You may want to grow olive trees, but you do not know whether they can be the best companion or not in your garden. Well, here you are able to get the information about the ideal places in the US to grow olive trees.
Ideal Places to Grow Olive Trees in the U.S.
According to the Olive Oil Source site, here is the explanation about ideal places to grow olive trees in the U.S. A subtropical climate is needed by olive trees. And they can do best with mild winters and long, warm and dry summers. These plants are sensitive to a hard freezing environment. They can grow in climate zones 10 and 11. Some varieties of this plant are hardy enough for zone 9 or even 8. If they are planted in the temperatures below 22°F (-5°C), it will kill their small wood and branches.
If they are in freezing conditions lasting days or a hard freeze, below 15°F (-10°C), they will be killed or damaged. You have to avoid planting olive trees in situations which have a high risk of frost during bloom or freezing conditions which are likely before harvest.
Olive trees are not deciduous. However, they need a cold period to go into semi-dormancy. Let’s say that the winter month in your area has the average daily temperature below 54 degrees or less. If so, the olive trees will have slow growth and they can change gears for flowering in the spring.
Here is the table about the zone and its temperatures according to Olive Oil Source.
When you plant olive trees, you need to think of its soil and drainage. This olive tree prefers medium-textured, uncoated soils including sandy loam, loam, loamy loam, silty loam, and silty loam. These soils can give aeration for the growth of the root and they are permeable and have a high water holding capacity. Soils which are sandier do not have good nutrients or capacity for holding water. Clays which are heavier usually do not have enough aeration for the growth of the root and it will not drain well. For your information, olive trees are shallow rooted and they do not need very deep soils to produce well.
Soils which have an unstratified structure of four feet will be suitable for olive trees. Soils which are stratified, either cemented hardpan or varying soil textures in the described profile, can interfere with the movement of water and may develop saturated layers which can damage olive roots and should be ripped.
However, olive trees can tolerate soils of varying chemical quality. Trees can produce well on soils which have moderate acid (pH greater than 5) or moderate basic (pH less than 8.5) soils. You have to avoid basic or alkaline or sodic soils for growing olive trees because the soils have poor structure which can prevent water penetration and drainage so that it can create saturated soil conditions which can kill the roots of the olive trees.
Olive trees are able to grow on steep inclines or terraced. Even though access to mechanical harvesting, spraying and other orchard maintenance chores may be hard and more expensive. whether the terraced tree should be placed on the edge of the terrace or on the hillside, this is still a debate for some people. Inclines which are greater than 20 degrees are not suitable for most tractors and other vehicles. It is also important to note that inclined properties are not able to be assumed to have good drainage. You are able to dig a hole and fill it with water to do your own ‘perc’ test. By doing it, you are able to see whether the water drains or not.
Growing Olive Trees in Zone 6
As explained on Gardening Know How, olive trees need long warm summers of at least 80 F (27 C). Some resources state that a few varieties of olive are able to withstand temps down to 5 F. Let’s say that it returns. It will need several years for becoming a producing tree again if it is not damaged by the cold. Olive trees will be cold damaged at 22 degrees F even though temperature is 27 degrees F, it can damage the tips of the branch when there is frost. So, zone 6 is too cold for the most cold-hardy olive tree.
Well, even though there are no zone 6 olive cultivars, but if you still really want to try growing olive trees in this zone, you can try to grow the most cold-hardy olive trees such as Arbequina, Mission, Ascolana, and Sevillano. Use a container to grow olive trees in this zone so they can be moved indoors and protected in the early cold temperatures. If you want to create a greenhouse for growing olive trees, it can be good.
Growing Olive Trees in Zone 8
How about growing olive trees in zone 8? You can grow these trees in some parts of zone 8 as long as you choose olive trees which are healthy and hardy. Zone 8a is designated areas by the USDA hardiness zone if the average coldest winter temperature is 10 degrees F, as explained by gardening know how. Besides, zone 8b is also designated areas if the lowest temperature is 20 degrees F.
However, it is important to note that not every olive tree variety can survive in these areas. You are able to grow olives in these zones as long as you choose hardy olive trees and you need to be attentive to chill hours and zone 8 olive care.