How to grow Olive Trees - Olive Commercial cultivation
Growing olive trees commercially first requires suitable climate conditions and the selection of a field with certain characteristics. In a few words, olive trees prefer well drained soils (flat or with gentle slope) and exposure to direct sunlight. They cannot tolerate temperatures below 20 °F (-7 °C) for many days, but a certain amount of cold is necessary for the fruit development. This is the reason why olive trees cannot be grown in tropical climates.
The average olive tree starts to produce olives at the age of 4-5 years and they will continue to eternity. There are findings suggesting that in some cases 1800 years old trees still produce sprouts. The olive tree responds greatly to irrigation and fertilization, while pruning is necessary at least every other year. Provided you take care of your olive trees, you will harvest an average production of 50-200 pounds (22 to 90 kg) per every mature healthy tree. Having a good understanding of Alternate Bearing is essential for cultivating commercially olive trees.
Understanding Olive Tree Annual Cycle.
Normally the annual growing cycle of the olive tree consists of the following phases:
1.) The autumn vegetation is succeeded by winter dormancy (inhibition of growth of vegetation),
2.) Winter dormancy is followed by the phase of vernalization (effect of winter cold) and differentiation of the buds from the middle of winter.
3.) Then comes the flowering and the new spring vegetation, the initial development of the fruit, the curing of the core (core hardening)
4.) Finally, we have the summer diapause (growth inhibition of germination).
In California, the vegetative growth of olive begins around early April and continues until mid-October.
2. Growing Olive Trees
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