The Scottish climate is rather different from that of the Mediterranean, to put it mildly. Not only are temperatures significantly lower on average, Scotland experiences a whole lot more rainfall. Often, it can feel like you’re experiencing all four seasons in a single day!
If you live in Scotland but want to introduce a slice of the Mediterranean to your garden or corporate HQ, an olive tree might seem like the obvious choice. They make the perfect centrepiece for any outdoor space, after all. But will such a plant survive in Scotland at all, much less prosper? Let’s find out.
Olive trees and Scotland: Do they mix?
You’ll be pleased to hear that, yes, olive trees can live quite happily in the Scottish climate. Although they may seem a little out of their comfort zone there, olive trees are in fact quite hardy. They can survive temperatures as low as -15C, with only prolonged wind and sub-zero temperatures causing real issues.
There are a few things you can do to take care of your tree over winter, however.
- First off, make sure the tree is planted in a sunny spot. Olive trees love the sun – keeping one in the shade is a no-no if you want it to prosper.
- If you’re expecting prolonged periods of sub-zero temperatures (and high wind speeds), it’s a good idea to invest in a horticultural fleece. Once wrapped around the tree, the fleece will protect it from the worst of the frost and wind, keeping it a little happier. It will also prevent the bark from splitting, which can occur when the wind gets particularly strong. This mixed with a frost could damage your tree.
- Olive trees need plenty of drainage. So, if you’re expecting a lot of rain, double check that your tree’s soil isn’t sodden. If it remains soaked for too long, the roots could rot away.
Learn more about caring for olive trees