Edible Olives as a Hedge

bodhirocDecember 29, 2008

Hi All- We just purchased a house and want to build a low wall with a hedge for privacy out front. At the same time, I'd like to have this hedge (and other things in our new garden) provide edibles.

We've decided we'd like to put in an edible (table-fruit, not oil) olive hedge. Does anyone have any advice for this? What varieties would make the best hedges? Pruning tips? Best to put in one variety, or multiple (pollinating) varieties?

Thanks,

-G.

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stephen_albert(8b)

We did a series of articles on olives: olive growing, varieties, and pruning in November 2008. You might want to look through these articles. Go to HarvestToTable.com and then go to the November 2008 archive.

Here is a link to the article on varieties:
http://www.harvestwizard.com/2008/11/olives.html

Here is a link to the article on olive pruning:
http://www.harvestwizard.com/2008/11/pruning_olive_trees.html

The short answer is you can't just pick olives from the tree and eat them, they must be cured before eating.

Pruning will not be a chore if you start early with your trees and stay with it year to year.

Here is a link that might be useful: HarvestToTable.com

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 10:43AM
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bodhiroc

Thanks Stephen,

Are there any varieties that would make an especially good short hedge (4 ft?)

Thanks,
BodhiRoc

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 7:52PM
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stephen_albert(8b)

Two commonly grown olives in my area (the Sonoma Valley) are Ascolano and Manzanillo. These are often pruned to that they top out not much taller than 10 feet. Call the local cooperative extension or Master Gardener program and ask for varieties popular in your more southern region. You are likely to find an enthusiastic olive growing community. You might also find a local olive press or olive oil cooperative and ask what members are growing in your area.

Olives can often be purchased as "multi-trunk" plants and these would make for the start of a hedge. But study up on pruning so that you understand how best to prune for harvest. If you want a decorative olive hedge "Wilsonii" is a non- to low-fruiting variety.

Here is a link that might be useful: HarvestToTable.com

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 10:58AM
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Jillberto(Z9 CA)

I am confused.

Can a person expect to keep olives to a 4' hedge AND get any fruit?

Wont you be constantly be trimming off the flowers, and therefore never have any fruit?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2009 at 8:44PM
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