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Growing an Arbequina Olive Tree – The process of extending an olive branch is made easier if the tree is in your own backyard, but if this is not possible, a container will suffice. We have exactly what you need. Arbequina olive trees are prolific producers when fully grown, and they are easy to grow in either the ground or in a large patio container, as Perfect Plants can provide. Once grown, these statuesque beauties thrive in Mediterranean regions with plenty of sunshine and are able to withstand periods of drought once established.
The best part is that you may anticipate a big crop of antioxidant-rich olives. While heat and sunlight are required for the tree to flower and bear fruit, Arbequina is one of the more cold-tolerant olive varieties, withstanding temperatures as low as 22 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods of time (-5 C.).
Known for their dark brown, acidic fruits, Arbequina olives are self-fruiting trees that produce a large crop of fruit every year. The plant grows to be 12 to 20 feet tall (3.5 to 6 meters) in height, with a spread of up to 15 feet in width (4.5 m.). The Arbequina cultivar is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 11, but it may also be cultivated in USDA plant hardiness zone 7 if given some additional protection. It is possible to cultivate this tree even in northern climates if it is planted in a container and brought inside during the winter months.
Trees may live for years in containers and, with proper trimming, can even bear fruit in such a little space. The tree is semi-deciduous, but it will retain its narrow blue-gray leaves in warmer climes or when the plant is overwintered indoors during the winter months.
If reproduced by cuttings, this is a fast-bearing olive tree that can yield fruit in as little as one year. The plant produces delicate white blooms in the spring, which grow into the fruit later in the year. The thumb-sized fruits are initially green, but they progressively turn purple and finally a rich glossy black as they ripen. During its late summer fruiting period, the effect is quite lovely to see.
Additional Tips for Caring an Arbequina Olive Tree in Containers
The harvesting period for ripe fruits occurs in the autumn, usually between the months of October and November. The best olives to harvest are those with deep colors, as olives do not ripen on the tree. When left to grow for an extended period of time, the plant will develop a lovely, gnarled appearance with an old character, while still producing abundant harvests each year.
Once established, olive trees require little maintenance. Decide on a site for the potted tree that will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day and plant it in well-draining, loamy to gritty potting soil. Plants grown in containers do best in clay and in-glazed pots because they are able to remove excess moisture. It is preferable to keep an olive tree on the drier side during the first few years, despite the fact that young plants require extensive watering to create a strong root system during this time. Soggy roots can be detrimental to the health of a tree.
Pruning trees should be done near the end of winter, but before the flowers bloom. Pruning is only required to open up the canopy, remove dead or diseased wood, and improve light penetration in order to achieve these goals. You can also prune to keep the plant’s size under control, but be careful not to remove any fruiting shoots in the process.
The Arbequina olive tree is native to the Spanish town of Arbeca. It has been in cultivation since the 17th century, demonstrating how historically favored this kind of olive has been throughout the centuries. To get the most flavor out of your olives, brine them for a month in a solution of salt and water, changing the brine every a week.
Fill the brine solution halfway with lemon, bay leaves, or other flavorings, and store the brine solution until the flavor is at its height. Then get out the charcuterie board and have a good time!