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Olives in the frost

 
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Olives are an unfamiliar beast to me. While these are Ukrainian varieties which are developed to handle a bit more cold, I was totally expecting them to defoliate once the cold weather hit. Not by a long shot. They still look as green and healthy as the day I put them in the ground.



This also serves as my cat's grave. She passed this year at 15 years old as an extra special fuck you from 2020. I piled large rocks around the trees to help hold in a little extra heat and then pulled wood chips about a foot deep to insulate the roots and reduce competition from the highly aggressive invasive weeds that surround it on all sides. I've also planted some cat nip in honor of my cat and some of the famous local variety of strawberry.  Already planning to put in some chives and maybe some lovage and/or rhubarb. I'll probably figure out some berries that I want to put here; if not something that I already have, then maybe some strawberry tree in keeping with the (largely) Mediterranean theme. Also planning to throw in some peppers to help fill out the space this year, and this may end up being one of the spots where I put perennial kale and/or sea kale.

All in all, super impressed. Can't wait until I start getting a harvest.
 
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Sweet! I want olives but am worried about my climate. Do you mind posting where you found Ukrainian olive trees? They sound like the ticket.

Sorry about your cat man, that sucks bad.
 
Mathew Trotter
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Dan Fish wrote:Sweet! I want olives but am worried about my climate. Do you mind posting where you found Ukrainian olive trees? They sound like the ticket.



I picked them up at a local nursery, but I know that One Green World has the same varieties and a few other Ukrainian varieties that they ship. I can speak highly of their selection, but I've never purchased anything from them so I can't speak to quality or service.
 
Dan Fish
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Oh yeah One Green World. I love that website. If I had more money, they'd be rich!
 
Mathew Trotter
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Dan Fish wrote:Oh yeah One Green World. I love that website. If I had more money, they'd be rich!



Haha. Ain't that the truth!

And I don't think they're doing too bad. As I recall, they moved from Molalla to Portland, and the property they're on now had to cost well over a million dollars with how out of control the prices are in Portland.
 
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I tried some olives last year. Local store had them, and I thought it was odd. I looked it up and supposedly they should have done ok in my climate. Nope. They seemed to have made it almost through the winter, and died just before spring. Made me mad. I really wanted them to work, and they were not cheap. I don't recall the exact type, though. I'd keep a close eye on them.
 
Mathew Trotter
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Jordan Holland wrote:I tried some olives last year. Local store had them, and I thought it was odd. I looked it up and supposedly they should have done ok in my climate. Nope. They seemed to have made it almost through the winter, and died just before spring. Made me mad. I really wanted them to work, and they were not cheap. I don't recall the exact type, though. I'd keep a close eye on them.



I take cuttings from anything I bring home from the nursery, since they're so expensive, and I never know if they'll survive where I plant them. I've neglected my cuttings, so I probably only had about 25% take and survive, but that was out of several hundred, so I should be good. 🤞I haven't actually gone through my cuttings to see how many OLIVES, if any, took. I at least have pineapple guavas and cranberries that took. No idea about anything else without checking labels.
 
Mathew Trotter
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My olive cuttings LOOK dead, but I've learned to wait until spring and see if things leaf back out. Out of 10 or so sudachi, 1 cutting is still green and healthy looking... but again, they might leaf leaf out in spring. Out of dozens of pineapple guava, cranberry, and lingonberry, almost 100% took. Also have dozens of fig, mulberry, and goji, but those weren't nursery finds.
 
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Mathew Trotter wrote:Olives are an unfamiliar beast to me. While these are Ukrainian varieties which are developed to handle a bit more cold, I was totally expecting them to defoliate once the cold weather hit. Not by a long shot. They still look as green and healthy as the day I put them in the ground.



What USDA zone are you in?

Jordan Holland wrote:I tried some olives last year. Local store had them, and I thought it was odd. I looked it up and supposedly they should have done ok in my climate. Nope. They seemed to have made it almost through the winter, and died just before spring. Made me mad. I really wanted them to work, and they were not cheap. I don't recall the exact type, though. I'd keep a close eye on them.



That One Green World site mentioned that Olives are apparently extra vulnerable the first year, but become hardier by the second year, to the extent of nearly a whole USDA zone.

In the past I've assumed most trees get slightly hardier after their first year, but maybe with Olives it's more pronounced?

I'm interested in trying a pair of olive trees, but in USDA 6, I'll need to cover them for winter, and will probably need extra heavy protection the first year. If I do get any, I'd plant them in spring so they get a full year's growth before their first winter.

They'll need good mulching to keep their roots warm too, I suspect.
 
Mathew Trotter
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Jamin Grey wrote:

What USDA zone are you in?

...In the past I've assumed most trees get slightly hardier after their first year, but maybe with Olives it's more pronounced?

I'm interested in trying a pair of olive trees, but in USDA 6, I'll need to cover them for winter, and will probably need extra heavy protection the first year. If I do get any, I'd plant them in spring so they get a full year's growth before their first winter.

They'll need good mulching to keep their roots warm too, I suspect.



I'm in zone 8. There is some research into growing olives commercially, but that's all a bit further south where it's a bit warmer. I'm at the northernmost part of the range of where they've done research on them, and the word on the street is to expect some tip die back, and potentially lose the trees in an especially bad year.

That said, I know there's someone up in British Columbia that's successfully growing olives, but it's either on a south facing wall or in a greenhouse, I can't recall which.

And yeah. Most trees, from what I've seen, are hardier after they mature than they are the first few years.
 
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