A gardener who knows how to practice olive tree fruit suppression and lives in an area where olive trees aren’t banned outright should certainly consider planting this beautiful tree in their garden.
Most of them do not grow higher than 50 feet and have oblong leaves of pale, silver green. They have an interesting habit, and the trunk is often contorted and very wide in older trees. Olive trees grow slowly and live a very long time. There are some in the Mediterranean regions that are over 1000 years old and still bearing fruit.
The Problem With Olive Trees
The problem with olive trees comes when they are finally old enough to reproduce and bear fruit. Many people are allergic to their pollen, which is wind-borne. The fruit that falls from the tree makes a mess.
Some people do not know that olives are not simply picked from the tree and eaten out of hand like apples and peaches. The olives need to be fermented and cured to remove their bitter taste, and homeowners who grow the trees for their pleasing looks have neither the time nor inclination to do this.
These trees have male and female flowers on the same plant, so a gardener cannot opt for a male plant as they would in the case of the gingko tree. This is where olive tree fruit suppression comes in.
Olive Tree Suppression
Suppression is a fancy term for treating the tree in a way that stops it from setting fruit. New growth with blossoms appear in the spring so this is the time to cut them back.
Another option is to spray the tree with a chemical such as Maintain CF1 25 or naphthaleneacetic acid. This should be done about three days before it blooms and on a day when the wind is calm. Your gardener will need to wear a breathing mask and be sure that the tree’s buds and branches are covered thoroughly with the spray. This process should be repeated in a week.
If any buds appear on the tree after it is sprayed, a powerful stream of water from the garden house should be used to knock them off.
One bit of good news about olive trees is that even old ones can be pulled up and transplanted without experiencing shock. If the gardener really can’t live with the olive tree anymore, it can be donated to another home fairly easily.