Project Description

Cultivar Profile

Mission Olive Tree

Olea europaea ‘Mission’
mission olive tree

Cultivar Profile

Mission Olive Tree

Olea europaea ‘Mission’

The Mission olive tree is a cultivar developed in California, by Spanish missions along El Camino Real in the late 18th century.
They were brought to California by Franciscan monks who planted them around the missions they founded. The tree has ornamental value as a specimen plant; it eventually develops a gray-barked trunk with an almost sculptural, gnarled and knobby quality as well as silvery-leaved graceful branches.

It is also the only American olive cultivar listed by the International Olive Council in its World Catalogue of Olive Varieties. Mission boasts one of the smallest pits and greatest cold resistance of any cultivar in California. ‘Mission’ is the variety most used for cold-pressed olive oil in the California olive oil industry.

Mission olives are harvested for table use from late October through November; for oil production, they are harvested between mid-December and February.

Specifications

Fruiting

Fruiting

Beautiful Waterwise Fruiting Specimen

Olive Oil

Slightly Sweet, Very Buttery

Bloom

Spring

Inconspicuous, white flowers; prized for evergreen foliage and its fall fruit.

Country

USA, California

Type

Tree

Foliage

Gray-Green and Silver Color

Growth

Moderate

Size

Up to 20′ – 30′ tall (up to 50′ unpruned) by 15′ – 18′ wide

Uses

Landscape and Commercial Use

Coastal Exposure, Container, Kitchen Garden, Mass Planting (high density), Specimen, Topiary

Zones

USDA 9B

Hardiness

Hardy down 22 to 30 °F

Light

Full sun

Water

Once established, water occasionally.

Water more frequently in extreme heat or containers. Newly planted olive trees will require more water to establish.

Soil

Well-drained, nutrient poor soil

Light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils all acceptable. Olive trees prefer well-drained soil and even grow well in nutritionally poor soil. Hot, rocky locations. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils.

Care

Thrives in most average, slightly alkaline, well-drained soils, but it is highly adaptable. Tolerates drought. Shelter young plants from winter extremes. While self-pollinating, we recommend using a pollinator for the Mission – the Arbequina and Frantoio make good pairings. Fertilizing with a nitrogen-based blend regularly is recommended for increased fruit production. (Fertilize until your Mission starts bearing olives for best results.) If you desire naturally black olives, pick in November. If you want green olives from your Mission, harvest in September. Either harvest period, the olives are delicious.

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Samples

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