Add a taste of Tuscan heritage to your home landscape and your dining table with the rugged Italian olive tree. This hardy tree is self-fertile, which means that it does not need an accompanying tree to set fruit.
The Italian Olive has dark gray-green leaves and grows in a semi-pendulous form. It is a hardy tree and will thrive indoors or out in full to partial sunlight, in soil with good drainage.
During the spring, the tree produces small white, fragrant flowers which gradually set into plump, juicy fruit that are oval and medium-sized. Olives ripen gradually and the tree will keep producing so that you will have olives that are ready for harvesting from late September to late December.
The fruit ripens gradually which allows for a long harvest window. Mature fruit are purple-green when ready to harvest. They can be pickled or canned, and once cured make excellent table olives.
Italian olives are easily harvested by placing a sheet beneath the branches and shaking each bough, or the whole tree if potted. If you are harvesting to produce olive oil, bear in mind that the oil contained in a Italian olive is high – usually about 60–70 percent. Typical yields are between 1 to 5lbs of oil per tree, per season .
Select a site with full to partial sun and moist or well drained soil for your Italian Olive Tree.
First, dig each hole so that it is just shallower than the root ball and at least twice the width.
Then loosen the soil in the planting hole so the roots can easily break through.
Use your shovel or try dragging the points of a pitch fork along the sides and bottom of the hole.
Next, separate the roots of your Italian Olive Tree gently with your fingers and position them downward in the hole.
The top of the root flare, where the roots end and the trunk begins, should be about an inch above the surrounding soil.
Then make sure the plant is exactly vertical in the hole.
To make it just right, use a level.
As you backfill the hole, apply water to remove air pockets.
Remove debris like stones and grass and completely break up any dirt clumps.
Water your Italian Olive Tree again after the transplant is complete.
To help retain some of that moisture, it's recommended that you place mulch around each plant to a depth of 2"-3" up to but not touching the trunk. Organic mulches such as wood chips also help to better soil structure as they decompose.
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