Question - Can olive trees grow in Ohio?

Answered by: Debra Robinson  |  Category: General  |  Last Updated: 24-06-2022  |  Views: 1388  |  Total Questions: 14

Unfortunately for northern Ohioans the trees grow in zones in the U. S. numbered 8 and warmer. (Northern Ohio is considered to be in zones 5 and 6. ) Olive trees grow nicely as container plants. In fact, it is not uncommon to find olive trees in containers throughout Italy. Olive trees need a subtropical climate and do best with mild winters and long, warm, and dry summers. They are sensitive to hard freezing environments. They will grow in climate zones 10 and 11 (see map below). Some varieties are hardy enough for zone 9 or even 8. But we can enjoy olive trees (Olea europea) in containers indoors, at least for short periods of time. Because they don't thrive indoors over the long run, it's best to move potted olives outside or plant them in the ground when the weather warms up. If you grow an olive as a houseplant, choose a dwarf variety. Olive trees require a well-drained soil and a sunny position. Avoid sites where water stands during rainy periods or where ground water seeps into a hole two feet deep. Do not, however, confuse the olive for a desert plant. It needs regular watering to thrive. Growing olives in Florida is not new. The Spanish first introduced olive trees to the state in the 1700s and, according to the Florida Farm Bureau, there are now more than 400 acres of olive trees in the Sunshine State, ranging from commercial growers with more than 20 acres to backyard hobbyists.

Olives, like many other kinds of produce such as potatoes and sour cherries, just aren't something that you eat raw. Unprocessed, straight off the tree, they are bitter, very bitter, and the green ones even more so than ones which have fully ripened to black.

Because they are fruit-bearing and evergreen, olive trees need plenty of water. If the trees get too much water, the leaves may yellow and drop. But if the tree gets too dry, which often happens in the winter when watering is less frequent, the leaves will dry out and drop.

Green olives are seldom eaten without being in a brine of some nature. They take in the whatever flavor the brine has. Black olives are similar, though my daughter loves them straight from the can! Just raw olives tend to have a bitter taste.

While olive trees need to experience vernalization to set fruit, they freeze from extremely cold temperatures. Some resources claim that a few varieties of olive can withstand temps down to 5 F. (-15 C. ). Generally, olive trees are only suited to USDA zones 9-11, so sadly, there are no zone 6 olive tree cultivars.

Any commercial, well-draining potting soil will be fine for an olive tree. Potted trees will need to be watered more often than trees planted in the ground. Allow the soil to dry somewhat before watering, then water until the soil is soaked.

California is the only state in the nation producing a commercially significant crop of olives. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States come from California.

Olives are grown in California, and I have always heard any large planting of olive trees referred to as an olive grove. Off the top of my head I think most plantings of trees that produce a crop are called either a grove or an orchard, rather than a garden.

Provided with the appropriate growing conditions, this tree can survive in relative neglect for hundreds of years. While olive trees may live to be as old as 1, 500 years, the average lifespan is 500 years.

There is no evidence to suggest that any part of the olive tree (Olea europaea) is poisonous to animals. Some other, unrelated tree species with olive in their common names or "olea" -- Latin for olive -- in their botanical or common names, are toxic and may be mistaken for olive trees.

Many varieties of olive trees require cross-pollination but most the varieties that we sell do not because they are self pollinating or self-fruitful. They need another tree or sometimes two other trees for pollination, not of the same variety, but a different variety of the same fruit.

Olives picked off the tree contain a very bitter compound called oleuropein. Harvested olives must be “cured” to remove the bitterness in order to make them palatable. The most common curing processes use brine, dry salt, water, or lye treatments.

You should be Pruning Olive Trees in late Spring or early Summer when the weather is milder but before flowering. As the olive tree is an evergreen plant, new growth will be produced from most of the pruning cuts. These fresh shoots will be susceptible to damage from cold weather.