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How Old Are The Olive Trees

I’ve just bought two olive trees (  Olea europaea ) from Homebase
They are about 7 foot tall and in 40 L pots
Any idea as to what age they might be. Also how long can they remain in pots before going into the ground. Of course any other advice you can offer will be welcome


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,158
    Can't help with age but olives come from dry regions and like to send down a deep root in search of water so I advise you to give yours a bigger pot which will also balance the top weight better.   As for planting out, it depends on where you are and how exposed or sheltered is your garden.

    Have a read of this - 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,699
    Depending on their growing conditions, they can vary. Also, many trees are clipped to control size, shape and style.

    Looking at your pictures, they are most likely over 10 years old. Could have been clipped over the years to keep them bushy and compact. The trunks obviously continue to mature and thicken with age.

    These trees can remain in containers if you wish, but as Obelixx states, you need to re-pot to allow them to grow. Pot grown, you'll find they grow much much slower. In the ground, they tend to grow faster if conditions suit.

    Ideal location is a southerly aspect with protection like other shrubs or a wall for added warmth. Soil-wise, they are not fussy provided the soil is free draining. So prepare the soil well if you have compacted or heavy soil. 

    Without knowing the growing conditions of the tree before this, I suggest caution is best. They can take a while to acclimatise to new conditions, so if you are in a colder part of the UK, try to place against a southerly wall and fleece the base of the plant in frosty conditions. Container plants are always more sensitive to frost. Over time, it should harden off and will not be so affected by light frosts.

    If you want to plant in the ground, I suggest spring time next year. I would avoid doing it in winter as it's cold and the roots will not be able to adapt to the cold and wet conditions.
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