Olea europaea – Ancient

European Olive

From £249.00

The European olive tree is an unmistakable symbol of both the Mediterranean landscape and way of life, dating back several millennia. Olea europaea has been cultivated and grown for its fruit and oil by people as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it is nonetheless hardy enough to be suitable for British gardens.

Ancient Olea europaea is a tall evergreen tree with a gnarled hard wood trunk, iconic silver-grey green leathery leaves and sweetly scented flowers. The Ancient trees are in bonsai form where they have been clipped, and tend to be older specimens than our other olive trees.

Origin: Mediterranean
Genus: Olea
Species / Cultivar: europaea
Common Name: European Olive

Plant Biography

The European Olive Tree is an unmistakable symbol of both the Mediterranean landscape and way of life, dating back several millennia.

Widely distributed across the Mediterranean, Africa and Asia, Olea europaea is of course most well known for its fruit – the olive. In the Mediterranean, where they have been grown for over 5,000 years, around 90% of the world’s olives are produced, proving to be one of the region’s most valuable crops.

Ancient olive trees tend to be old ex-commercial production trees, as modern mechanical harvesting methods have popularised taller and skinnier trees, leaving ancient forms more available for ornamental use.

Olea europaea – Ancient
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 4-8m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 2-5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

Olea europaea can be planted or kept in a pot, so long as they have good drainage and are watered well in the warmer summer months. Olives make for a stunning feature to suit a wide variety of styles, either clipped to suit formal gardens or left loose for more naturalistic designs.

Care & Size Guidance

This evergreen bush is hardy and, from its coastal heritage, can withstand strong winds and even minus temperatures. So, despite their Mediterranean roots, olives are perfectly suitable for British gardens.

Olea europaea is a very slow growing plant and is tolerant of pruning, so it’s unlikely to outgrow the space it’s in.

What beautiful olive trees, even bearing ripe olives. Already been greatly admired, fantastic service all round!

Maureen B

What beautiful olive trees, even bearing ripe olives. Already been greatly admired, fantastic service all round!

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