Olive (Olea europaea)
Olive trees are striking evergreens that add shade and Mediterranean charm to the landscape. Many varieties, including Swan Hill, Majestic Beauty, and Wilsonii produce little or no pollen; eliminating allergy-inducing pollen.
These unique trees grow to 25-30 feet in height and width. They thrive in various landscape styles and can serve as shade trees or as an accent tree in sunny spots.
Early Life and Education
Olive (Olea europaea) trees are drought-tolerant, heat and wind tolerant trees that make great additions to Mediterranean Southwest garden styles, particularly when mixed in with evergreen shrubs in the foreground.
Fruitless olive trees like the Swan Hill, Majestic Beauty and Wilsonii varieties make excellent alternatives in areas where regular olive trees cannot be planted due to allergy-producing pollen. If fruit production is desired, they must be planted alongside trees from different cultivars for cross pollination purposes.
Due to allergy-causing pollen and the mess it creates, several cities in the Southwest desert have banned fruiting olive trees from being planted. Olea europaea New Wilsonii fruitless olive trees offer an attractive solution, featuring multi-trunk structures and gray/green foliage for an alternative solution.
Olive Wilsonii cultivars that reach medium landscape sizes with broad evergreen canopies are ideal for shading and screening structures in your yard. Hardy yet drought tolerant trees that thrive in full sun also tolerate extremes in temperature – from desert summer heat to short periods of frostiness!
Pollen-free olives don’t produce messy and allergenic fruit that stain concrete and asphalt surfaces, plus they grow faster than fruiting olives to reach 30 feet tall with a leafy canopy in 15 years.
Swan Hill olives resemble regular fruiting olive trees in appearance but never produce messy fruit; also, only 1% of pollen is released as other fruiting olives do each spring. Other popular fruitless varieties are Little Ollie and Majestic Beauty. Landscape architects may choose multi-trunk, low branched trees or single trunk standards depending on what effect is desired for their projects.
Olive trees make an invaluable addition to the landscape, providing shade trees or low branching screens that can be trained into shapes such as shade trees. Their evergreen variety is drought tolerant, firewise and highly disease resistant while producing virtually no pollen; making this an excellent option for allergy sufferers.
Olea europaea ‘Wilsonii’, originally native to Europe but flourishing well in California. This tree boasts an upright growth habit with dense crowning foliage. Linear gray-green foliage lines its stems sparsely for an authentically manicured appearance.
Texas Root Rot and other fungal diseases should be prevented with regular watering once established, which makes this an excellent choice for hot arid environments. Once planted in ideal conditions, this plant grows quickly while needing very little irrigation once established – ideal conditions exist when planting into good soil. Although frost- and drought-hardy, Texas Root Rot can also pose problems.
Olive Wilsonii trees are small evergreen trees with soft gray-green foliage and gnarled trunks that can reach 30 feet tall, making it a good choice for landscape design due to their appealing aesthetic and minimal maintenance needs. Furthermore, their drought tolerance and lack of thorns makes them the ideal option for California’s warm summers and dry winters.
These trees’ unique growth pattern makes them ideal for grafting and propagation, with relatively low canopy height and easy pruning in late winter or early spring to remove some of the growth that will produce flowers later on in the year. Although fruit production will still occur, but less flowers will bloom each season.
Swan Hill Olives make excellent screen or hedge plants and can even stand alone as single specimens. Their adaptation to heat, wind and poor soil makes them durable plants with long lifespans.