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Hi from France,

friends of ours have an olive tree in their front garden, each year it has plenty of blossom on it but never any olives so I told them I would seek advice from 'The Forum'. Do they need a second tree to assist in the pollination process or could there be other problems. It is about 10 years old. Any help would be most welcome as they always come to me with their gardening questions and this one has me stumped.

Cheers for now,

Ken S.


  • Not an expert on olives but a quick google gave me this...

    When will my olive tree fruit? 

    That is a function of cultivar. 'Arbequina' and 'Koroneiki' begin fruiting at an early age (about 3 years). Other cultivars do not make fruit until they are five to twelve years old. Most olive cultivars will not produce fruit without a pollinator tree of a different cultivar. There are also non-fruiting cultivars of olive. Olives grown from seed may never produce fruit and, if they do, will not likely have the same characteristics as the parent tree.

    Hope it helps 

    Last edited: 13 June 2017 17:25:39

  • Thanks for your assistance, I think we'll try a second tree, providing they have a label somewhere with the details of the original cultivar, otherwise it will be pot-luck.

    Cheers, Ken S

  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,991

    Hi Ken,

    Whereabouts are you located in France? I hope you're in the South (le Midi). Can't stand the sight of all those ugly old olive trees uprooted from Spain and sold in Garden Centres all over France, esp. in Brittany where they do NOT belong.

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • Hi Papi Jo,

    Deux Sevre about an hour in from La Rochelle, unfortunately those  ''ugly old'' olive trees are finding their way into our towns and villages, obviously some twee person has decreed that they must be the IN THING sad lot.

  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,439

    Interesting comments about the big old olive trees in pots. I wonder how long they survive like this. Some of them are in pots barely wider than the trunk. Can't imagine they have many feeding roots. My local GC has them on display, costing over £500! 

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,991

    Hi Ken,

    I was born and lived for many years in la Vendée, the département next to les Deux-Sèvres. Olive trees will grow there but not so sure about producing edible fruit. And I still maintain that this plant is out of place in that part of the country. Well, young olive-trees are acceptable, but certainly not the ugly, old, overpriced trees, those should be banned, really.image

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 85,975

    I really wouldn't worry about getting fruit or not from an olive tree in my garden ... you cannot eat them fresh from the tree ... the processing of olives to make them fit to eat is quite complex and not really worth it for small amounts ... I'd rather leave it to the professional olive growers and processors. 

    If I grew an olive tree it would be for its looks only. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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