28 Apr

Olive trees in Florida? You bet

Text/photos by Kathy Edenhofer (Master gardener),

If you are looking for a unique item for your landscape, here is something that might peak your interest. Tucked away in Citra is a little jewel of a tree farm owned and operated by Tony and Shirley Valenza. At the Olive Branch Tree Farm they grow and sell olive trees, olives and olive oil. The Farm currently has more than 3,000 trees in stock.

The Valenza family has been growing olive trees in California for more than 80 years and decided to see if any of the varieties would survive and produce olives in the Central Florida area. They have test grown many varieties in the last five years and found at least three that do well in our area. They are Arbequina, Mission and Manzanillo. All three are self-pollinating, cold hardy to at least 12 degrees, and are pest and disease resistant.

*Arbequina – a smaller Spanish olive introduced to the United States in the mid 1990’s. This variety is the earliest of the three to produce fruit, some within three years. The olives grow in heavy clusters and have a high oil content. The trees can reach 25 to 35 feet at maturity, but can be trained and kept lower for easier harvesting.

*Mission – a variety introduced to the United States by way of Mexico in 1769 is the most cold resistant. It has been known to survive temperatures as low as 8 degrees. Its fruit is larger than the Arbequina and is born singly or in clusters and also has a high oil content. Trees can reach 40 to 50 feet at maturity.

*Manzanilla – another Spanish variety introduced to the United States in 1875 with fruit larger than the Arbequina which are born singly. The trees have a low-spreading growth habit reaching 15 to 30 feet at maturity.

These three varieties of olive trees will grow anywhere that citrus trees thrive. They are fertilized much the same as citrus, like well-drained soil and are easy to care for.

Once olive trees become established they require minimal care and make a lovely landscape tree. They can also be planted in a large container for the lanai or patio. Black olives are just ripened green olives so they can be harvested at any stage of ripening. Birds and animals don’t seem to bother the fruit.

Since you would have to be a pretty hearty soul to eat an olive directly from the tree, the Valenza’s will provide brining and marinating tips to help you enjoy your harvest.

The Valenzas welcome all curious visitors with open arms and would love to share their experiences and expertise with you. They give individual and group tours and also offer taste tests of the olives and olive oils. The groves are at 16650 N.E. 47th Court in Citra. You can call 595-4906 for an appointment or visit their Web site at www.olivebranchtreefarm.com

[Source] Click here

21 Responses to “Olive trees in Florida? You bet”

  1. Clifford Eychner Says:

    I live in the Tampa Bay area (Largo). Where is your nursery located, and what is the pricing on your seedlings. Love to grow exotic type plants. Is Citra near Orlando?

  2. Olives101 Says:

    Hi Clifford,

    Here are some others info about Olive Branch Tree Farm
    http://www.floridaolivetrees.com/1869182.html

  3. Jay Shapiro Says:

    Royal Crest can provide the Florida Olive Trees!!!

  4. Olives101 Says:

    Thanks Jay,

    Royal Crest Website is :
    http://www.royalcrestnurseries.net/index.html

  5. Bafghizadeh.M Says:

    Hi Dear.
    I m study about “Impact of climate on Olive”, So I couldnt find a paper or information about my topic.
    And also i m looking for information about climate requirement of olive tree in each stage of growing season.I request you kindly if you know or have some information about it, please help me.
    yours fathfully.

  6. Bafghizadeh.M Says:

    Hi
    Could you tell me where i can fine information about rate of production of olive in all around the world and the Main countries of production olive.
    thanks.

  7. Olives101 Says:

    Hi,

    you can try our forum:
    http://www.olives101.com/forum

  8. sharon Says:

    how do I plant your olive trees in containers? will they thrive and fruit properly?

  9. Olives101 Says:

    Hi Sharon,

    You can contact them directly by clicking here :
    http://www.olivebranchtreefarm.com

  10. Melodie Says:

    I live in central Mississippi — is it possible to grow olive trees here and what types would be best? Also, where would you get the pimento to stuff in green olives?

  11. Olives101 Says:

    Hi Melodie,

    I think that you can grow Olives in Central Mississipi, look here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=grow+olives+in+central+Mississippi

  12. Heidi Says:

    Hi, I live in Levy Co. and it’s been known to hard freeze. Will olives make it here? I’d sure live to have some info. Thanks! Heidi

  13. Jean Says:

    Heidi et al,
    You may want to check out our web site at http://www.olivetreegrowers.com
    We have twenty years experience growing fruiting olive trees in Florida.

  14. Olives101 Says:

    Thank you Jean for the upddate ;)

  15. Mark Green Says:

    I would like to buy a few trees probably one on each
    Arbequina, Mission and Manzanilla. I live in Clearwater Fl and want to know how much each tree cost
    can they be delivered and how long does it take for them to provide fruit?

    thanks

    Mark

  16. Olives101 Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Contact these 2 companies for more information:

    http://www.olivebranchtreefarm.com

    http://www.olivetreegrowers.com

  17. Kathy Says:

    Does anyone know if OliveBranch tree farm is still there? No answer at that phone number listed. Would like to find a farm in central Florida to visit and buy trees.

  18. Olives101 Says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Did you read the previous comment? there is some links that could help you.

  19. neeraj Says:

    Dear sir,
    we are from india, like to import olive tree , its possible ?

  20. Ad de Blaeij Says:

    I am working in Haiti, both on sea level (rainfall 8-12 inch/year) and in the mountains (rainfall 30 – 40 inch/year) with a dry season of about 4 months. Is it possible to grow olives here? We are looking for new crops to help peasant families increase income.

  21. Doug Morrison Says:

    we have 10 gal Arbequina olive trees for sale. They are 5-6 feet tall, single trunk at 125.00 ea.
    We are at 1160 State Rd. 17, Babson Park, FL 33827.
    7 miles south of Lake Wales. Ph 863-638-1017

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