Olea Europaea (Olive tree)
You’re sure to have seen these stunning trees on holiday; the olive tree, or to give it its botanical name, Olea Europaea. These are really distinctive trees with their gnarled trunks that look stunning on a square or in a park. Olive trees also look amazing in gardens. And don’t worry, they can certainly survive in our climate. They’re a real asset as well as an eye-catcher for your garden.
Olea Europaea (Olive tree)
The tree has greenish grey, leather-like leaves. Together with its unique trunk, smooth at first and becoming increasingly rough in later years, it’s a wonderful sight. And then, of course, there’s the olive tree fruit: the olives. But in northern countries they’re more for decoration than consumption. It takes a year for the fruits to ripen and colour from light green to olive green or black. The trees grow very slowly so you can imagine how expensive a large Olea Europaea is. The tree is a symbol of peace, love, and loyalty, making it a great gift for you or a loved one.
Growing olive trees
Olive trees have been grown for thousands of years and are one of the oldest plants in countries around the Mediterranean Sea. These days, you’ll come across them all over the world and they’re grown in many more places.
Why choose Olea Europaea?
- It’s a very strong tree.
- It’s also stunning to look at.
- An olive tree will give your garden a really distinctive look.
- It develops creamy-white flowers.
- It can be pruned, but that’s not necessary.
- The plant is very wind resilient.
When should you plant your olive tree?
It’s best to plant your Olea Europaea straight into the ground in spring. By planting early in the spring you avoid the cold winter months and the tree can prepare itself during a warm summer. Your olive tree will then be well rooted, well established, and better prepared for the coming winter. Should any overnight frosts occur in spring, that’s no problem.
What’s the best way to plant your Olea Europaea?
You can plant your olive tree in almost all types of soil, both in clay or sandy soils, as long as your soil contains enough nutrients and is not too wet. When these trees are planted in your garden, the roots will extend deeply, enabling them to cope with dry periods. They can then obtain water from some distance away.
The best time to plant your olive tree in the ground is when your tree is two or three years old and the trunk is somewhat thicker. You should do this in spring. Mix some clay through your soil as the tree prefers this. You can also buy a special potting soil mix.
Give your Olea Europaea enough water – quite a lot every few days.
Here are a few tips for planting it in a container or tub: Make a few holes in the pot or container and place bubble wrap around the inside of it for insulation. Scatter a generous layer of hydrograins on the bottom and then fill up with Mediterranean potting soil.
- Olive trees like a position in full sun in nutrient-rich, well-drained soil.
- Water regularly, but preferably plenty once every few days rather a little than every day.
- The trees are extremely wind resilient and can even cope with a sea breeze.
- Protect them carefully in the winter months. If temperatures fall below freezing, your tree will need your help. Cover it carefully and make sure it doesn’t dry out.
Your Olea Europaea can reach up to six metres high. Take this into account when positioning it and leave enough space on all sides so that your olive tree and other trees around it are not squashed.
Advice and Care
Make sure you give enough water in the summer – up to three times a week if the tree is in sandy soil.
You can purchase special fertilizer for olive trees. Apply this two or three times during the growing season from April to August. It’s best to apply the first fertilizer after pruning. Make sure you don’t use too much fertilizer.
It’s not necessary to prune olive trees. But if you want to obtain a certain shape, you will of course need to prune your tree. Prune the tops of the longest branches to stimulate growth from the crown, as this will create a nice full tree. Let the branches grow to at least 20 centimetres.
It’s best to prune Olea Europaea in March or April and preferably not in the autumn, as then you’d have to look at a bare tree for a long time. And it’s also good that you can see exactly what you’re doing, as the tree will have no leaves. Another advantage of pruning in springtime is that the pruning wound can heal over during the growing season, which starts in April.
Treating common problems
Olive trees are strong plants and almost completely resistant to diseases and infestations. However, something can always go wrong, such as an infestation of spider mite, mealybugs, leaf-eaters, or other nasty infections. To keep the tree strong, you can stop these pests with special products that are available from garden centres or DIY stores..
Advantages and disadvantages of olive trees
- Olive trees are beautiful.
- The plant is extremely strong and hardly suffers from diseases or infestations.
- Your garden will always have that summer feeling.
- It will survive freezing temperatures, but does need some assistance from you.
- It’s not necessary to prune Olea Europaea.
- The plant does need rather a lot of attention, certainly in the winter months.
Are you looking for a distinctive olive tree for your garden, or terrace? A tree that evokes warm feelings? Then Olea Europaea is a great buy. Order yours today. If you have any questions or would like more information about this plant, please contact us.