The Olive is a large evergreen tree that grows slowly to moderately to 20 or 30 feet. It is naturally multi-trunked. Usually sold in 20-inch or larger boxes and can be quite expensive. The leaves are stiff and leathery to two inches long, medium gray-green above and silvery white beneath.
Damaged at 15F. Prefers temperatures above 20F.
Moderate to no supplementary irrigation in areas with ample rainfall. Best with occasional deep irrigation, especially in summer. May be neglected in winter.
Full sun. tolerant of part shade to reflected sun.
Prefers deep rich soil, but tolerates poor, stony, shallow and alkaline soils.
Periodic to constant. Fruit litter cleanup if not using the 'Swan Hill' cultivar. Remove suckers from base of trunk several times a year.
Basal suckering, flower and fruit litter, and hay fever. Verticillium wilt may appear after a cool spring followed by rapidly rising temperatures, occasionally causing the entire tree to die. Also subject to black scale and olive knot. Buttressing and spreading roots can heave walks and terraces.
Clusters of tiny yellow-white flowers in March and April.
Fruit ripens in fall and is valuable.
Specimen and shade tree.
Native of Asia Minor (Turkey) and carried by Greeks and Romans to other parts of the Mediterranean.
'Swan Hill™' is a totally fruitless grafted tree that is accepted where flowering and fruited trees are banned. It will, however, produce some fruit. 'Manzanillo' is a round-headed, open and spreading form with excellent olives. 'Mission' is taller, more compact that is hardier with smaller fruit. Other landscape varieties include 'Ascolano,' 'Barouni,' and 'Sevillano.'
Desert Transitional, Mediterranean, Edible.