March 08, 2023

You Can Plant Olive Trees in Both Spring and Fall

Three 18 month-old olive tree saplings are shown in with their pots covered in simple drawstring burlap bags.

The two seasons considered best for planting olive trees are spring and fall, and each has its distinctive advantages. 

Spring Planting

The onset of spring signifies a period of active growth for most plants. For olive trees, this season offers the advantage of warmer days and extended sunlight. The increasing temperatures stimulate the saplings' metabolic processes, allowing for vigorous root establishment, and by planting in spring trees get a head start, optimizing growth during sunny summer months. Ample sunlight not only aids in photosynthesis but also ensures that the soil remains warm, facilitating nutrient absorption.

The challenge farmers and gardeners face when planting in the spring is ensuring appropriate levels of irrigation without overwatering, and planting early enough to allow the trees to adapt before the weather becomes too hot.

Fall Planting

Fall is the other viable period for planting olive trees, particularly because of changing soil dynamics. As air temperatures begin to drop, the soil remains relatively warm, especially when compared to the air above. This temperature gradient will promote root growth without the overhead stress of intense sun or high heat. By establishing roots in fall, olive trees can better prepare for the following growing season, making the most of the cooler months to develop a resilient foundation.

Choosing between Spring and Fall

When choosing between spring and fall planting, consider local climate, soil conditions, and the specific needs of the variety of tree you've selected as there are varieties adapted for cold (or heat) tolerance, for drier valley or more humid coastal climes, et cetera. Both seasons can offer a conducive environment for establishing trees, however, successfully doing so hinges on these crucial details as well as diligent care post-planting.

If you'd like assistance in selecting the right tree for your area and for your particular landscaping or culinary goals, send a note to me at Liz@AmericanOliveFarmer.com. We can help! 

For more information about olive trees, here is our essay on Caring for Your Olive Tree Gift.

Here is a link to our page showing olive tree gift pricing.

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