Are Olive Tree Roots Invasive?


If you’d like to plant an olive tree near some objects around your house, you should ensure that the roots won’t cause any trouble. In this post, I’ll show you whether or not are olive tree roots invasive and whether you can plant them next to sidewalks, basements, etc.

Key Takeaways:

  • Olive trees have shallow roots, and they’re not considered invasive.
  • Olive tree roots usually don’t grow too wide. They’re usually the same width as the tree crop.
  • It’s still recommended to plant larger olive trees further away from the houses, sidewalks, foundations, etc.

Olive Tree Roots Aren’t Invasive

illustration of olive tree roots

It turns out that olive tree roots are not particularly invasive. In fact, they are actually quite shallow-rooted.

The main roots (thick ones) generally grow only up to 3 feet deep. However, in the search for water, root veins can go even up to 30 feet deep.

This is shallower than the roots of most other types of trees. As a result, olive trees are not as likely to damage sidewalks, driveways, or foundations as other trees.

What does this mean for you? If you’re considering planting an olive tree, then you don’t need to worry about the roots being invasive.

Are Olive Tree Roots Strong?

Yes, olive tree roots are quite strong. This is due in part to the fact that they are shallow-rooted. The shallower the roots, the less likely they are to be damaged by wind or heavy rains.

The shallow roots also help to anchor the tree in place, which prevents it from being uprooted by strong winds.

Properties of Olive Tree Roots

Here are some general properties of olive tree roots you should be aware of:

  • Safe for other trees. Olive tree roots are not toxic to other trees.  This means that you can plant other trees near olive trees without worrying about the roots damaging them.
  • Shallow-rooted. As we mentioned before, olive tree roots are relatively shallow. The average olive tree has roots that only grow to about 3 feet deep. This is shallower than the roots of most other types of trees.
  • Great for rocky soil. Olive trees are well-suited for rocky soil. This is because their roots can grow in between the rocks, which helps to anchor the tree in place.
  • Fine for grassy yards. Olive tree roots are also fine for grassy yards. The roots are not likely to damage your lawn, and the tree can actually help to aerate the soil.

Where Is It Safe To Plant Olive Trees?

olive tree in front of a house, illustration

Here’s a quick table with more thorough information on where you should and shouldn’t plant olive trees:

Suitable LocationsLocations to Avoid
Open fields or orchardsNear foundations of buildings
20-30 feet from structuresClose to underground pipes
Next to other treesNext to paved surfaces
In larger home yardsNear septic tanks
Small yards

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