The Arbequina Olive Tree is small, brown plant which takes its name from the village Arbeca located in Catalonia. The olives are an important part of the economy in this small village along with almonds, cereals, pears, peaches and apples. With one of the highest concentration of oils, the Arbequina Olive Tree is mainly used for olive oil production although they are also served as table olives. As the trees are typically small with weeping branches, the olives are relatively easy to handpick making it popular amongst growers in various regions of Spain and regions in the southern US.
The size of the tree means it is suitable for dense planting. The Arbequina Olive Tree is also very popular with consumers given its unique flavor, which is quite peppery as well as the health benefits associated with it. Many people like to use olive oil in cooking. The Arbequina Olives change color during the ripening process, going from a light green to pink before finally becoming a brown to purple shade. The olive oil derived from the Arbequina Olive Tree varies in color from green to a golden yellow depending on when the olives are harvested.
Planting Directions For An Olive Tree
Location: Arbequina Olives make great additions to balconies, patios and even indoors due to their ability to live well in containers.
Planting Instructions: You should plant your Arbequina Olives in a small container. Once it has reached a few feet tall, you can move it to a permanent place to grow. Do this by digging a hole twice as wide as the root ball. Place the Olive tree inside and cover with soil. They can also be moved to larger pots with great success.
Watering: Allow Olive trees to dry out a bit in between waterings, never allowing the soil to become saturated. When the soil is dry in the first two inches, it’s time to water.
Fertilization: Use a high nitrogen fertilizer, something like a 17-6-10 timed release would be perfect.
Weed Control: If your Arbequina Olives shows signs of weeds, simply remove the weeds and as much of the weed root system as possible. You can choose a common pesticide available in most stores if you feel the problem is out of control or simply keep removing the weeds until they are no longer a problem.
Pests and Disease: The only pest most balcony or patio olive growers need to worry about is scale, which is easy to treat with insecticidal soap or BioNeem. Spray the entire tree according to the package instructions. If your tree is indoors, be sure to choose an insecticidal soap approved for indoor use.
Pruning: Thin out young plants to 3-4 main branches. After blooming in spring, clip the tips of the branches. Make the cut just above the point where a pair of leaves attaches to the stem. Leave each branch at least six inches long, but how much longer is up to you and what will look good on your balcony or patio.
Pollination: Arbequina Olives are wind pollinated, and generally self-fertile. However, you will get better fruit production if you have more than one tree. Be sure to either choose two of the same variety, or if you are picking different varieties, two or more trees that bloom at the same time.