Anyone here grow Olives?

mandolls(4)April 22, 2011

I have an olive tree ordered. Does anyone here grow olives? Obviously, since I am in zone 4 it will be a container tree, from the little I have read it needs similar handling as container figs. Any words of wisdom form experienced olive growers?


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hey mandolls i have a similar interest. don't have too much to offer in advice but i've done some interest and am trying to find a couple suitable varieties to grow in containers in ny for table fruit. I was going to buy bigger size trees since i've heard they grow slow. Where did you buy, are they being shipped and what were your thoughts of the nursery you used?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 8:45AM
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Hi, The only source that I know of that supposedly has six varieties is WillisOrchards. I'm still not sure if they are associated with TyTy or not. I see they have added new promotional features to their website also, like facebook. I think the only other sources I came across were in California and I'm in Mass. Just google and you will find places that ship. I bought figs from them but the varieties where not what they said they were. They did ship healthy plants and it is difficult to id figs if you don't specialize in them. Still, no excuse, if thats your business. I also was thinking about buying one a couple of years ago. I did initially think you would just pick and eat olives off of the tree though. You do know its a pretty intense process to produce an edible olive? I wonder who the first person was to have the determination to figure out how to make an olive edible. Unless it was discovered by accident.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 1:35PM
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sergnic(z9 Italy)

Of course I'm not in Z4, but the main difference from fig is that the olive tree has permanent leaves (evergreen) for so cannot be stored in a dark room as a fig, but instead have have to be conserved in winter in a very light/sunny room.
(The olive tree do not go dormant!).
Sizes of tree are similar.
I hope that you have a selfertile tree, however twoo interfetile variety tees may produce a lot better.

Formally have to be sent with soil (for so in a pot or phitocell, however I've experienced the sending to a foreign land of an orange (evergreen also) tree bare roots, with only a page wetted of newpaper in the sealed plastics sac with the roots, and it survived.
This of course is not a rule for commercial trade, but is possible for friend trade, not commercial, less expensive for postal costs.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 1:59PM
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sergnic(z9 Italy)

It 'obvious that it was discovered by accident.
The olive seeds germinate easily, growth is slow, but not much more than an apple or apricot. The problem is that you have seeds from ripe fruit (untreated) and then you're not sure about the variety that comes from.
But if you're not demanding for any variety of industrial production that arises is fine.
For the pollination should know that two seed give plants that are certainly inter-fertile (well fertile togheter).
Two years ago in the bush of a Mediterranean island, I picked two fruits of wild olive, I have sown the seeds and they were born, the wild olive is not well suitable to produce the oil (the fruits are very small), but the germination is very easy.
I'm skeptical on the production of ripe fruits in Z4, the fruits ripen in mid-winter (February), although for some (all) uses and edible oil crops are immature in October.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 2:21PM
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What I have coming is an Arbequina olive from Stark bros, which is apparently hardy to zone 7, and ripens in November. I bought it on a whim when I was looking for apples (its dangerous for me to internet shop for plants in Feb - everything looks good). I have a very sunny window, in which my Fig tree grew happily all winter (I didnt know it was supposed to go dormant), so I think the olive will be happy there. I thought I had read that it does need some dormancy like the fig, which is why I placed the question here. I will have to do some more research.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arbequina olive

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 4:01PM
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those prices are steep considering its only a 4" pot. you're going to be waiting forever for fruit.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Yeah, Like I said, I dont always make intelligent decisions when I garden shopping in February. The fig I bought last year was in a 4" pot too. It is huge now, but Olives are alot slower, I know. Willis has about the same prices for a 1 year old tree, of course I could have forked over $4000 for a 12 ft. tree, but even in February I am not that crazy.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:12AM
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sergnic(z9 Italy)

The gathering is October November is common for unripe fruits.
(The olives for oil and for main food uses are gathered unripe - green). There is also some use as food with ripe fruits (blue) in this case is necessary wait till February.
Absolutely the olive tree DO NOT have dormancy, instead have need of hard light.

The main risk in winter is to have too much heat, and not many light (*), this produce the "pale elongation" of branches; negative for the fact that them runs out of space in the pot, and in the room, but mainly because it is more risky then put the plant outdoors, and place it outdoors is important for its flowering and vegetative growth.
The short summer is another unknown factor because the ripening in October or November is according to an early spring.
The plant normally has a period of "dormancy" in summer very hot and arid climates, where nearly stops the growt, without losing its leaves.
This however increases the amount of accumulated heat and light for the amount of fruits and oil, but not for the quality of these, which are best in cooler climates.
In cool climates the production is modest, but are even more rare the damage caused by parasites, in cold areas, as may be in the Carolines (I suppose), but very well drained, the product would be optimal.

The plant bears much less moist soil than does the fig tree, and usually die from fungal infections at the roots in very wet or flooded soil.
The natural condition is a slow growth, if it grows or is made âÂÂâÂÂto grow faster, are at risk for many reasons.

(*) the appreciation of light by humans is subjective, is not bsed on instrumental, the humans have two two distinct systems of vision, a vision but with low efficiency and high-definition color well during the day and with much light, and a second acting with different visual systems at night with high efficiency but with poor quality in low light.
This lets us make mistakes in evaluating the light, for example in gardening, but also for other problems such as vision "twilight" when driving a car, and you see worse at dusk or dawn than at night, when "the strange light" does not give you a good view, both systems are not the optimal.
The plants does not have a different system to collect the wattage of light.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:59AM
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sergnic(z9 Italy)

Fig trees do NOT NEED dormancy; instead are simply ABLE to go in dormancy in winter for cold, or in summer cor hot.

Olive is NOT ABLE to go in complete dormancy.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:09AM
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Thank you Sergnic. I appreciate your knowledge. It may have been a mistake for me to purchase this, but I will see if I can make it live and grow.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 4:14PM
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