Olive tree varieties and for sale
With so many Olive trees varieties available for sale in Australia we look at how to grow them
Olive trees are widely grown in Australia as a commercial crop for both fruit and olive oil. Olive trees make a great hardy tree for the home garden and many varieties can easily be grown in pots or containers.
Olives are traditionally from a Mediterranean climate, and they do perform well in these conditions. Basically dry warm to hot summers and wet winters. Olive trees do need a cold winter period to flower properly, as a guide a period of temperatures below 12C (53F), however, temperatures below 8C (46F)are not suitable.
In cold climates olive trees will still grow, however they will not produce good fruit and may need to be overwintered in a greenhouse.
How to grow Olive Trees
Olive Trees are perhaps the oldest cultivated tree in the world, with a history dating 100s of years to pre roman times.
These are a slow growing, long lived evergreen tree valued for their fruit and the olive oil produced from it. It is interesting to note that this is a tree that is now being used as an ornamental and as windbreaks, many vineyards now use olives as a boundary. Olive Trees were planted outside the Sydney Opera House some 50 years ago, they are still going strong.
Pruning Olive Trees
For best fruit production, olive trees do need to be pruned, this is done from early on so that the tree grows into a form that is open, well shaped and easy to harvest.
- First remove any suckers
- Remove downward facing branches
- Open the tree up so that fruit ripens more easily.
- Try not to prune to hard with older trees.
- Light regular pruning is best, so start early.
Olive trees prefer a cold winter and a hot dry summer, they do well in South Australia and Victoria. Olive trees need a well drained soil however they do appreciate watering during summer, soak once a month in dry periods, and fertilization will help promote growth. Olives prefer full sun and will grow well in pots. To promote increased fruit size olives can be ‘thinned’ on the tree. Olives are preserved by using salt, or a saline solution, olives ‘raw’ from the tree are bitter and inedible.
When planting out a young olive tree, dig in well rotted manure and remember to stake the plant, best time to plant is in autumn, although olive trees are hardy and can be planted throughout the year. If planting during warmer months remember to water on a regular basis.
- All Olive trees produce olives that are both green and black. The colour depends on how ripe the olives are. Eventually all olives will ripen to black.
- Olive trees can all produce both edible fruit and olive oil. Some varieties are better at one than the other.
- Fruit production will commence once the trees are around 3 – 4 years old, with some varieties taking u to 6 years. generally the amount of fruit increase as the tree ages. A mature tree can produce as much as 18 kgs or 40 pounds of fruit in a year.
- In cold climates they will still grow, however they will not produce good fruit and may need to be overwintered in a greenhouse.
Olives are an interesting fruit when it comes to harvest. As olives ripen and mature they change colour from green to black and can be harvested at a number of stages.
From fruit set in spring, until harvest can take 7 months.
Olives should be left on the tree until they reach full size.
- Green olives are the first stage and will be ready to pick when they give a creamy white juice if pressed or squeezed, they will still be firm. Green olives need to be cured before eating are often marinated. Eaten raw they are very bitter and inedible.
- Black olives are left on the tree until they turn s deep purple to black and usually marinated takes around 4 months after green olives are picked. Black olives are also cured before eating usually by lacing in a brine solution for from 3 months up to 2 years.
As olives ripen and darken they begin to produce the oil that is extracted by pressing
Olive Trees are available for sale from the following nurseries
442 Russells Road, Pine Mountain Ipswich QLD 4306 - phone: 07 54643976
Pine Mountain Nursery is a mail order plant nursery and also specialises in breeding elite agapanthus, clivia and other warm climate bulbs.
55 McDougal Rd Neerim South Victoria 3831 PH: (03) 56281507
Advanced ornamental trees and garden designs and concept plans. Direct to your property combined with specialist knowledge and outstanding service.
Park Road Buckland Park South Australia 5120 – phone: 08 8380 9598 fax: 08 8380 9774
High Density Low Vigour Olive Groves, Container grown ornamental & commercial plants, Pomegranates, Figs, Shade trees, Fruit trees. Landscape design, construction & horticultural installation services.
OLIVE TREE SALES
7 Tait St Renown Park Sth Australia 5008 – Ph 08 83465616 Fax 08 8340 3070
Suppliers of over 20 popular varieties available as tubestock, small or large trees