Olives

Oldest species of cultivated tree

Prune back by about a third opening up and allowing wind to assist in pollination

Fruit is borne on previous summer growth.

Grows to 10 metres

Pests and diseases – brown olive scale, olive lace bug, peacock spot, phytophtora

Leaves of olives known for antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic qualities.  Can be used to make a powerful herbal tea

Add 6 leaves, broken up to a cup of boiling water.  Cover and leave for 5 minutes

Olive oil high in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E

Rich in monounsaturated fats that lower blood cholesterol.

Orifinated in Aisa Minor about 6000 years ago

Italy, Spain and Greece – largest commercial growers

On average a 5  to 10 year old tree could produce 25kg of fruit.  5kg of fruit is required to make a litre of olive oil

Need a free draining soil.  They do well in sandy shingle or stoney soil

Can withstand dry conditions but like a good soak.

Airflow also important

hardy to -2 degrees C

Prune to allow good air movement and to make sure the trunk is free of shoots

Can be grown in pots

Some varieties are self fertile

Some produce more oile than others while some are better as table olives

Variety
Oil
Table