Choosing the Best Olive Tree: The Ultimate Guide

Olive trees are beautiful and bring a taste of the Mediterranean to gardens across the UK. You may wonder whether they can survive the milder, wetter climate. But olive trees are hardy. Just don’t let the soil get too wet and let them soak up plenty of sunshine, and they should prosper.

They make a beautiful, ornamental plant for your garden and outdoor spaces. But how do you know which one to choose? There are plenty of varieties available, after all. In this guide, we’re exploring the different varieties and what makes an olive tree the best fit for your environment.

Types of Olive Trees

First things first, let’s delve into the varieties. There are hundreds of varieties, with the majority being native to Europe. Greece, Spain and Italy are almost synonymous with the plant. Discover some of the popular varieties below.


The Olea europaea ‘Picual’ tree is known for its high and consistent olive yields, making it a favourite oil cultivar in Spain. It is an early producer with a high oil content (23-28%) and matures early, typically in November-December.

This tree is self-fertile, hardy, evergreen, and adaptable to diverse environmental conditions, with moderate cold tolerance. It has small, green, leathery leaves with silvery undersides and is well-suited for regenerative pruning.

The Picual olive tree is also known for its ability to thrive in various soil types and coastal environments, making it suitable for mass planting, specimen and garden purposes.


The Hornachuelos olive tree is known for its quirky yet beautiful shape. It is a multi-stem tree that adds character to any outdoor space. It’s a perennial tree that can reach eight metres in height. This tree is part of the unique flora and fauna of the Sierra de Hornachuelos Nature Reserve in Spain.


The “Chelsea Olive Tree” refers to a variety that is often used for ornamental purposes in gardens. It is known for its evergreen nature, silvery green foliage, and ability to thrive in containers. It’s typically used to add height or create a focal point in outdoor spaces. It’s a type of Olea europaea, a Mediterranean and ancient evergreen tree.

Able to withstand -15°C, this tree is suitable for various climates, including the northernmost parts of Scotland.


The Hojiblanca olive tree is an evergreen ornamental tree with a large crown of small, dark green leathery leaves with silvery undersides. It is the third-largest olive variety cultivated in Spain, with more than 200,000 hectares.

The name “Hojiblanca” is due to the colour of its leaves, which have a slight tint of white at the tip.

This olive tree is highly appreciated for its good flesh, high hardiness, resistance to drought, and adaptability to chalky soils. It is used for the production of black olives and olive oil, with the oil being highly valued for its flavour, pleasant aroma, and slightly sweet and spicy taste.

It is mainly grown in the Spanish provinces of southern Cordoba and northern Málaga.

Styles of Olive Tree

As well as varieties, you also have styles that correspond to the shape of the foliage or the distinctive appearance of the tree trunk. These include, but are not limited to:

Once you’ve selected your tree, you just need to find the right location, fertiliser, and pot (if necessary). You’ll also want to familiarise yourself with how to look after your tree. The team at Olive Grove is more than happy to advise. Browse our stunning collection of olive trees online now.

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