "liquid gold". It was very expensive at all times, it was presented as a reward to the Olympians, it was rubbed on emperors and patricians, Hipocrates used it to treat a lot of diseases. Now, probably, there is no person who would seriously deny the healing beneficial effects of olive oil: they contain almost all the vitamins and minerals necessary for a person, and unsaturated fatty acids, primarily oleic and linoleic acids, are involved in cell construction, remove cholesterol, prevent the development of atherosclerosis, vascular disease, heart, stabilizes blood pressure.

While traveling around Corfu, we came across a couple of farms that produce their own oil: it is amazingly fragrant, green, slightly bitter. Girls love to eat it by dipping bread into it. And this year we started to smear it like a cream after a shower.


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