How to Plant Olive Trees
Olive oil. This is probably the healthiest oil of all. Aside of being the most recommended oil in the Mediterranean Diet, this is proven to be very rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Although it is a lot more expensive than most types of oil, this is the ultimate choice for healthy living because it helps the body fight bad and free radicals that can harm the body's tissues and organs. Before planting olives, you need to consider your purpose because this will help you identify how much land you need and how many trees to plant and what type of olive to plant.
Types of Olive Oil
Depending on your specified purpose, you can choose from a wide variety of olives. There are trees that do not bear fruits and these are the best trees to plant if your intention is to add olives to decorate your garden. You can also make your selection form olive types depending on the taste if your purpose is to produce olive oil and do business with it. Below you will see the top five or most popular types of olive trees or varieties.
This type of olive is Italian in variety and is the most popular for gourmet dishes. The flavor is very strong and it is also pungent but the yield is high.
This variety is from Spain and this has a small fruit. It is aromatic but a little bitter. One set back is that it has a short shelf life of only one year.
This type of olive is also of Italian descent and has a strong flavor. Unlike the Frantoio, this ripens faster but it has the same strong flavor.
This one is the traditional variety found in California. This bears large fruits and is found mostly in California olive orchards. The yield is low but it is very aromatic.
This is also a Californian variety that has a large fruit and is used as a table olive oil. The oil yield is very low compared to the other varieties but this is what many orchard owners grow because of its mild and fruity flavor.
Before planting, make sure that the soil is leased. This is the only way you can ensure that all tress receive the same amount or supply of water. The best time to plant the trees is during fall. This ensures that the trees get adequate settling in the soil. The only challenge here is the frost especially if the olives you plant were originally grown from containers.
If you will plant form container-grown olives, dig the planting hole the same size as the container. After removing the trees from the container, examine the roots and untwist any circling roots. You may cut these roots if desired. Water the tree very well before planting and place the tree slightly higher than ground level. During soil preparation, do not add lots of quantities of organic matter; just let the soil be native.
Pruning and Training
Since olive trees store their energy at the leaves, it is not recommended to prune large amounts of foliage from olive trees as this will stunt the trees. Correspondingly, pruning is not really recommended for the first five years of the tree. You can prune the olive trees if you want to eliminate water suckers and to reduce overcrossing of stems and shoots. This is usually done to ensure aesthetic values and also to make olive trees more productive. Generally, you need to prune if you want to have a better or more regular skeleton to be achieved when the trees reach maturity. You can also prune your trees to avoid weakening of the tree.