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Olive tree

Last year I bought a matching pair of container olive trees. One has unfortunately not survived so looking to buy a replacement it is not the same size. Will it be ok to cut/ prune the tree now so as to give it a it a similar shape and size please? Any and all advice gratefully received as I’m new to gardening 


  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,713
    edited June 2019
    Welcome to this site @deborahtallon.  I hope you can find this forum as helpful as I have over the past few years.
    I had two Olive trees, which we potted up.  One didn't survive for more than a year and the other is doing reasonably well although it has never produced edible olives - they have always been too small/hard - perhaps the pot isn't in the best place, but far too heavy to move now.
    At the moment the tree has Olives and new fresh leaves forming on it - so it wouldn't be a good time to prune the tree now until the olives have finished growing and the leaves have turned from fresh new green to a more mature colour - in other words the tree is in growth mode now so leave it alone, just give it plenty of water and feed from time to time.  I would imagine that your tree would be in the same state as mine, so wait until late September or early October to do any pruning.  Don't prune when there is cold or frost.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,305
    You confused me with the mention of olives being too hard @Guernsey Donkey2 they never get softer when they ripen. I should know...we had a calamata tree in our garden in Greece. The brining over a number of weeks makes them edible. Quite a faff it is too to get rid of all the bitterness...but my mum loved doing it every other year when it was covered in fruit. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • Thank you for your advice GuernseyDonkey2 but still unsure wether to buy the larger replacement I mentioned? Are you advising hanging on to the half dead one as it may revive itself?
  • If one is completely dead with absolutely no new green growth on it whatsoever, then by all means buy a new tree @deborahtallon. However my advice still stands not to prune an Olive tree now, but to wait until late summer/autumn to make any changes to the shape of your new tree.
    @amancalledgeorge our Olives have been few and far between and we have never wanted to soak them in brine as neither myself or my OH like the fruits.  The only reason we have this Olive tree is that we were given a pair, one of which died fairly quickly and the other has been in our garden for 5 or 6 years now.
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