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Can an olive tree survive in Utah?

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Olive trees, the kind that are used to produce the olives we eat are trees that are native to the Mediterranean area.  This area has a long, hot growing season and mild winters.  This is one reason that olive trees do not do well here.  Our growing season is typically not long enough for olives and we often get late spring frost that can damage the blossoms and destroy any developing fruit. Olives also do not like cold winters and will be permanently damaged if temperatures drop below freezing.  While it may be possible to get a tree to grow, if it is given enough protection, odds are that it would not produce any fruit. 

Posted on 10 Oct 2008

Heidi Wayman
Horticulture Intern, Salt Lake County

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