Growing Olive Trees

(Question)

I live in north-central Alberta and take great pride in my ability to grow things that were not meant to grow here. I am interested in growing olive trees. Do you know any extra tricks about growing things outside of their normal hardiness zone that I could use for growing olives?

(Answer)

 

Growing olive trees where you live would be quite a challenge. Your hardiness zone must be around 3b and olive trees normally grow in zones 10 to 11. Some hardier species will grow in zone 9 or even 8. The only places in Canada where olive trees are currently grown are the Gulf Islands such as Salt Spring and Pender Island. There are also places where the olive trees are taken outside in the summer then moved indoors during the winter. Olive trees need plenty of sun and well drained soil. Once they are well established they are quite drought tolerant.  To successfully grow an olive tree you need to find a way to replicate their normal growing environment i.e. sunny and frost free. There is no easy answer on how to create a frost free environment in a 3b growing zone. For more information about olive trees please review the following links:

http://olivetreegrowers.com/blog.php?view=detail&id=19

https://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/site-selection

https://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/site-selection

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/trees-and-shrubs/grow-an-olive-tree

https://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/canadian-farmer-succeeds-with-olives-and-gives-kelp-seaweed-some-of-the-credit/47124

If you are considering growing an olive tree indoors please review this link for more information:

http://www.guide-to-houseplants.com/growing-olive-trees.html

Finally, consider contacting your local master gardener association  The Master Gardeners Association of Alberta (MGAA) https://mgaab.org/

as they would have a much better understanding of the growing conditions in your area.