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We had long looked for a winter hardy olive, having killed many clones in our extensive trials. It wasn't until our friend, plantsman Sean Hogan, suggested we try Olea 'Arbequina' that we found success. Our original plant of Arbequina olive is now 8 years old, 10' tall x 10' wide, and has been fruiting for three years. The name Arbequina, comes from the Spanish village Arbeca, where this hardy olive cultivar originated in the 17th century. Olea 'Arbequina' is now one of the most important cultivars in worldwide olive production, prized for its highly aromatic, high oil content and dark brown fruit. Although Arbequina olives prefer alkaline soil, we have found them to thrive in our slightly acid conditions. Hot summer climates produce the most abundant olive crops, which ripen in October/November. As an attractive, large evergreen shrub with narrow, silvery leaves, Olea 'Arbequina' is quite ornamental even without the fruit.
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