Olive Trees in Zone 7 - n Mississippi
Just thought I'd start a message on the 21 olive trees we have planted in Oxford, MS. The trees are one Arbequina planted in March 2007 and 20 Mission Olive Trees planted Oct 20, 2007. Previously posted only to "Olives in Oklahoma" since the posters zone was also zone 7A.
I know they may die as the most hardy is Mission variety (hardy to 8 deg F) which is zone 8. It hasn't gotten below 10 deg F for 10 years. If Al Gore is right (I think its just a temporary swing and I believe it may have been warmer 2000 years ago but then there were no thermometers. The Chinese writings indicate it though.), we are in global warming and its going to get hotter and dryer. If so the olives may not die for a while. Also some olive trees survived a freeze in california in 1990 where the temp was below freezing for 5 days with lows as low as -9 deg F (you can find it in pubs on the internet and at libraries).
I would like to hear from any growers in Texas, California, or Florida about what type of freeze protection i need the first year as just planted seedlings are more vunerable. Do I:
1. Buy a garbage can to cover each tree when it gets below 20 deg F.
2. Add more pine needles as mulch.
3. Wrap trees in burlap.
4. Use pea gravel or vermiculite mounded high up on trees.
Any help is appreciated. I've seen a lot of conflicting info on the internet with some sites saying olives are only hardy to 30 deg, another Australian site saying Olives in general are ok to 15 deg F. Then there is the info on the Calif. freeze.
I also have Live oak trees that have been here since 2001 and cork oak trees (for only a couple years) that are not having any problems.