Botanical name: Olea europaea
Crown and root system: This is a sculpted evergreen tree with an extensive but non-aggressive root system. When mature, the olive tree needs a distance of a meter and a half from other trees in the garden, and therefore you must clear a circle of earth that is three meters in diameter.
Growing regions: The olive tree is one of the oldest trees is Israel and the Near East, and as such it is perfectly suited to local climatic and soil conditions. It grows under almost any conditions and in all types of soil.
Ripening date: In August the fruit ripens to “green maturity” and around December the fruit turns black. How do you know if the olives are ripe? Pick an olive and crush it in your hand. If it oozes lots of juice, it is ready. Olives will grow under rain farming conditions, but if you want a large quantity of fruit with lots of juice you should irrigate in the spring, ahead of flowering; and in August, during the last stage of the fruit growing.
Planting in a container: May be planted in a container.
Recommended planting season: All year round.
Olive flies and fruit flies can be eliminated using a special trap that hangs on one of the branches, available in agricultural supply stores.
Jasmine moths prefer the young leaves of the tree. Signs of moth infestation include leaves that are folded and/or covered in a fragile white netting. In such a case you must take 2-3 of the leaves to an agricultural supply store and ask for a suitable pesticide.
Varieties sold in our nursery:
In our nursery you will find a range of Italian, Spanish and local varieties that produce olives for pickling or for making oil. These include:
Barnea: Suitable for making oil and for eating. It grows very rapidly and yields a large quantity of fruit.
Souri: A local variety, excellent for oil and for eating. It has a dominant aroma and grows relatively slowly.
Coratina: This southern Italian variety is for oil and for eating. It grows relatively quickly and has a strong, fruity aroma.
Santa: An Italian variety with large fruit, excellent for eating.
Leccino: An Italian variety (from Tuscany) with a fruity aroma; it grows quickly and is only good for oil.
Askal: Has a high oil content and a strong aroma. It is mainly suitable for oil and grows relatively quickly.
Manzalino: These are Greek olives that are good for pickling and eating.
Picholine: French olives, suitable for pickling and for oil.
Picual: Spanish olives, with a medium-sized fruit. The tree is relatively resistant to cold. These olives are suited for pickling and for oil.
Good to know:
In Israel there are several dozens of ancient olive trees (two are in the village of Arabeh and five are in the village of Dir Khana) which, according to estimates, are more than 1,000 years old. All of them still bear fruit. Some of the olive trees in Gethsemane in Jerusalem are dated – although not for certain – to the time of Jesus.