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Old Olive Trees in Pots

Discussion in 'Trees' started by Redwing, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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    Has anyone bought an old olive tree in a pot? They now seem to be so popular and a recent trend. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand they are very sculptural and interesting to my eye.....but will they survive in these conditions in the UK? I have seen them for sale at upwards of £500 (or even several thousand pounds). Sometimes the pot they are in is barely larger than the trunk size. Some must be hundreds of years old. Do they have enough roots to continue to survive in a large pot? What about watering? They must have been dug up from somewhere in Spain or Italy or elsewhere in the Mediterranean olive regions. What do people think?
     
  2. pamsdish

    pamsdish Total Gardener

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    I have an olive in a pot outside, I brought it home in my case from Cyprus, about 7 years old now, about 3or4ft tall, they will take cold weather, it gets watered with the other pots, olive roots transplant well and live for 100s of years, the bonsai type prices reflect the time invested in them
     
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    • Zigs

      Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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      I'm glad you mentioned that Redwing, reminded me to bring Boris the olive tree down to the plot and give him a feed :doh:

      He'm nearly 30 now :old:DSCI0001 (1).JPG
       
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      • Zigs

        Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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        DSCI0008 (1).JPG He'm got flower buds :)

        Only ever had 2 tiny olives on him, should I put him in the greenhouse?
         
      • HarryS

        HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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        I have a standard olive tree in a container on the patio for about 4 years . It takes the winter no problems , although we have not had a really cold one for a few years. In the village there is a "100 year old olive tree" , really nice built into a seating area. Similar to the one in the photo.
        For a standard olive tree you can pay £20 to £50 , for the old olive trees you pay from £500 up to telephone numbers !

        Google photo
        e6c2c803285eca685564ce7ac7925aad.jpg
         
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        • Redwing

          Redwing Wild Gardener

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          The picture that @HarryS posted is what my question in my opening post referred to. Do these big old trees survive in these conditions? Increasingly I see them for sale in the UK. Do they survive with their roots severely pruned and curtailed like this?

          Nice to see the general discussion about olives though. Are they going to be increasingly common here with climate change and global warming occurring? I have two but both are young. One, the taller one, stays outside in winter but I insulate the pot it's growing in. The other is small enough to spend the winter in my coldframe.

          In answer to @Zigs question: if you can put it in a cold greenhouse for the winter, I would and then bring it out in spring. They don't want heat though. They, apparently, need two months of coldish weather.
           
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          • Zigs

            Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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            Good theme for a thread Redwing :thumbsup:

            Got this when I was in Palestine :old:

            Real pressed Olive leaf off a tree that was alive when Jesus was :thud:

            DSCI0001 (3).JPG

            DSCI0002 (2).JPG
             
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            • Redwing

              Redwing Wild Gardener

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              Thanks, I knew some were 1000 years old......but 2000?:scratch:
               
            • Zigs

              Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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              That's what they reckoned :hate-shocked: They were propper gnarled, very wide trunks and covered in lizzards :)

              Not got any pics as Dad only took slide photos :sad:
               
            • Victoria

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              • Zigs

                Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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                Cor, he's a beauty Vicky :)
                 
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                • Victoria

                  Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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                  Hoover Van Dyson (lovingly called Boy) says obrigadinho @Zigs. Oh ... you meant the olive tree ... :heehee:


                  @Redwing You see large potted olive trees everywhere here. Our local called The Olive Branch recently put a large one in two stacked truck tyres on a tarmac parking lot. They are trees very tolerant of neglect. We have one next to our kitchen patio in the orange grove and it has never been tended to in the 20 years we have owned our cottage except for t'other half cutting it away from our a/c unit. Sadly they are the horrible black bitter olives unlike the fat juicy green ones behind our cottage.
                   
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                  • Zigs

                    Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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                  • Redwing

                    Redwing Wild Gardener

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                    Wow @Zigs ! You have been doing research. Must have been planted just after Minoan times. Amazing!
                     
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                    • Redwing

                      Redwing Wild Gardener

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                      That certainly does sound like neglect!
                       
                    • Zigs

                      Zigs Naughty Ginger Admin Staff Member

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                      The ones in the garden of Gethsemane have been dated to around a 1000 years, but that doesn't mean they weren't cut down then to regenerate them, so they may well be older :spinning:

                      Gethsemane means Oil Press in Amaraic, the language Jesus would have spoken.
                       
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                      • GardeningFin

                        GardeningFin Apprentice Gardener

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                        I've had this olive for 5 years growing in a pot outside. Generally been happy. It has has some yellowing leaves, but I think it is wind damage.

                        [​IMG]

                        [​IMG]

                        Some of the branches have become a bit straggly though - I need to train it a bit. This cost me £20 and is a bit skinny. Cannot afford the £500 ones, oh well, may have to wait a few centuries for it to thicken up :loll:
                         
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                        • pete

                          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                          I've seen these old olive trees for sale, in pots, at stupid prices.
                          Along with Pomegranate and a carob trees.

                          I'm guessing similar to the treeferns we get from Tasmania, they are plants that are being grubbed out to make room for people.

                          I tend to think the olives stand a chance, also the pomegranates, but my experience of Carob is that it is not very hardy and will only survive in a pretty sheltered position.
                           
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                          • Victoria

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                            To correct myself, I believe they are two huge tractor tyres. Will have t'other half take a pic next time we are there.
                             
                          • Fat Controller

                            Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                            They were selling 60 year old ones today in Costco for £400!
                             

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