Advice/FAQ's

Our Xylella Statement

Xylella is a bacterium which restricts the flow of water and nutrients in specific plants (olive trees being one of them). This can unfortunately lead to the eventual death of the infected plant. Xylella is transmitted from tree to tree by insects, mostly Spittle bugs (Froghoppers) which live in nearby vegetation.

Some experts are of the opinion that far from being a recent disease, Xyella has been around for centuries and manifestations have been attributed to other factors. However, an outbreak occurred in Southern Italy in 2013 and made international headlines due to the Italian government’s slow reaction. The infected zone in Puglia has since been quarantined so no trees can be transported from that region. DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs) also ensures that there are a set of guidelines in place to stop plants from the area entering the UK.

DEFRA only allow imported olive trees from nurseries that carry a plant passport. To be issued a plant passport the site needs to have regular inspections which enable them to be classed as a disease free zone.

The Olive Grove only source trees from nurseries (with all correct passports) from main land Spain where to this day there has only been one olive tree found with the disease out of hundreds of millions.

The Spittle bug (Froghopper) is not suited to survive the UK winter and needs vegetation to live. All the Spanish nurseries we source our stock from are cleared of grass and weeds leaving the olive trees growing in their pots on gravel. In addition to this, over a year ago, the Olive Grove was the first importer of trees into the UK to have its own independent Xylella checks carried out in conjunction with the Spanish ministry.

We ONLY test plants whilst they are still in Spain.

These measures ensure we only import healthy disease free specimens and keep us in front in the fight to prevent the spread of this isolated disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you grow olive trees in the UK?
The answer is yes! Olive trees are incredibly adaptable and can cope well with intense sunlight, frost, drought and even fire. Being native to the Mediterranean, conditions can go from one extreme to the other. The oldest tree in Spain is 3,500 years old, so they can cope in these conditions. You do however have to be careful with extreme cold. If winters in your area often drop to -15°C for prolonged periods then you may want to avoid growing Olive Trees, however if you wrap or cover your Olive Tree in winter it will be fine in those conditions.
Can you grow Olive Trees indoors?
Olive trees can be grown indoors in the correct conditions. To ensure the olive tree remains at its healthiest we would recommend providing it we subsiqent natural sunlight and plenty of air flow.
How do I prune my Olive Tree?
When to do: Late spring or early summer
As olive trees grow slowly, you won’t need to prune them all that regularly.
During the first couple of years of your olive tree’s life you won’t need to prune, as the tree becomes more established, forming foliage on its own. Any pruning should be conducted after the last frost has passed, in late spring or early summer. This allows your tree to heal, so as not to leave ‘wounds’ open in the colder months which can be particularly damaging.
You should remove any dead, diseased or dying branches as these will affect how healthy your tree is. Branches which are obscuring the shape of your olive tree should also be pruned, with your aim to allow light to reach the centre of the tree where possible, as branches which rub together can affect growth.
How much do I water & Feed my Olive Tree?
Although drought tolerant, the restriction of roots growing in a container means olive trees must be watered on a regular basis. Watering will need to start as soon as spring approaches and will need to be increased throughout late spring and summer as the warmer weather arrives. Depending on the size of your olive, should atleast get 2 to 4 litres 3-4 times a week.
Do not let your Olive dry out for too long a period. An annual springtime feed top-dressing with a slow release fertiliser. Keep the compost surface weed-free to cut out competition for water and nutrients. The addition of gravel or chip bark on the top of the pot will also help to retain moisture in the pot and stop the wind from drying it out.
Do I plant the tree in a pot or in the ground?
You can plant an olive tree in either the ground or a pot, its down to personal prefrance. However ther are some important things to consider when making your desition.

Growing Olive Trees in containers is perfectly fine. In fact, in some case it may be better for the tree to be planted in a container. This is because Olive Trees need to have good drainage, which is easily achieved in a container. When you plant your Olive, make sure the pot is quite big as your tree will grow a lot over the years, the last thing you want is to re-pot an olive tree you can’t move. Next, make sure you add some gravel (broken up pot will do) to the bottom of the pot to allow water to seep out. You will however need to water your olive tree reguaraly, and occasionally in winter.

You can indeed plant your Olive Tree in the ground however, it needs good drainage. It will also need a lot of room to grow as the trunk will expand a lot over the years. You can always dig up you tree and re-locate it however, it is best to leave your Olive Tree where it is. When you plant your Olive, dig a very large hole, at least 50% larger than you need. Then refill with a couple of inches of gravel or grit to add drainage. Then refill around you tree with a loam based compost.
What type of soil?
When it comes to soil requirements, Olive trees will tolerate either acid or alkaline conditions but good drainage is extremely important. In fact, good drainage is the most import thing to consider when growing olive trees either in containers or in the ground!
We recommend a peat based compost as a general rule, however if the plant is top heavy we suggest using a loam based compost such as John Innes No 3 and the addition of about 20% grit will help a lot with drainage. This will also keep the pot more stable than using peat based compost which is less dense.
When potting up, the roots can be gently teased free of soil to help them establish but be careful not to damage them as this can prevent flowering and fruiting later.

Delivery

Where can you deliver too?
We can deliver to anywhere in mainland UK for free but can deliver to N. Ireland, Ireland and UK Islands at an addtional charge. The delivery company we use are based throughout europe meaning we can ship olive trees almost anywhere in europe, at addtional charges.
How do you deliver for free?
Our Olive trees that offer free delivery are delivered via a european wide pallet delivery service. Your tree will arrive wrapped and strapped to a standard pallet, our free delivery service does require a 4 - 5 day delivery window and a delivery date can be chosen when in the checkout.
Do you offer Next day delivery?
Yes, we can offer next day delivery on all of our free delivery products and an addtional charge of £15. Please note if the tree is purchased after 10am it will not be delivered the following day.
How do you deliver larger olive trees?
All of our olive trees that do not offer free delivery can be personally delivered by us at an addtional charge that can be quoted for you over the phone. Please note the qouted price will be subject to the information regarding access is correct and accurate.
How do you deliver your anceint olive trees?
Our anceint olive trees usually weigh between 1 - 7 tonnes, when this is the case we can hire a hiab and/or crane company and have the tree unloaded at your property. This will come at an additional charge that can be quoted over the phone.

Olive Tree Care

Watering
When to do: Occasionally
Olive trees are relatively low maintenance and are extremely drought tolerant, however to keep an olive looking healthy you need to water little an often.
A well-hydrated tree is more likely to flourish, so if dry spells do occur, it’s recommended that you give your tree a drink.
If your tree is kept in a pot, then watering will need to take place more often, as the roots are unable to search for water like they would if they were planted in the ground.
You should also regularly water your tree during the first year of it being planted, as this will help the tree to become more established in its new home.
Pruning
When to do: Late spring or early summer
As olive trees grow slowly, you won’t need to prune them all that regularly.
During the first couple of years of your olive tree’s life you won’t need to prune, as the tree becomes more established, forming foliage on its own. Any pruning should be conducted after the last frost has passed, in late spring or early summer. This allows your tree to heal, so as not to leave ‘wounds’ open in the colder months which can be particularly damaging.
You should remove any dead, diseased or dying branches as these will affect how healthy your tree is. Branches which are obscuring the shape of your olive tree should also be pruned, with your aim to allow light to reach the centre of the tree where possible, as branches which rub together can affect growth.
It’s also recommended that you cut back shoots which grow from the base of the trunk upwards, as these can affect how much energy the tree puts into growing. Removing these encourages the tree to place its focus on growing the crown of the plant.
If you whish the tree to fruit do not prune the tree as olives will grow on the previous years growth.
Fertilisation
When to do: Spring
While fertiliser isn’t essential, you are likely to see increased benefits if you undertake a nutrition regime – how often you do, is up to you, however it’s recommended that you conduct this each spring. If you plan on producing fruit from your tree, then a liquid fertiliser should be used as this will keep the soil moist – something which is essential for olive production.
Using an organic fertiliser will contain components such as manure and compost, which take a longer to decompose – providing your olive tree with benefits over a sustained period of time. Using a natural fertiliser will give your olive tree nutrients which it needs to survive, such as copper, zinc, calcium, magnesium and managenese. When using organic fertiliser, you should carry this out every other year to achieve maximum benefits.
Fertiliser should be applied to the ground but not in a position too close to the trunk. Once you have applied your fertiliser, you should water thoroughly to aid absorption of the nutrients. Avoid fertilising during winter months, as this is when your tree does the least growing so you won’t see any benefits.
Using a chemical solution, will address any immediate issues that your olive tree is facing, while an organic fertiliser will provide longer term benefits for overall tree health.
Winter Advice
When to do: If temperatures are particularly low
While olive trees are known for being hardy, if temperatures drop below -10°C for an extended period of time the tree could become damaged.
All plants should be placed in a sheltered spot, so that if freezing winds do occur, your plant is relatively sheltered from these elements. You could also add layers of horticultural fleece to protect your tree.
Over the winter months watering is not essentail as the tree is dorment, once the warm weather returns at the start of spring up the watering to encourage the tree to start growing.
Pests and Diseases
Keeping Olive Trees is straight forward most of the time, however, like most plants they can be affected by pests and diseases. While for the most part your olive tree will be fine growing in the UK, Olive Tree Pests and Diseases can damage even the strongest Olive Trees. Here are our tips for preventing and treating Olive Tree Pests and Diseases.
Key Tips:
  1. Keep your Olive Tree well fed
  2. Keep the soil moist
  3. Prune your olive tree
  4. Give it some sunshine
  5. Act quickly
  6. Remove diseased fruit
For more information follow the link bellow.