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Arbequina Olive Tree Care

Arbequina Olive Trees (Olea Europaea "Arbequina") known as the tree of peace originated from the Mediterranean.
Arbequina trees are very adaptable and can be grown in pots and planted in many areas of the United States. Olive trees have gorgeous gray-green foliage.
The features characteristics of the olive, are its drought-tolerance, heat-tolerance, and pest-resistance, which adds to its peculiarity. 
Any home gardener can have olive trees growing in decorative pots or on an apartment balcony, even with limited space. 
Arbequina olives are self-fruiting trees that have an enchanting gnarly appearance. The tree’s beauty has been extolled for thousands of years.
The twisted limbs along with the crooked weeping branches fill with fruit, making up the tree’s main feature and in the spring produces excellent elegant white flowers that develop into green fruit, which will gradually ripen into a deep purple to dark brown. The tree produces both male and female flowers on the same tree and is wind-pollinated. 
The Arbequina oil is aromatic and fruity. Arbequina fruit and oil have a splendid nutty, buttery and intensity. An aftertaste of fruit and pepper makes the olive one of the core ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine. Arbequina Olives are rich in antioxidants and have a high oil content,  which makes for a great table olive.

Planting Zones
In colder zones or during freezing weather, take the trees indoors when temperatures at night are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
These tips can help you on the way to successfully grow olive trees in containers.
For directions on planting in zones 9-11 only: https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/growing-citrus-ground
Our Arbequina Olives can be planted in USDA growing zones 9-11 only.
Trees that are planted in the ground that experience freezing temperatures above Zone 8 need protection in unusually inclement weather. Cloth covers can protect trees from frigid winter temperatures.
Planting in the wrong hardiness zone will void the warranty.
Planting zones: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

Planting In The Ground
1. Do not plant a new tree in a place where an old tree has died. The soil may be contaminated and create problems for your new tree. 
Mature Arbequina trees can grow to a height of 15-20 feet tall.
2. The site should be chosen in a sunny locale, in a well-draining area. Olive trees prefer deep loamy soils, the preferred soil pH for olives is between 6.5 and 7.5.
3. Place the potted tree near the chosen site for 2 weeks and allow the tree to acclimate
to the area before you plant it in the ground.
4. Dig a hole in the ground, double the width of the root-ball, if the tree came planted in a pot, double the size of the pot. Fill the hole with water and allow it to drain for 24 hours.
5. Fill the hole with water again. If water has drained from the hole within an hour this area has good drainage and the tree can be planted. 
6. If the area has terrible drainage, choose another area.
7. Add a mixture of well-draining soil into the hole and remove the tree from the pot. Avoid using potting soil with fertilizers.
8. Place the tree in the hole. DO NOT allow the tree to drop below the existing grade of the landscape.
The soil line of the tree should be above the existing soil grade approximately 1-2 inches above the existing grade.
9. Do not bury the root-crown with soil or mulch. A photo of the root crown can be found
here: https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/pest-disease
10. Keep other plants away from the tree by creating a 5-foot circumference around the trunk of the tree. Weeds allowed to grow around the tree's base compete for water and
nutrients, so pull them up as they emerge.
11. Olive fruit can stain concrete pavement, so be mindful of where you plant the tree.

Potted Olive- Arbequina
Olive trees are best grown in loamy soils in a well-draining pot.
Do not allow trees to sit in standing water. We recommend using a moisture meter to avoid over-watering.
Arbequina is semi-deciduous, meaning they can experience some leaf drop in the winter indoors. It is best to place them near a sunny window in a cool room. 
The tree needs full sun at least 6 hours daily, or it will drop foliage.

Keep Arbequinas trees away from a heat vent!
Do not re-pot until you have had the tree at least 2 weeks, the tree needs time to adjust
Never plant a tree in a container more extensive than a 10-gallon pot. Always water according to pot size with a moisture meter. Drilling additional holes in the pot is an easy way to improve drainage.
When repotting DO NOT transplant using stones in the bottom of the pot or use stones on top as a decoration. This will cause a drainage issue and lock moisture into the pot which will cause root rot.

Select the right sized pot with adequate drainage holes. If the pot has no holes on the side or bottom, it is not the correct pot for planting.
Olive trees can withstand drought periods. 

Deep Watering Method For Potted Trees
Trees will die if they don't have the necessary requirements, incorrect watering is the most common cause of issues and tree death. 
1. Check the tree with a moisture meter before watering it. 
2. Bury the prong deep into the pot.
3. Only water when the meter reads 4 (for a meter with a range from 1-10)
4. All trees require deep watering. Deep watering is drenching the soil until water pours from the holes at the bottom of the pot. 
5. Watering with a few cups is not acceptable, this will cause deep roots to die. Never be stingy with the water when the tree needs water.
6. Once the tree has been watered properly, recheck the soil and make sure the meter reads (9 or 10). 
7. In the winter you will water about twice a month. Always check the tree with a moisture meter weekly, because this can vary.
8. The meter should never be left in the pot when not in use.
9. Never water with cold water in the winter.
10. Never water the tree with water from a water softener.
A space between the bottom of the pot and the tray that catches the water is required, never allow the pot to sit in standing water.

Sunshine- Lighting
Provide eight or more hours of direct sunlight per day. 
If less than six hours of natural full direct sun is provided, supplement with grow-lights. 
Usually, an unobstructed south or southwest facing window is ideal. Suggestions on lighting can be found here:  https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-blog/2015/10/05/winter-recommendations-for-inside-citrus/

Temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit will inhibit fruiting. 
Indoor trees will need to be put outside late winter/ early spring. Watch the temperatures at night and place the tree outside when temperatures are about 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Protect the tree from freezing temperatures using freeze-cloths or place it in a cold garage overnight. The Olive needs at least a month of cold-time.

Prune minimally, limiting pruning to tasks like removing suckers and water sprouts.
Olives can withstand pruning for ornamental use. Prune dead and damaged branches and stems.

Olive trees benefit from spring fertilization with a slow-release, balanced fertilizer. In early spring (indoor Olives trees mid-February, I remember to do it on Valentines Day ), before new leaves appear, apply a granular, general-purpose 5-5-5 fertilizer
DO NOT over fertilize the Olive. High amounts of nitrogen will kill the olive tree making the soil far too acidic.
Yellowing leaves indicate lack of fertilizer, overwatering, or a pest infestation.

Use mulch for ground planted trees only. Never use mulch for a potted tree, mulch can impede drying and cause root rot.
Maintain a 3-4 inch layer of mulch around the olive tree to retain soil moisture and improve soil quality
Apply the mulch in the spring and fall under the canopy of the tree.
Avoid piling mulch against the trunk of the tree.
The tree trunk needs air circulation, without circulation, the truck could rot away from the root ball so avoid piling soil and mulch close to the root crown and tree truck.

Root Crown
Never plant anything in the pot with the tree. An assortment of decorative plants look attractive in the pot with the tree, but other plants will rob the tree of moisture and nutrients.
Do not place decorative rocks on top of the soil after planting. This can cause serious problems over time due to the pot not drying out properly which causes root rot.
Do not bury the root-crown with soil or mulch. A photo of the root crown can be found here: https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/pest-disease

Check young olive trees for scale insects. These insects appear as hard, immobile lumps 1/8 to 1/4 inches in diameter, on the trunk and branches.
If your Olive tree has a pest,  follow these directions: https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-blog/2015/08/21/bath-time-for-your-citrus-tree/

The olive was first cultivated in ancient Israel.
Olive oil has been one of the most important sources of income for many civilizations throughout history in the Mediterranean.
The olive is one of the most referred to trees in the Bible.
The Al Badawi olive tree in Bethlehem is likely the oldest living olive tree in the world.
Researchers claim the tree is between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. Archaeologists discovered that ancient people were producing olive oil in the area nearly 8,000 years ago.
Olive oil from broken pottery contained residue of ancient olive oil near Galilee, dating to 5800 BC. Which would be the earliest known case of olive oil production in the Mediterranean basin. Olive trees have witnessed the rise and fall of empires and kingdoms through the ages, attesting to the olive’s longevity. Thriving in the worst soils, blistering brutal heat, in rocky terrain and surviving drought conditions century after century.

The precious cargo of olive oil eventually made its way to Cyprus, Crete, France, and Spain. During Roman times the Romans accepted olive oil as tax and this became a highly successful commodity in antiquity. An olive tree called Farga d'Arió in Catalonia, Spain has been estimated to date back to 314 AD when Constantine was emperor. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil today, which began cultivating olives about 2,000 years ago. Arbequina Olive is named for Arbeca Spain.

Please contact us at support@lemoncitrustree.com or call if you need assistance with your Arbequina Olive tree.


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