ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What About Olive Trees?

Updated on December 18, 2017
TeriSilver profile image

Teri Silver is a journalist, commercial copywriter, editor, broadcast anchor, and Public Relations Specialist.

Olive tree!
Olive tree!

Growing Olives

Native to the Mediterranean, olive trees (Olea spp.) produce tangy, salty fruits for eating and processing into cooking and heating oils. Olives are also used for making soaps, skincare lotions and other beauty products.

Fruit-bearing and non fruit-bearing evergreen olive trees thrive in U. S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10 and other Mediterranean climates. Olive trees growing 20 to 30 feet high and equally wide are striking additions to yard and garden landscapes.

Growing Conditions

Olive trees grow best in hot, dry climates. With single or multiple stems, trees and shrubs prefer full sun but do well in filtered light. They grow in the spring with temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate cold snaps down to 15 degrees F. Olive trees set fruiting buds during cool nights between 35 and 50 degrees F. and mild winter days below 80 F.

Trees can freeze if the thermometer drops below 10 degrees F. Olive trees, with shallow root systems, prefer well-draining soil with pH between 5.5 and 8.5. Trees may die if their roots are left in pools of water for extended periods of time.

O. europaea
O. europaea

Fruit-Bearing Trees

Fruit-bearing olive trees (O. europaea) produce green drupes that ripen to black. Spanish olive tree varieties that grow in USDA zones 8 through 10 include ‘Arbequina’ – it has small fruits that ripen in late fall. Black ‘Manzanillo’ olives, which can be pressed for oil, are most often canned for eating. Like other varieties, ‘Mission’ olive trees are self-pollinators that grow up to 20 feet high. Their fruits are brined for table olives or processed into oil.

Olives are very bitter when picked from trees. Fruits must be washed, soak in saltwater and often, sodium hydroxide solutions before they can be stored in brine and eaten.

Fruitless Olive Trees

Although referred to as “fruitless,” most tree varieties actually do bear small amounts of olives. For example, 'Swan Hill’ and ‘Wilson’s’ are ornamental olive trees with wide leaves and spreading canopies. Trees must be hand-propagated. ‘Majestic Beauty’ olive trees produce white, summertime flowers. Dwarf olive trees that grow from 12 to 16 feet high bear very little to no fruit. They are suitable for gardens, walkways, hedges and landscapes.

Pruning and training olive trees help them to grow strong fruits.
Pruning and training olive trees help them to grow strong fruits.

Location and Care

When preparing to plant olive trees, choose a site in full sunlight that is away from driveways and sidewalks, advises California Rare Fruit Growers, because falling fruits may cause stains on concrete and vehicles. Although olive trees are mostly drought tolerant in Mediterranean climates, watering trees regularly encourages fruits to grow larger. Pruning and thinning helps to train young trees into a desired shape. Chemical sprays and baits help to ward off olive fruit flies and maggots. Removing fallen olives helps to keep the tree from drawing unwanted pests.

© 2013 Teri Silver


Submit a Comment
  • vibesites profile image


    5 years ago from United States

    Olive trees grow in hot, dry climates, I see. I hope there's some chance that it might grow on tropical climates. I've always wanted to have an olive tree in my backyard. Nice hub, by the way.

  • jrpierce profile image


    5 years ago from Ellijay, Ga

    I've always wanted to grow Olive Trees, I'm not sure they would do well here in north Georgia.

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    So that's what you do, these days. Love you. Sis


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)