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Possible to take out the Olive tree without killing it?

cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 49
edited October 2021 in Plants
Hello everyone,
We recently moved to a new property and there's quite a big Olive tree (about 4m in height) right next to the kitchen extension. We are thinking of removing it as it's too close to the building. Do you think it would be possible for someone who knows what they are doing, to dig it out without killing the tree?


  • cammy0102cammy0102 Posts: 49
    edited October 2021
    Added the pictures to the original post.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,048
    You can move olives that big as they are tough trees but there is no guarantee it will go well and it would cost a lot for someone who knows what they were doing to move it. If you dont mind risking the tree you could try it but it will weigh alot if you get an appropriate sized root ball out, so it isn't an easy job. It's worth getting a quote to move it if it's to big of a job for you.
    They don't grow that fast in this country and you can prune them to keep them smaller so consider if it has to be moved.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,319
    Olives can take fairly drastic pruning and to reduce stress to the tree prior to removing, it’s worth cutting it back by about a third and doing some general pruning and shaping. Once you have done that, you may find it is fine where it is and no longer blocks light into your extension, if that is your concern. They are also fairly shallow rooting, so shouldn’t present a danger to the foundations of your extension. If, on the other hand, you just don’t like it there, yes they can be removed and replanted. Ancient olives far older than yours are dug up and potted up for sale as mature specimens here, so long as who is doing it knows what they are doing, perfectly feasible. The shrubs around it are another matter, the root disturbance caused by extracting the rootball of the olive may cause them to suffer as a consequence.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • Thank you very much thevictorianzFH0qqPW and Nollie.
  • 2000GTV2000GTV Posts: 110
    It was with some trepidation that one of our friends moved (professionally) two very mature olive trees from our land onto his (long story re appeasing some awkward neighbours). Following transplanting they initially received copious amounts of watering but I am happy to report they have settled well and have begun rejuvenating.  
    Martina Franca, Puglia, southern Italy
    Love living in Italy but a Loiner at heart 
  • bédébédé Posts: 2,967
    edited October 2021
    My vote goes with the prune to size and shape comment.  You can be quite drastic.

    Read the Acer thread.

    I have a small olive in a pot, it was quite cheap and is growing quickly.  Think of that if a move doesn't work.
     location: Surrey Hills, England, ex-woodland acidic sand.
    "Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
  • If we are to keep it in the same location, it will have to be less than half of it's current height I think. Would that be too much pruning? 
    Might be better to move it somewhere else or give it to someone else.
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