Olive Tree Topiaries – Learn How To Make An Olive Topiary

Single Olive Tree Topiary
topiary olive 1
(Image credit: Freila)

Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean region of Europe. They have been grown for centuries for their olives and the oil they produce. You can also grow them in containers and olive tree topiaries are popular. If you are considering making an olive tree topiary, read on. You’ll find information about pruning an olive tree topiary, including tips on how to make an olive topiary look more natural.

About Olive Tree Topiaries

Olive tree topiaries are essentially shaped trees created by pruning. When you are making an olive tree topiary, you prune and shape the tree in a way that pleases you. How to make olive topiaries? Select one of the smaller species of olive trees. A few to consider include Picholine, Manzanillo, Frantoio and Arbequina. Be sure the cultivar you select tolerates severe pruning and doesn’t mind being kept smaller than the usual mature size. You’ll need to start making an olive tree topiary when your tree is quite young. Ideally, start shaping an olive tree when it is two years old or younger. Older trees don’t tolerate severe pruning as easily. Plant the tree in an unglazed pot or wooden barrel in well-draining soil. Don’t start pruning an olive topiary until the tree has been settled in the pot or barrel for about a year. You can also perform topiary pruning on young, outdoor trees.

Pruning an Olive Topiary

When you are shaping an olive tree, timing is important. Prune the olive tree in late winter or early spring. Although the trees are evergreen, they are growing more slowly at that time. Pruning an olive topiary starts with removing suckers that grow in at the base of the olive stem. Also, trim out those that sprout from the trunk. You’ll have to figure out the shape of your topiary’s crown before you wield the pruners. Trim the olive tree canopy into whatever shape you have selected. Olive tree topiaries can have crowns that grow naturally or else cut into balls. Shaping an olive tree crown into a ball means that you lose all flowers and fruit. This type of topiary will require regular maintenance to prevent ragged edges.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.