Arbequina Olive in KY/TN?

So, last night I’m looking at the Freedom Tree Farm Trees that just arrived at a local hardware store. They are potted trees and look good. Anyway, along with all the usual suspects, I find 2 “Arbequina Olive” trees that are about 4 foot tall and bushy and look healthy. Well, you know I’m a sucker for unusual “fruit” trees, and in my neck of the woods an Olive Tree MOST DEFINATELY qualifies as unusual!!!

An olive is one thing I never, ever even considered AT ALL, so I know less about them than anything I’ve ever tried to grow (and that is saying something. ha). The little tag says it is hardy to zone 7. My place on the KY/TN line is literally on the USDA zone line of 6b/7a, but I don’t know if that matters on an Olive. I would assume it isn’t hardy at all, so I was very surprised to see it listed as zone 7 (though I know that may well be wrong.

I also have absolutely no idea whatsoever what I’d do if I were to bring this thing into production. I can’ t fathom making oil and I don’t much like olives, but that is beside the point. It would be just the kind of “fruit” that would shock people when I told them I grew them in my orchard, so I’d sure like to try it.

What say you all? Anyone outside california ever grow this kind of Olive or know anything about doing so??? I really hope some people will jump in here and let me know if you think I have even a tiny chance of growing an olive here, or at least getting the tree to live. The idea of it is suddenly pretty exciting to me for some reason. So please tell me, does an inexperienced grower living in TN/KY have the slightest chance in H#ll of growing an Arbequina Olive? Thanks!


I am in 8b and thought about growing them. I read this and decided against it.


That’s a gross misinformation by the seller. Olives are hardy to 8b, maybe 8a with a favorable micro-climate. Basically, olive trees are killed by temps below 15 F. There was a discussion of olive tree hardiness on the forum, you can search for it.

Well, that idea lasted all of one day! ha. Thanks, both of you, for telling me now instead of me wasting $40 and a year or two of time. Great article, too. And I hate when sellers exaggerate hardiness like that. Plants are the one thing where a business can double (or more) its potential customer base simply by exagerating the zone potential, so they just do it. Shame on them.


Hi there,

Arbequina’s are a versatile type of tree that grows best outside with full sun/warm weather, but also can be grown indoors when the weather outside does not permit. They need lots of sun though so find a good spot if you are going to bring it inside.

Check out our grow guide here:

You can also purchase off our website and we will ship it directly to your door anywhere in the US… Arbequina Olive Tree for Sale | Buy Olive Trees Online | Perfect Plants

Let us know if you have any questions. We love growing and cultivating our olive trees here and believe they can be a great addition to any home.

-Perfect Plants

[quote thecityman

“I also have absolutely no idea whatsoever what I’d do if I were to bring this thing into production. I can’ t fathom making oil and I don’t much like olives, but that is beside the point.
So I’d sure like to try it.”

This is the true essence of " a real fruit explorer " !!!


I remember someone from Oregon wrote his Arbequina survived 5F.
Found it here, see comment #54

I found once a Spanish site where cold hardiness of different cultivars was evaluated and Arbequina was nothing special in that regards.
There is good info on that also here

No offense, but Olives are not going to taste like Olives on the humid East Coast. After seeing these things grow in the desserts of the middle east, and growing here in very arid CA, I can tell you those “cold hardy” olives will be nothing like what you’re expecting.

1 Like

so far all of my olives have survived
and cerignola

the cerignola did the worst, but my arbequina also took a severe hit
could it be that the rootstocks were not superior to the ones i bought at groworganic
(all other four)
who knows?

but we will know in spring the severity of cold damage and also which olives grow after suffering it

mountain donkey… are you in KY/TN? i really want to grow olives really bad. i just killed a potted one that i got at tractor supply… it was my bad in a bunch of different ways, and i think potted trees might not be for me, but… just curious about the weather and the clay soil combo and what peoples experiences have been. Where i live pretty reliably has a week of hard freeze every jan, and is otherwise in the high 30’s or 40’s all winter… and the summers are hot, definitely. Thanks!