Growing olive trees certainly is worthy of late gratification. Under the appropriate conditions, olives don’t begin to carry fruit until they are around five years old. This means that the tree you acquire will most likely not make any fruit for at least 2 years after you bring it home. Fortunately, olive trees are beautiful and worthwhile growing purely as a decorative tree, so you’ll have something pleasant to look at while you wait for it to develop. In the UK, olive trees do well in the milder microclimates which to generalize, are southern and western regions, coastal areas and urban areas.
Olive trees need minimal care, great for someone who is new to getting fruit trees, or who likes plants that don’t mind a little negligence. Site the tree in the sunniest position possible, preferably south or west facing with some defense from the colder north and east winds. Olive trees can grow efficiently in containers as well for many years and while they will grow in most composts, for lasting growth we suggest mixing a good quality multi-purpose compost special olive tree fertilized that should be available at every store that sells olive trees. A well-drained soil is also recommended.
Minimally prune during the first three to four years, just enough to preserve shape. The young olive tree may need to be secured right up with the trunk to support with balance. Commercial olive tree growers harvest fruit in September or October for canning uses and small fruit is left until January or February and then the olives are pressed for oil.
Two of my Olive Tree varieties:
Arbequina bears olives that are usually used for oil production, but they can also be pickled green or black. This assortment is self-fertile and fruits early in the season. Grows in height: 4-5m (13/16 ft.)
Picual is a medium-sized tree coming from Spain. It bears fruit early on in the season that’s best picked when ripe. This selection is self-fertile but may advantage from cross-pollination with Arbequina. Grows to maximum of 6m (20 ft.)