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.
|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. Partially self-fertile but higher yields with Ascolano as a pollenizer. Sturdy grower. Trees as of December 2022 are semi-dormant, about 3' tall, branching, smaller than photo. Grown in 4" x 9" pots. OUT OF STOCK.
|Kalamata Olive Tree 4" x 6" pot|
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 July 2023 trees are about 3' tall, branching beginning. These are grafted trees, so remove growth below graft line. Grown in 4" x 6" pots.
|Santa Caterina Olive Tree 2 gal|
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 100 feet. As of July 2023, trees have been pruned to 4' tall to promote lateral growth. Branching, full roots. Grown in 2 gal pots.
|Santa Caterina Olive Tree the pair|
The young upstart version of the 2 gal Santa Caterina, this pair will defy your expectations. Will take another few seasons to catch up to its 2 gal version, but when it does the drupes will reward your patience. A big, graceful tree that survives cold winters better than most.
|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 January 2023 trees are 3/8" caliper, a few branches, about 3' tall. Grown in 5" x 8" containers. OUT OF STOCK.
|Picholine Olive Tree 5" x 8" pot|
Grown primarily in the Languedoc region of France, the Picholine 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. Despite its delicate looks, Picholine is nevertheless a sturdy grower. Grown in 5" x 8" pots, trees as of January 2023 are small, about a foot tall, flowering, roots well developed. OUT OF STOCK UNTIL FALL 2023.
|Arbequina Olive Tree 4" x 9" pot|
These Arbequina trees are about 3' tall, branching, smaller than photo as of March 2023. Young olive trees grow quickly their first few seasons, and then decelerate to their typical slow growth rate. Grown in 4" x 9" containers. OUT OF STOCK.
|Nocellara del Belice Olive Tree 4" x 6" pot|
Olives from this Sicilian cultivar are known as Castelvetrano. If you haven't experienced biting into one, it's time to seek out these exceptional olives. 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 4" x 6" pots, these trees as of July 2023 are about 3' tall, some branching, full rootball.
|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. Partially self-fertile, but to maximize production plant compatible olive tree pollenizers such as Pendolino, Maurino, Picholine or Frantoio. As of January 2023, trees are 2.5' tall, some branching, smaller than photo. Grown in 1 gal pots. OUT OF STOCK.
|Bella di Cerignola Olive Tree 4" x 6" pot|
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 4" x 6" pots, trees as of October 2023 are about 3' tall, some branching beginning, prime condition. Plants are grafted, so remove any growth beneath graft line.
|Frantoio Olive Tree 4" x 6" 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 February 2023 trees are about about 3' tall, branching beginning, full root development. OUT OF STOCK.
|Cailletier Olive Tree 4" x 6" pot|
A vigorous and gracefully pendulous specimen, Cailletier trees are best known as the source of Nicoise olives,those choice black nuggets found in Nicoise salad. This cultivar is grown in the Alpes Maritime region, so they're more cold resistant than most other olive cultivars. Self-fertile, the drupes are also used to make a delicate oil but their highest use is for the table. Watch out for scale and olive fruit fly on Cailletier trees. As of September 2023, trees are well-developed, about 3' tall and branching developing.
|Pendolino Olive Tree 4" x 9" grower's pot|
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 December 2022 are smaller than photo, about 3' tall, branching. OUT OF STOCK.
|Taggiasca Olive Tree 2 gal|
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 July 2023 trees have been pruned to 4' to promote lateral growth. Branching, full rootball.