Olive tree | Olea europea

The olive tree (Oleaceae) is an evergreen native to the eastern Mediterranean. This gnarled tree with attractive green-green lanceolate leaves can grow up 12 m (40 ft) high. In spring it can be trimmed to the desired shape and size. The yellowish-white flowers appear in summer and are later followed by the fruits or olives. When the plant is to be grown in a container it is best to choose self-pollinating varieties. The position should be as warm and sunny as possible. Olive trees will tolerate periods of drought but in summer they will benefit from regular watering. Good drainage is also very important. In addition, olive trees should be given applications of fertilizer every two weeks from spring until summer.

In winter, they should be moved to a light place where the temperature is between 5-10° C (41-50° F). The quickest method of propagation is from cuttings of semi-ripe wood taken in summer. Young plants must be pruned several times to encourage them to branch out.

25. September 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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