Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Griselda M.
Do you know how long it takes an olive to grow from seed to harvest, or from a young transplant? And how long does it take an olive tree to grow? Let’s take a closer look.
An olive tree is an evergreen plant that has a trunk and branches. It is not a shrub, but a true tree with a perennial life cycle. The olive tree is the only member of its genus Olea and is closely related to the oaks.
Olive trees are grown in different ways. The most common way is from seed. So how long does it take an olive to grow from seed? For this reason, we have made the following article on this subject. We will try to help you by providing the answers you are looking for.
How Long Does it Take an Olive to Grow?
Once planted, olives take between 5 and 8 years to mature and yield but will start producing fruit after three years. The olive tree grows tall, up to at least 20 feet or more, with a spacing of 12 feet apart, depending on the variety. They produce fruits at about 3-5 years of age. A mature olive tree can produce up to 2,000 pounds of olives.
Caring For an Olive Tree
Now that we know the answer to how long it takes an olive to grow, let’s learn how to care for them. Olives are very easy to care for. Let’s look at the care they require throughout their growing season.
Provide deep, well-drained soil that has plenty of organic matter. Olive trees like acid soil, but they can also tolerate a neutral pH, and some varieties will do better in alkaline soils than others.
Olive trees have no problem with drought but do need ample water. The roots will rot if not watered regularly. We recommend a watering schedule of 1 inch per week. Water deeply into the soil, rather than on the surface, and make sure you get all the way down to the roots.
To keep the soil evenly moist, mulch around the base of the tree with a thick layer of straw or wood chips. This will also keep the roots from drying out.
In spring, when the soil is moist, add a generous application of compost. The compost should be applied at a depth of about 2 inches. Then, fertilize again in late summer with half-strength fertilizer.
The olive tree needs to be pruned periodically. It is best done when the tree is dormant. Prune your trees in winter before they flower, or in spring when new growth is about to begin. You should prune the branches so that they grow into the center of the tree, creating a thick trunk. Pruning makes the tree more resistant to disease and pests, but it also makes it easier to harvest.
The main olive harvest season starts in September and lasts until December. The harvest is usually done by hand since mechanical harvesting machines are not used due to the high density of the olives. In some areas, however, mechanical machines are used at the end of the harvest season to harvest the remaining olives from the trees.
These machines are similar to those used for vineyards but are more powerful, and they have two or three working arms. The olives are collected from the tree and transferred to the machine, which transports them to a tank, where the olives are removed from the branches. After the olives have been collected and sorted, the oil is extracted.
In some areas, the oil is extracted directly by centrifugation. In other areas, the olives are transported to a drying area, where they are kept until the next harvest. The oil is extracted by crushing the olives with a hammer and then passing it through a series of sieves.
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Benefits of Olive Oil
There are many health benefits when it comes to olive oil. Here are just a few:
- Olive oil has a long history in the human diet and culture.
- Olive oil is a source of high-quality fats and oils that are essential for life.
- It contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), polyphenols, and antioxidants that help prevent diseases.
- It is a major source of dietary fat, and it contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
- Olive oil is also known for its antioxidant properties.
- Olive oil is a good source of vitamin E, phenolic compounds (olive leaves and fruits), and oleic acid.
- Olive oil has become a staple in the kitchen and is now found on just about every table around the world.
- It is an important part of the Mediterranean diet and is used to add flavor, fragrance, and a source of healthy fats.
- There are many benefits of using olive oil as a cooking oil.
- Not only does it impart great flavor, but it also helps improve the health of your body.
Take Home – How Long Does it Take an Olive to Grow
Though we all buy our olive oil from the store and never ever think of making our own, it would be fun to learn. I hope this post has helped to answer the question: how long does it take an olive to grow? Try growing one for fun and see how it turns out.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Big is a 5-Year-Old Olive Tree?
A 5-year-old olive tree is around 25-30 feet tall. They can also spread just as wide, which is incredible!
What is the Lifespan of an Olive Tree?
Olive trees can live for up to 500 years, but the average lifespan is about 200 years. How do I take care of my olive tree? Plant your tree in good, well-drained soil. Fertilise it with a balanced mixture of well-rotted manure and compost, if possible, or use commercial fertiliser.
Are Olive Trees Expensive?
If you want a mature olive tree, that will usually cost around $300-$600. It'll be cheaper if you nurture the plant yourself and buy it from a young plant or tree.
How Big Do Olive Trees Grow in Pots?
If planted in pots, they'll only grow to around 4-5 feet in height.
Can You Eat Olives Off the Tree?
Of course. However, when eaten straight from the tree, the olives can be very bitter and intense in flavor.