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Olive Tree - Should I remove the undeveloped olives?

Hi - hoping I can get some assistance with my olive trees which are planted in pots on our balcony in London.

The trees flowered in early summer and we now (early November) have very small (tiny! - <1mm) olives. It's the second winter we've had the trees - last year we bought them around August and the trees had full grown olives. We get sun until around 2pm.

For this year - should I be removing the undeveloped olives? I'm worried I might have left this too late with the damp / cold.

For next year - we don't particularly want to grown olives and didn't particularly want the flowers / found them hassle to brush up. Should we remove them when they first develop?

Thanks in advance if anyone is able to assist.


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126
    I think it's up to you really if you want to leave them or not.
    I've had one in a pot for so many years and I just leave it to do its own thing.
    Sometimes I get tiny ones like you have, sometimes a get a few decent sized ones and by early January they're ready 🤣 

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Thanks Pete - I didn't expect that they might still grow!

    To be honest, I'm not that fussed in the olives so would prefer to remove the clusters but I'm worried about the damp / frost as I heard that can be an issue - but is that just in relation to cutting back the larger branches?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126
    I've found mine to be a really tough plant.
    I've had it around 20 yrs. 
    I often forget to water it for ages, I feed it occasionally - seaweed extract is very good for them every few weeks during the growing season. Like all plants, rainwater is best if you have access to it.
    In winter it gets no special care and I prune it any time it gets a bit too tall and hits the awning on the patio.
    Mine doesn't seem fussed by damp in any way and though in a pot it came through the beast-from-the-east and the mini bfte last winter unscathed.
    I recall being advised to do any significant pruning around June time.
    If you want to snip off the little bunches of undeveloped olives - go for it.

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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