Grow your own olives with an Arbequina Olive Tree. The Arbequina Olive Tree is fast growing, early flowering, and grows high quality olives that can be eaten fresh, brined, or milled into oil. Arbequina Olive Trees are adaptable to a wide variety of soil types and conditions. They bloom fragrant blossoms that produce a heavy harvest of fruit. The Arbequina Olive Tree can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones 8 to 10, and in a pot in Zones 4 to 7.
Arbequina Olive Trees grow to a height of 15 feet and a width of 15 to 20 feet, and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees F. They do best in well drained soil and full sun. Since the trees are small, you can grow one in a smaller garden or yard, or even in a container on a patio or deck. This makes it convenient to have your own olive tree for gathering quick, fresh olives for adding to recipes, drinks, and snacks.
Olive Tree Care
The Arbequina Olive Tree can be grown in the ground in USDA Zones 8 to 10. These olive trees need soil that has some organic matter and is well drained. Arbequina Olive Trees do fine in rugged soil types that have a mixture of sand, clay, and gravel. Dig a hole that is at least twice as big as the potted tree’s rootball, then fill it with water to test drainage. The water should drain away fully within one our. If, after one hour, the hole is still holding a large amount of water, then either find a more easily draining location, or dig out an area that is one foot larger on all sides, and one foot deeper. Backfill this larger hole with a mixture of soil, coarse sand, and perlite, then plant the tree in the amended soil.
If you plan to grow your Arbequina Olive Tree in a container, select a sturdy pot that is at least 3 to 4 inches bigger all the way around than the pot the tree came in. Pot with four parts potting soil and one part perlite that has been mixed well. Be sure that the container has adequate holes for drainage. Position the potted Arbequina Olive Tree in a spot where it gets the most sun possible each day. Bring the potted Arbequina Olive Tree indoors when temperatures drop to freezing or below.
Fruit & Harvesting
The Arbequina Olive Tree blooms in early spring. The fragrant, tiny white flowers are often concealed and protected by the dark green leaves. The small fruits begin as tiny, round, and green. As the fruit gets larger, it will slowly turn to a dark purple, then to almost black when fully ripe. Olives can be picked when they are green, once the juice inside turns from clear to milky. The Arbequina Olive Tree fruit gets ripe and ready to eat from October to late November.
Arbequina Olive Trees produce heavy yields of olives, and a mature tree in a good location can give you as much as 10 to 15 pounds of olives each season. Olives are easy to pick. Simply pull the dark purple or black fruits from the branches with a slight twisting motion. You can also gently pull multiple olives down with a rake, onto a tarp spread under the tree.
Arbequina Olive Trees are resistant to many pests and diseases. This makes them easy to grow and care for. It also makes the Arbequina Olive Tree a good candidate for growing organically, or with minimal pest control. The Arbequina Olive Tree responds well to pruning, and can be kept at a manageable size for a small garden or if you are growing one in a pot.
Arbequina Olive Trees are semi-deciduous, so they only drop all of their leaves if the temperatures fall below freezing for extended periods of time. The Arbequina Olive Tree prefers much the same conditions as citrus or figs: warm, sunny locations with well drained soil and periods of dry soil between watering. This makes the Arbequina Olive Tree a good choice to grow among oranges and grapefruit trees.
Are Arbequina Olives green or black?
Arbequina Olive Trees produce both green and black olives, and the color is a matter of when the olives are picked. Green Arbequina Olives can be picked and used as soon as the juice inside the olive turns from clear, to milky white. Dark purple or black Arbequina Olives can be picked any time.
How long after blooming, can I expect to harvest Arbequina Olives?
The Arbequina Olive Tree blooms in early spring and the fruits begin to ripen by October and November. The darkest, ripest fruits develop in November.
Can Arbequina Olives be used to make olive oil?
Yes. Arbequina Olives can be used to create excellent olive oil. The fruit can also be eaten fresh when green, light purple, dark purple, or nearly black. Olive oil is usually made from the ripest, darkest olives.
Is the Arbequina Olive Tree Self-Fertile?
Yes. The Arbequina Olive Tree is self-fertile and will produce a healthy crop without a second pollinating olive tree.