If you’re planning to plant olive trees in your garden, a house, or want to make your olive farm, you are probably interested in how tall olive trees can grow. In this article, I’ll show you how tall olive trees can grow, indoors or outdoors, what olive tree height you can expect, and how fast they grow.
Most mature olive trees can grow up to 35 feet (ca. 10 meters), even though most olive growers try to keep them shorter in order to harvest them easier. Some varieties can even reach up to 50 feet in height.
Thirty-five feet seems a lot for an average olive tree, and I’ll show you why that is. It’s almost impossible to see a tree of that height, but that’s the maximum height olive trees can reach.
Factors That Affect The Size of The Olive Tree
It’s not just about the tree itself. Even though olive trees have the capability of growing very tall, that usually won’t happen because of various factors; check them below.
Factors that affect how tall the olive tree will grow:
- Variety – not all sorts grow at the same rate. Some olive types will stay smaller (for example, dwarf olive trees), while others will grow a lot.
- Climate – olive tree height also depends on the climate and sunlight exposure. Trees that are exposed to enough sunlight tend to stay shorter but have much thicker twigs and branches. On the other hand, trees without enough sunlight will grow taller, trying to acquire as much sunlight as possible.
- Human factor – probably the most important one. Olive growers mostly prune olive trees in a way to get more fruits each year. So, they’re forcing olive fertility instead of olive size.
- Soil – depending on the type of the soil and its fertility, olive trees can grow quickly, which will make them taller, or they can grow very slowly if the tree isn’t suitable for olive growing.
These were the most critical factors that affect the olive tree height. Maximum height (theoretically) is one story, but the real-world data is usually different.
Height of Mature Olive Trees
As you can see above, mature olive trees can reach up to 35 feet (ca. 10 meters) in height. It’ll take many years to reach that number, but in 99% of the cases, olive trees will never grow so tall, and the reason for that are olive growers.
For instance, most olive trees can reach the height of 30 feet at the age of 15, and that’s when everything is ideal.
Most olive growers (including me) don’t want their trees to be extremely high, and there are several reasons why:
- It’s easier to pick olives from a shorter tree
- Working on the tree throughout the year is much easier (pruning, etc.)
- The goal is to get more olive fruit each year, not to get the tallest tree ever
If you force an olive tree to grow in height, it probably won’t bear as much fruit as it could, even though the twigs will be larger and taller.
How Tall Do Olive Trees Grow In Pots?
Olive trees grown in pots can’t reach the same height as those grown in the ground. Pots limit the root system growth, and by restricting root growth, they also limit the trunk and canopy.
Most olive trees in pots can reach up to 10 feet (3 meters) in height, and even that is an optimistic size. If you want an olive tree to keep growing further, you should plant it in the ground, which is the ideal ambient for olive tree growth.
Many people like to grow olive trees indoors, and olive trees grow much slower inside. With pots, room height also limits the tree from growing, and you’ll have to keep the tree shorter (if you want to keep it inside).
Many people who want to grow olive trees inside decide to grow dwarf olive trees. Their maximum height is only 6 feet (2 meters), ideal for an indoor environment.
Olive Trees Are Slow Growing Plants
Olive trees are slow-growing plants, and they usually grow anywhere between 2 – 12 inches (5 – 30 centimeters) each year. When the environment is ideal, they can grow 25 inches (ca. 60 cm) each year. Olive trees grow at the quickest rate when the tree is between 2-15 years of age, and then it slows down.
With that said, you can expect a 10-year old olive tree to be about 10-20 feet tall (if grown properly). Also, olive trees that have just been planted will usually grow very slowly in the first year, and that’s because they need to adapt to the ground, and they’re growing roots to get all the minerals from the soil.
That’s why it’s essential to choose the excellent and healthy olive seedling, which is anywhere between 18-24 months old and has already grown its roots to satisfactory levels.
Together with that, it’s also vital to pick the right time to plant olive trees. By doing that, you’ll vastly increase the growth rate, and they’ll start producing fruit as quickly as possible.
As you can see above, even though most olive trees can reach the height of 35 feet, that’s a rare situation and mostly will never happen on any olive farm. Most olive growers keep their olive tree’s size up to 15-20 feet so that it’s easy to reach, prune, and harvest.
If you want to grow as tall an olive tree as possible, you’ll have to use different pruning techniques to stimulate the canopy growth instead of stimulating fruit growth. Personally, I don’t see a point in that, but you know your wills the best.