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buying an olive tree

What to Look for When Buying an Olive Tree – A Useful Guide with Photos

A useful guide for buying an Olive Tree that is right for you!

Buying and planting an olive tree is a big investment in the future of your landscape, so it’s important to make the right choice. Not sure where to start when buying an olive tree?  Most importantly choose an olive tree to buy that meets your expectations, is suitable for the selected site, and ultimately will be a part of the landscape future generations will enjoy.

Here’s how I can help you to select the appropriate olive tree species based on the olive tree planting requirements and your needs. Follow my advice and you’ll be confident about buying an olive tree whether locally or online in no time!

Criteria to Consider Buying an Olive Tree for Your Garden or Yard

This guide will lead you step-by-step through the most important criteria to consider prior to buying an olive tree for your garden.

buying an olive tree

  1. Property Constraints

To avoid planting an olive tree too large for the site, it may help to draw a scale plan of your garden and plot the size of your tree at maturity. If you plant an olive tree in the corner of your garden, keep in mind that it will shade neighboring gardens.

When you are sketching your yard, house, and pathways in your mind or paper, consider if any following constraints or limitations your property may pose:

  • Available space
  • Proximity to underground pipes (sewer, septic, water, gas) and overhead power lines
  • Local regulations about how far back from the road trees must be located
  • How a tree planting my impact on your neighbors (views, leaf litter, shade, etc.)

All of these considerations are crucial to end up with an olive tree that will suit your needs and goals a few years from now when it begins to mature. You would like to avoid a situation when you would like to replace the tree after few years of maturity or spend a lot of money pruning to keep the tree small or keep branches away from the house.

  1. How Tall Olive Tree Can Grow? Olive Tree Height and Spread at Maturity

The most common Olive Tree variety (Olea europaea) can reach a height from 3 to 12 meters (10 to 40 feet) or more at maturity and has numerous branches. The crown of leaves can spread outward as far as 6 meters (20 feet) from the trunk, making the spread of the olive tree as wide as it is tall.

The size of an olive tree is falling under the medium size tree description in terms of height, so it is a good fit for the tiniest urban lots and as focal points in various parts of the landscape on larger properties. Bear in mind, small trees provide very little shade.

A general rule is to pick an olive tree that will fit in the available spaces of your property without being less than 30% of its height from any of these objects. For example, an olive tree that will grow to 9 meters (30 feet) in height should be at least 3 meters (10 feet) from any of these.

In addition, check out our article on olive tree growth rate here.

olive tree care, watering requirements
Olive trees can grow in any area as long as it gets lots of sunlight and a warm climate. Otherwise, you can grow it indoors
 
  1. Environmental Tolerances

    • How much rain does Olive Tree need?

Olive Tree needs regular watering to flourish, so regular rain helps to grow faster. Dot be mistaken that olive tree is a desert plant. Insufficient water will cause your tree to suffer, and even die if left too dry for too long.

Too much rain may cause harm since olive trees require well-drained soil. Avoid planting an olive tree in places where water stands during rainy periods or where groundwater seeps into a hole two feet deep.

If you prefer an olive tree in a pot, then water requirements for olive trees in pots are different versus trees planted in the ground.

    • What is the right temperature for an Olive Tree?

A mature tree can survive temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 9 Celcius) for a limited amount of time; sustained cold below 15 degrees F or -9 C can be fatal.

Olive trees grow best and most successfully in a Mediterranean-like climate region where it is sunny, warm, and nutritious soil. Ensuring full sunlight and fertile soil will help keep your olive tree growing large and healthy as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind that olive tree growing requirements must match your home site conditions. An olive tree is heat and drought tolerant, of medium size. Choose a site that receives at least five to six hours of direct sun per day. Obviously, the sunnier the better for an olive tree.

  1. Olive Tree Mess and Hazard Concerns

Matured olive trees normally bear olive fruits once per year. Prior to buying an olive tree think about where you plant it since falling olive fruits can be messy and stain the surfaces under them. Due to it, best to avoid planting olive trees over patios, decks, or parking areas. Olive fruit can be a hazard on hard surfaces as they roll under your feet.

As well all olive trees drop leaves that can be seen as trouble. A good thing about olive trees that they are evergreen trees that drop leaves just not all at once like deciduous trees.

buying an olive tree

When does Olive Tree produce olive fruit?

With the exception of olive tree varieties such as “Koroneiki” and “Arbequina,” which produce fruit as early as 3 years, normally olive trees will begin bearing fruit between 5 and 12 years after sprouting. The full production is reached when the tree is 15 or 20 years.

An olive tree only bears an olive fruit under the right climate and circumstances. An olive tree may not produce fruit at all if malnourished, damaged, or not fertilized. An olive tree, compared with other fruit trees, grown from seed may not produce olive fruit at all or may harvest olive fruit that is completely different from the parent plant.

Criteria Buying an Olive Tree in a Pot for Your Home

buying an olive tree

  1. Decorative Value and Correct Placement

You might not able to live on the Mediterranean coast but you can definitely bring a taste of it while growing olive tree indoors in your living room or in the hall. Olive Tree will look fantastic on any patio in your house or outside a front door in pairs.

Given the fact that many of our homes have limited space, it becomes important that olive trees chosen are the right variety and can grow in a pot. One of the most popular olive varieties is the Arbequina olive tree and here you can find tips on how to grow Arbequina olive tree in pot indoors.

Overall, olive trees will grow most successfully when kept in a sunny, warm, and consistently moist pot of loamy and nutritious best soil for olive trees in pots.

  1. How Big Olive Tree can Grow in a Pot?

As long as it gets enough sunlight in its life, expect an olive tree to grow 5-15 cm per year. If the olive tree brings white flowers in summer, you’ll be very lucky to get olive fruit.

The olive tree can reach 12 meters (10 feet) after many years at its maturity depending on olive tree variety and weather conditions. Dwarf olive trees normally grow up to 2 – 4 meters. Note that you can control olive tree height and shape by pruning olive trees in pots once per year.

olive oil tree in a pot

Where to buy an Olive Tree locally or online?

Buying Locally

You can buy olive trees in a pot or for your yard at a variety of stores depending on where you live. The best places to pick your tree are the following:

  • Local Olive Tree Grower
  • Local Nurseries
  • Garden Centers
  • Farmer’s Markets

Local olive tree growers, local nurseries, and farmers’ markets are preferable when you are selecting an olive tree to buy. Since these places focusing only on plants they tend to sell higher quality trees and very well maintained (less likely to be overwatered or in bad condition).

If you are interested in a young olive tree, you must get it from a local grower. If there are no local growers, look for an olive tree nursery.

buying an olive tree in garden center
You can observe and choose the best looking tree when buying an olive tree in a garden center

How to find local nurseries or farmer markets around your place?

You can search for your city or area and “olive tree” on Google to find the selling places closest to you. As well if you know local nurseries around but not sure if a local nursery carries olive trees, give them a call.

The main advantage of buying an olive tree locally is being able to choose the specific plant, as well as quality. You can compare different trees and choose the one you like the most.

On another hand, there are also some downsides. Not all areas have local stores that sell the olive tree, in that case, you should search for online shops or drive to different locations. As well, if local shops don’t specialize in selling trees in general, so olive trees there can be less healthy.

Buying olive tree locally

Who to Choose the Healthiest Olive Tree to Buy?

This one may seem clear but… when you buy at a local store take your time to compare different olive trees and avoid damaged plants – this means no bumps, no scars, no bugs, and no mushy spots. You can slightly touch the leaves to make sure they don’t fall off. The olive leaves should feel firm, not mushy or soft.

Another thing to look for is leaf color. The usual olive tree leaf color is a golden green, grey-green or dark green color. If leaves contain brown dots or dark color on edges, that doesn’t give a sign of healthiness.

buy an olive tree

Buying Online

As you likely guessed, the advantages and disadvantages of buying an olive tree online are essentially the opposite of buying locally.

Benefits of buying an Olive Tree Online

One great thing about buying an olive tree online is access to a wider variety of olive trees.  There are also better cases because normally sellers are experts.  You also get the plants delivered to your home directly and you don’t have to waste your time for going shopping!

The downsides to online ordering are that you can’t pick the best looking olive tree. The olive tree can be damaged in shipping, and are also more expensive.

Now, this isn’t really a downside, but almost always olive trees purchased online may be a little dirty when they arrive. To clean a dirt use a soft brush. Also, you can use an air compressor, so if you have one that’s a great option! Do not use canned air though! It will damage the olive tree’s leaves.

buying an olive tree in nursery
Local nurseries or garden centers may have online shops and ship gorgeous olive trees to your home directly

Where to buy an olive tree online? Worldwide shipping

If you never purchased plants from online sellers before, look for high-quality reviews. This way you will know that you’re getting the best olive trees you can from a reputable seller.

If you are buying an olive tree from abroad, make sure you buy from a reputable seller. You don’t want your purchase to stuck in the customs, so make sure you did your homework prior to buying online. Contact the seller prior to buying online as to understand if the seller holds required certificates and an olive tree can be shipped worldwide.

If you are looking for an old olive tree to buy, the shipping might be challenging since an olive tree is a fragile plant. For that reason choose a certified olive tree company that can send and plant the olive tree and that gives a guarantee in case of damage.

500 million olive trees grow in Europe which has more than three-quarters of the world’s cultivated olives. Asia follows with 13%. For that reason, you’ll find many shops located in Europe and willing to ship to many different countries.

  • For our readers in UK, please check out our friends the Norfolk Olive Tree company and get a 10% discount with a coupon “NORFOLKOLIVE” .

I have done my research on buying olive trees online and selected a few options on one of the most trusted website on Amazon.

  • Price range up to 30 USD/EUR:

— Arbequina Olive Tree —

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CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON HERE!

— Olive Tree Bonsai —

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01N46SDWR&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=oliviadaolive 20&language=en US

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON HERE!

—- Olea Europaea Olive Tree – 2 Units —

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00ZD2RL4I&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=oliviadaolive 20&language=en US

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON HERE!

— Magnolia Company Olive Tree —

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B075RHLPQB&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=oliviadaolive 20&language=en US

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON HERE!

  • Price range 50-80 USD/EUR:

— Arbequina Olive Tree —

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06Y41355G&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=oliviadaolive 20&language=en US

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON HERE!

— Tall Arbequina Olive Tree —

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07MMY7Y8D&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=oliviadaolive 20&language=en US

CHECK LATEST PRICE ON AMAZON HERE!

Does an olive tree need to be replanted once purchased?

Once you’ve purchased your olive tree in a pot, it’s a good idea to replant them as soon as possible.  A lot of times the soil olive trees are planted in is not ideal for long-term growth.

Keep in mind, olive trees in a pot are often root-bound, meaning the roots aren’t able to spread out, so they need more space to grow. For more information about this process, check our article on how to repot olive tree and when.

Final Takeaway

I understand it’s a hard time and pressure while choosing an olive tree for your garden, landscape project, or home. Often the internet is full of jargon and information that doesn’t really help you to make a decision.

So hopefully with our guidance above, you are ready to buy an olive tree and decorate your garden or home in no time!

Good luck buying a healthy and beautiful olive tree that will lead a long, happy life in your garden or home.

Greek olive tree symbolism
Read about the meaning of an olive tree

If you are interested to adopt an Olive Tree in Greece instead of buying and planting one in your home environment, we have few Olive Tree Adoption packages to suggest to you. Check it out: 

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