Olive Trees for Sale Online

Olive trees have been a part of everyday life in the Mediterranean region since the beginnings of civilization. More than 6,000 years ago, Olives began life as a sprawling, spiny shrub in what is now Syria and Lebanon. Years of selection and breeding have turned olives into the productive tree we know today. 

Olive trees are now an integral part of the Mediterranean landscape and the most important economic plant in the region. Most olive trees today are used to produce the world's supply of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Currently, there are over 800 million trees in cultivation in the region.

Each spring, the silvery canopy of Olive trees becomes covered in tiny white flowers. During the summer, olive trees become heavy with fruit, ripening from green to black as the winter approaches.

Growing Olive Trees

Olive trees are extremely tough and withstand the searing Mediterranean heat, drought, fire, and temperatures as low as 19 degrees for short periods each winter. In the United States, some olive trees can be grown outside as far north as the Zone 7 growing zone. Regardless of your location, Olive trees can be grown in pots and brought indoors during the winter and returned to the outdoors in the Spring.

Olive trees prefer to be planted in well-drained soil in a hot, sunny area of the landscape. They are evergreen trees that flourish in hot, dry areas and will not do well in soil that remains wet during the winter. During all times of the year, expect to receive olive trees that are actively growing with soft new growth sprouting from the tips.

Most olive trees take about three years to mature and begin to set noticeable amounts of fruit. To increase the fruit set on these trees, it is recommended that you plant more than one olive tree close together.

In the Mediterranean region, olive trees are spaced 20 feet apart to accommodate their eventual width, but there is no strict rule spacing. When planted in the US, olive trees do not reach their full-size potential so you can space them closer together but remember that Olea Europaea plants can reach up to 15 feet tall. Cross-pollination also increases the overall fruit crop so planting a few next to each other might be your best bet. 

If you want to grow more of your own food, visit our Fruit and Nut Trees Page.

Planting Olive Trees in the Ground

Olive trees are easy to grow if you follow a few guidelines. Planting Olive trees in the ground is the same as most other fruit trees. Select a location in the full sun

Step 1: Water the Olive tree thoroughly while it is in the pot. Water until you see the water running out of the bottom of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. This ensures that the entire rootball is full of water before planting. An extremely dry rootball can pull moisture from the existing soil and create a dry zone around the newly planted tree's rootball.

Step 2: Dig a hole twice as wide as the pot the tree is growing in. The depth of the hole should be as deep as the root ball, but not deeper. After the tree is planted, you should still be able to see the original nursery soil. Planting the tree too deep is the leading cause of poor growth and death of newly planted trees.

Step 3: If your existing soil is of poor quality, you should amend the soil with local compost or peat moss at a 50/50 rate. Normally this would be essential to the tree's overall health, but in the case of olive trees, it's less important for good fruit production. This is also the time to mix in an organic starter fertilizer such as Bio-tone by Espoma. Olive trees are extremely drought tolerant, so moisture-retentive soil is not necessary.

Step 4: Place the Olive tree in the prepared hole, being careful not to overly disturb the roots. It is ok to fluff the roots if the tree is rootbound lightly. This will cause the tree roots to begin to grow out and down rather than circle the root ball.

Step 5: Begin back-filling with the soil in 3 to 4-inch layers being careful to tamp the soil between layers. This will remove air pockets and voids created by larger chunks of soil. Be cautious not to damage the existing roots of the tree during this process.

Step 6: Use the leftover soil to create a 3 to 4-inch rim around the planting hole's edges. This will allow water to pool around the newly planted tree and slowly seep into the root zone. Proper initial watering is essential to the survival of the olive tree.

We also recommended to mulch the newly planted Olive tree. This helps prevent the sun from drying out the soil and damage the truck from mowing equipment such as string-trimmers. Gravel is often used for mulching Olive trees as the gravel absorbs the sun's heat and keeps the tree's roots warm. Gravel also allows the soil to dry faster after periods of heavy rain.

Growing Olive Trees in Pots

Olive trees are very forgiving and drought tolerant. Olive Trees are ideal for living their entire life in a container—olive trees like extremely well-drained, almost rocky soil. Plant your tree in a mix of potting soil mixed with about 25% small stones or pebbles.

When selecting a container for your Olive Tree, try to use clay or wood as plastic containers retain more water, which can be deadly for olives.

Place your potted olive tree in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of full sunlight each day. A south-facing window is best indoors. Make sure not to overwater or allow the pot to sit in a saucer full of water—only water when the top several inches of soil has dried out completely. The trick with olives is that it’s better to water too little than too much.

Olive trees are not cold hardy in USDA zones 6 and below and need to be inside for the winter months. Bring your container grown olive trees indoors before the first frost. Place them inside by a sunny window or under lights while inside. Once temperatures warm back up in the spring, you can take your potted olive tree back outside where it can hang out all summer long.

Pruning Olive Trees

Olive trees including the Arbequina olive tree grow slowly so don’t require much pruning when young. Container-grown plants tend to grow quicker, so if the olive tree becomes dense, remove some of the branches to let more light into the center. This will make it easier to harvest your olives and also increase the yield of the tree. Keep an eye on the shape of the tree and remove any dead or diseased wood.

Fertilizing Olive Trees

All varieties of Olive Trees need to be fed at some point. feeding olive trees is best done in the spring and again before the olives begin to form on the branches. Feeding olives in containers is best accomplished with a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote Indoor and Outdoor Plant Food. Simply shake the recommended amount of fertilizer on the surface of the soil and each time you water the correct amount of nutrients will be absorbed by the plant.

For Olive trees in the ground, we would recommend Espoma Tree-tone. Tree-tone is an organic product so there is no need to worry about burning the delicate roots of the olive tree.