Buying An Olive Tree: What To Look For

Olive trees are beautiful and can live to an awe-inspiring age, so purchasing an olive tree is a lifetime purchase. Reason enough to inform yourself in detail before buying.

Beware of cheap bargains

Olive trees are occasionally offered as bargains by all sorts of trade sources. Thus large cash and carry markets offer already once splendid, thick olive trees, which are clearly more inexpensive than that, which is to be had on the normal market. 2 meters high, 150 years old it is to be, scarcely 200, – euro cost – sounds at first once well. Then, on closer inspection, you realize that this olive tree has been sawn out of its natural environment. He looks in the crown area a little like a pollarded willow and is then also offered as a bonsai. A mutilated tree without proof of origin, from which you should better keep your hands off, if you do not get it “thrown at you” for a few dollars.

Buy olive tree from specialist

After all these adventures it is a good idea to buy an olive tree in a specialized nursery or tree nursery.

Where you can trust that your olive tree has been grown in a climate so similar to the European one that the olive tree will not have any problems. Where you do not get trees taken from somewhere in nature, but grown by yourself. A specialist, where you usually even get a few years warranty on your olive tree.

Here you will also be able to answer questions about what to consider when you want to harvest olives from your olive tree.

You should only make sure that it is really a specialist.

The place of growing should be known

If you make a major purchase such as an olive tree, it is first certainly also a reason to buy in a specialized nursery, because then you really have a contact person. In any case you have then already once no anonymous large-scale enterprise to the contracting party, with whom you will have little luck, if you have inquiries or even complaints.

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In addition, you should be able to find out from this specialist where your olive tree was grown. Whenever the rearing is in very warm regions, the olive tree has little chance of survival in Europe. It is the same if your olive tree was raised somewhere in a greenhouse. Of course, you should also know exactly which olive tree you are getting, with exact botanical name. It would be best if there was an address where you could even inspect your olive tree and pick it up in person. Whether you really intend to do that is secondary, but a dealer who won’t come out with an address is pretty sure to have something to hide.

Buying An Olive Tree: What To Look For

The right variety of olive tree

Just like that buy an olive tree – will not be so easy. In the Mediterranean region alone, more than 1,000 varieties of the botanically Olea europaea called olive trees grow. Each of these olive trees has developed a little differently according to the climate and soil conditions in its native place. You should certainly choose an olive tree cultivation for the culture that is not exactly at home in the hottest corners of the growing countries.

It is best to get a more detailed explanation of where the olive tree variety offered to you originally grows and what conditions prevail there. After all, this development has shaped the plant in a very long time. If you then make sure that this variety is cultivated in a nursery where the climate is even a little harsher than in the coldest corners of the home countries, you can be fairly sure that you will get a variety and an olive tree that is suitable for planting in European gardens.

Buy only healthy trees

Olive trees are easily infected by fungi, just like fruit trees. You should make sure that your tree does not have any visible fungal growths when you buy it. You should especially look for signs of Spilocaea oleagina or eyespot disease in this area. Leaves infected with this common olive tree disease have round discolorations on the leaves that resemble peacock’s eyes. Another fungal disease called Mycocentrospora cladosporioides is manifested by black spots on and yellowish discoloration of the leaves.

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Cell growths on the trunk and branches could be signs of olive canker. An infestation with the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae, for which curative treatment is not possible. Another soil bacterium called Acrobacterium tumefaciens also causes, in olives cancerous growths and likes to attack young trees in the root area or at the base of the trunk, these trees usually die in a few years.

So, your olive tree should not show all these signs, it should generally look vigorous and vibrant in color, and it should also not show any “pests” like aphids. However, you can recognize many diseases only if you are either real specialist or if the symptoms are already very advanced. The last certainty can only be given by buying from a trustworthy specialist.

Suppliers of olive trees

The palm man in 44577 Castrop-Rauxel is not only dedicated to palm trees, but also to the sale of olive trees. Greenhouse and pickup address are located in Castrop-Rauxel, for more info visit At the Palmenmann you can get olive trees of different Spanish-stemmed varieties. Here is a short overview:

  • Arbequina: No frost hardiness given, but are said to grow on almost any soil, even acid or sandy soils and saline soils near the coast.
  • Hojiblanca: Most frost hardy olive variety to minus 19 degrees, grows on almost any soil.
  • Manzanilla: Most common variety for green eating olives, frost tolerant to minus 14/16 degrees
  • Picual: A frost tolerant variety to minus 16 degrees with good ability to regenerate, self-fruiting and suitable for a wide range of soils and climates, some resistance to cold and wet soils, tolerates salt.

When to buy and plant?

When you buy your olive tree, in fact, does not matter, even if it will get its final place in the garden. After all, if you study the care of the olive tree, you will learn that putting it in the garden is done gradually. You will overwinter the olive tree indoors for the first few years anyway.

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Care after purchase

The olive tree, which gets its place in a tub, should be repotted into the larger container as soon as possible after purchase, using a well-fertilized substrate. At the bottom of the tub must be placed a drainage layer, for example, expanded clay, as a substrate is suitable, for example, a mixture of 1/4 quartz sand and 3/4 soil. After repotting the olive tree should not be fertilized directly, only water, of course, it needs immediately.

The olive tree, which gets its place in the garden, should be planted as soon as possible according to the rules. Instructions for this and for the further care of your olive tree can be found in the other articles that revolve around the olive tree on Garden Dialog.


Buying an olive tree that is really well hardy in Europe is a task that requires considerable information. If you want to keep the olive tree in a tub, it will be easier, then you do not need to pay so much attention to the variety. For patient gardeners also a tip for the purchase of an olive tree: you can grow your own olive tree from seed.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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