We have an olive tree a few years old in a large container. It’s been kept in shade (bad I know), but is blooming a lot right now. Not sure which type, but my wife insists it’s a fruiting variety. Will moving it to full sun mean fruit?

It might need a pollinator too. Do you know what variety it is?

I’m not sure, but she has another non-fruiting type nearby. This month I bought another fruiting one as well called “Luka” (probably Lucca). The store she bought it at carries several fruiting varieties.

Nice guy, sun will not promote fruit set, but a cross pollinator will :slight_smile: One of the best cross pollinator olive cultivars is Pendolino. It is frequently used as a cross pollinator for other olive cultivars. Behind Pendolino (which also produces very good olives and has a lovely, pendulant growth habit) would be Maurino, and Leccino. Your “Luka” cultivar may actually be Leccino.

Patty S

Do olive trees need chill?

you must have your olive tree has lots of light and sun (the olive tree is pollinated by air, there are self-pollinating varieties and others who need pollinator)
my favorite varieties are:
picual and Alberquina for oil production
manzanilla,ascalona and cornezuelo to eat them

for collecting, I have the leucocarpa variety whose fruit is white

I don’t know that much about olives, but my understanding is that, yes, they require a chill period, but freezing is not allowed.

Patty, there is a new cultivar named Lucca (developed by UC Davis): Santa Cruz Olive Tree Nursery - <% select case v case "" %> Offered Varietals <% case else %> <% response.write v end select %>

Nice guy, olive trees do need full sun. Some varieties are self-fertile, but many need another variety for pollination. Even those that are self-fertile will produce better with pollination. Olive trees are wind pollinated, they don’t need bees, but benefit from a breeze during bloom time. Regular irrigation is needed for good fruit production.

Interesting, Stan, I’ll have to check out that cultivar. Yes, olives need some chill hours, but not a lot. As Muddy mentioned, no freezing, or very brief periods of temps at freezing (some cultivars will tolerate more cold than others). Of course they need sun, lots of full sun. The olive is a Mediterranean tree, so lots of sun is the standard, but that doesn’t promote fruit set. It will, however, help to promote good flowering, which in turn will allow for fruit set. Some cultivars are self-fertile, others require a cross pollinator. And, some need more water for full fruit set, but as far as fruiting trees go, olive trees need much less water than other fruit trees. Which is why we’re seeing so many avocado and citrus orchards switched over to olives and other fruit producing crops that require less water (including grapes) in S. California. UC Davis Backyard Orchard has a nice section about growing olives that apply well to other climate-friendly areas besides California:

I noticed the description says it’s grown primarily for the oil. I can’t imagine getting enough to do that. Will it still taste OK to eat if brined?
My wife hopes to keep them in pots in front of the house. Will they ever produce enough to be worth the trouble of processing if we don’t plant them in the ground?

Do you mean description of Lucca? From what I read, it should be similar to Frantoio and, although its main purpose is oil, Frantoio makes fine table olives, so Lucca should too. Perhaps there exist some exotic exception that I’m not aware of, but I believe any oil olive will make at least a decent table olive. Some are very small (for example, Arbequina and Arbosana), but taste ok. Maybe Koroneiki is too tiny to bother to eat them. Curing olives is pretty easy, so even if you have, say, half a pound, it’s worth a try.

the frantoio variety, is not a very good variety for oil production (has a low yield) and is a bad choice for table olives for its olives are small.
frantoio is being planted today much that is resistant to Verticillium is killing many olive trees of other varieties

Thanks for the info folks. I’ve move them to more sun for now.