Olea europaea. A gnarled olive tree. A clambering grape vine. Caper bushes spilling down the hill. An olive tree, just one, evokes memorable landscapes from Andalusia eastward to the Levant.
We are pleased to offer exceptional new varieties, including the renowned Bella Di Cerignola, Cailletier and Lucques.
Full sun and good drainage required. Expect harvestable crops in about three years. The first fruits are almost all pit and no meat and it's best to remove them, although few people can bring themselves to do it. You must process olives within a few days of harvesting, whether for oil or table, or they'll start to decompose and the end result will be inferior. Never use olives that have fallen off the tree when curing or pressing.
Olive trees bear their fruit on one year old shoots. To promote this growth, prune your trees in spring. You can pinch the branches of new trees or prune back branches of established trees. Olive trees won't bear fruit twice on the same wood, so remove bearing shoots from the previous year each spring.
If you want to enhance growth, be sure to fertilize well. Seaweed not only provides boron, which olives need, but it also helps trees survive cold weather. Well-aged manure, dolomitic lime and greensand provide an excellent top layer food source that will slowly and safely release nutrients to the trees.
In colder climates, grow olive trees in a pot that can be brought into a sun porch during the winter. Olive trees need at least 100 hours of temperatures below 50 degrees in the winter, so keep this requirement in mind when considering growing olive trees indoors. Zones 9-10 outdoors, where trees grow to about 20-25 feet. Please read varietal descriptions for pollenizer requirements, although many olives will bear a crop without pollenizers. Fruit and new growth injured at 26 degrees, tree injured at 16 degrees.
A note on the olive fruit fly: it has become established throughout California olive growing regions. You can control it organically by using Spinosad, but diligence is required.
A second note: olives prefer dry conditions and are prone to fungal disease in areas of high humidity, such as many areas of the Southeast. Thomas Jefferson, a great gardener, had his heart broken over his olive trees' intransigent refusal to produce a harvestable crop at Monticello.
Ground shipping charges are 35% for CA, 40% for OR, WA,AZ and NV, and 45% to rest of U.S. Orders received by Fridays at 5 pm PST will be shipped the following Monday if weather allows. Sorry, no shipping to AK,HI.
|Kalamata Olive Tree 2 gal|
Kalamata olives are justly famous for their torpedo shaped flavor bombs. Almost always cured black, these are large and meaty, with easy pitting. Can also be used for a superior oil. Tree is vigorous and erect. Can take more cold than other varieties. Will bear bigger crops with a pollenizer such as Leccino or Pendolino. As of December 2019 trees are size of photo, pruned to fit into 4' boxes, 1/2" caliper trunk and some branching. Grown in 8" x 12" 2 gal pots.
|Santa Caterina Olive Tree 5" x 8" pot|
Yet another choice table olive courtesy of Tuscany, the Santa Caterina is a big, billowy tree with matching drupes. The very large olives are harvested an emerald green for the table and come in early, usually September. A vigorous grower that will withstand colder temperatures than other varieties. Will produce bigger crops with Pendolino or Frantoio within 200 feet. As of August 2019, trees have sturdy trunk, 3' tall, well-branched, some trees have a few small fruit. Grown in 5" x 8" pots.
|Picual Olive Tree 5" x 8" pot|
The most popular Spanish cultivar for both table olives and oil, Picual has exceptionally high polyphenol levels which give the medium-sized drupes their characteristic pungent flavor. Self-fertile, highly productive at an early age, and adaptable to challenging conditions, including cold resistance. Picual trees have expansive crowns and low,open growth. As of August 2019 trees are 3/8" caliper, a few branches, about 3' tall. Grown in 5" x 8" containers.
|Picholine Olive Tree 2 gal|
Grown primarily in the Languedoc region of France, the Picholine olive is the go to olive for martinis due to its nutty flavor and meaty texture. An esteemed table olive, cured when green. Late harvest, so difficult to bring in a crop in areas with early frost. The tree has a short, upright and delicate growth pattern, with pale green leaves. Partially self-fertile, but a better harvest if planted with Leccino or Manzanillo. Trees are about 3' and branching as of September 2019. Grown and shipped in 2 gallon containers. OUT OF STOCK.
|Picholine Olive Tree 1 gal|
Despite its delicate looks, Picholine is nevertheless a sturdy grower and one of the shorter cultivars. Read details in 2 gal item description, above. Grown in 1 gal containers, trees as of November 2019 are about 3' tall, branching, narrow caliper.
|Manzanillo Olive Tree 4" x 9" pot|
A classic California dual purpose olive, the Manzanillo drupes are rounded with a high flesh-to-pit ratio and firm, meaty flesh. Generally harvested early when green. Tree has a low and spreading canopy so remove the lower branches as needed to suit your landscape. Self-fertile but higher yields with Ascolano as a pollenizer. Sturdy grower. Trees as of March 2019 are about 3' tall, branching, blossoms beginning. Grown in 4" x 9" pots.
|Manzanillo Olive Tree 2 gal|
More established version of the Manzanillo above in grower pot. Plants are about 3.5' tall, branching, size of photo as of April 2019. Grown in 2 gal pots.
|Arbequina Olive Tree 4" x 9" pot|
These Arbequina trees are about 3' tall with a few branches, smaller than photo as of March 2019. Young olive trees grow quickly their first few seasons, and then decelerate to their typical slow growth rate. Grown in 4" x 9" containers.
|Arbequina Olive Tree 1 gal|
Arbequina olive trees hail from Catalonia, not Tuscany, but they share the same excellent rustic qualities of those varieties, including high adaptability to different climates and soils. Used for both oil and table olives, the fruit is small and rounded. Crop matures into black olives over a few weeks, so you have time to pick them. Tree is weeping, fairly compact and shorter than other varieties, and self-fertile. 2' tall, smaller than photo as of March 2019.
|Nocellara del Belice Olive Tree 1 gal|
Olives from this Sicilian cultivar are known as Castelvetrano in the U.S. If you haven't experienced biting into one, it's time to seek out these flavor bombs. The drupes are huge, up to a quarter ounce, and the brightest green after brining. With a small pit and a buttery, perfumed flesh, this olive is incomparable. If you're in the Bay Area, go to Berkeley Bowl for your Castelvetrano fix. The oil is likewise remarkable, with a light body and a rosy fragrance. The Nocellara del Belice tree has a wide crown, medium height to about 20' and produces heavily. Disease resistant, especially when grown in fertile soils with adequate moisture. Will have higher yields with a pollenizer such as Pendolino. Grown in 1 gal pots, these trees as of December 2019 are slightly larger than photo, about 2' tall, narrow caliper less than pencil width, some branching. Can remain in existing pot for the season. OUT OF STOCK UNTIL SPRING 2020.
|Koroneiki Olive Tree 4" x 9" pot|
Koroneiki trees have dominated Greek olive groves since Homer wrote The Odyssey and no doubt dipped bread into the peppery oil we still enjoy thousands of years later. Koroneiki olives are smaller than other varieties, matching the compact growth pattern of the tree. Small, thick leaves. Oil has very high oleic acid content. One of the more tender varieties. Self-fertile. As of December 2019 trees are about 3' tall, some branching, smaller than photo. Grown in 4" x 9" containers.
|Leccino Olive Tree 1 gal|
Oil from the Leccino olive tree is more delicate than the Frantoio, and the small to medium fruit is also used for table olives. The olives ripen into black ovals practically all at once, so be prepared. The Leccino olive tree is a vigorous grower, with gray leaves and a graceful airy habit. Compatible olive tree pollenizers include Pendolino, Maurino, Picholine and Frantoio. As of March 2019, trees are 3' tall, nicely branched, smaller than photo. Grown in 1 gal pots.
|Bella di Cerignola Olive Tree 2 gal|
Bella Di Cerignola may offer the most beautiful and delicious olives of any tree. It ripens early and is generally brined soon after turning a celadon green. Drupes are huge, nearly a half ounce of crisp, buttery meat. Hailing from Puglia, this tree has a spreading canopy with gracefully weeping branches. Appreciates being well-fed and watered. Will produce greater harvest with the pollenizers Coratina, Pendolino or Leccino. Grown in 2 gal pots, this new crop of trees is smaller than photo, about 2.5' tall including pot, 3/8" caliper, a few branches as of June 2019. OUT OF STOCK.
|Bella di Cerignola Olive Tree 1 gal|
This 1 gal version of the Bella di Cerignola olive is about size of photo as of September 2019. Tree is about 1' tall, narrow trunk.
|Frantoio Olive Tree 5" x 8" pot|
The primary varietal used in Tuscan oil production, the Frantoio olive tree is useful to the home gardener as well. This olive tree is self-fertile, meaning it doesn't require another variety to set fruit, but is also an excellent pollenizer to other olive trees. The Frantoio olive tree grows in semi-pendulous fashion, with dark green-gray leaves. The fruit also makes a good table olive after curing, with a slightly nutty flavor to the medium-sized fruit. As of August 2019 trees are about 3/8" caliper, about 3' tall, branching, a few fruit forming. Grown in 5" x 8" pots.
|Ascolano Olive Tree 5" x 8" pot|
A vigorous and upright grower with slightly twisted and substantive green leaves, Ascolano is prized for the huge size and delicate taste of its olives. Since you can't get something for nothing, the downside is that Ascolano olives bruise easily and then you can't cure them. So harvest carefully. Fruit set is also fairly low. Doesn't turn black when ripe. Also used to produce a light and delicate oil. Ascolano is the most cold hardy of the Tuscan cultivars. Partially self-fertile, but you'll get more drupes using pollenizers Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino or Manzanillo. Trees are about 3' tall, branching, a few fruit forming as of August 2019. Grown in 5" x 8" pots.
|Cailletier Olive Tree 4" x 6" pot|
Known in cooking circles as Nicoise, Cailletier olives pack a lot of nutty, intense flavor in a small package. Cured black. Main cultivar around Nice, France. Tree is vigorous, large and eventually pendulous. Generally self-fertile. Watch out for olive fruit fly on this one. Grown in 4" x 6" pots. OUT OF STOCK.
|Cailletier Olive Tree 2 gal|
The more established version of the Cailletiers in 4" x 6" pots, above. These 2 gal trees are about 3' tall, branching as of April 2019.
|Lucques Olive Tree The Pair|
You know an olive must be exceptional when David Leibovitz sings its praises. These olives are challenging to find in markets so all the more reason to grow your own, even if you don't have a Languedoc potager. See below for cultural requirements. Trees as of December 2019 are about 15" tall, branch buds developing, narrow caliper about 1/4". Grown in 3" x 7" tree pots. These pots have rounded bottoms so prepare to plant them upon receipt. Sold as a pair.
|Lucques Olive Tree 4" x 6" pot|
An easy grower that prefers adequate irrigation, with an upright habit and high productivity of delicious olives picked green for curing. Ripens late. The primary French cultivar and for good reason. Best yields if pollenized with Picholine. As of September 2018 trees are much larger than photo, about 3' tall, sturdy caliper, branching. Grown in 4" x 6" pots. OUT OF STOCK.
|Pendolino Olive Tree 1 gal|
This weeping olive tree is slow growing but well worth the wait. In fact, to see this olive tree in the gloaming, its narrow leaves backlit like slivers of a silver sun, is a heart-pounding experience. Pendolino olive trees are partially self-fertile, but you need pollenizers if you want a large fruit crop. Compatible olive tree pollenizers include Leccino and Maurino. Pendolino olive trees are used extensively as pollenizers in large olive tree groves. The fruit makes small but delicious green and black table olives as well. Trees as of March 2019 are much smaller than photo, about 1.5' tall, no branching.
|Taggiasca Olive Tree 5" x 8" pot|
This self-fertile cultivar hails from Liguria, where Benedictine monks selected for the traits expressed in today's Taggiasca olive trees. The small to medium olives yield a light, fine oil with a delicate almond flavor. For eating, the olives are cured black. They have a sweet buttery taste. Mature tree has average size and vigor, with a semi-weeping habit. Very late ripening. Leaves are green-gray on top, silver on bottom. As of August 2019 trees are well-established, over 3' tall, a few scattered drupes developing. Grown in 5" x 8" pots.