Olea europaea 'Leccino' is a carefully selected variety of olive selected by us a good candidate for cultivation here in the U.K as a potential fruiting tree able to produce olives as well and being wonderfully ornamental olive tree. Olea europaea 'Lecino' is one of a mix of 5 varieties commonly grown together on the hillsides around northern Italy, particularly Tuscany. I know the summers in Italy are much warmer than ours but our winters are very similar often slightly milder than Tuscan hillsides. Given a warm micro climate and free draining soil 'Leccino' is well worth a try especially if planted in company with one or more of our other olive varieties. Olive trees have now been cultivated as beautiful ornamental trees for many years and it is easy to spot them flourishing in our customers gardens from Brighton to central London.
Olea europaea 'Leccino' is perhaps the most widely grown olive variety being both hardy and a vigorous grower which is easily clipped to shape hence it's popularity in the ornamental market. Olea europaea 'Leccino' is however one of the finest producers of high quality dual purpose black olives making premium olive oil and delicous tasting olives. If you would like to try the olives for yourself you will need a pollinator such as Olea europaea 'Pendolino or 'Maurino' as 'Leccino' is not self fertile.'
For more information on olive varieties have a look at our Olive tree cultivar page
- Position: Best in full sun ideally south or west facing, away from cold, northerly winds.
- Soil: Deep, fertile, sharply drained soil (or loam-based potting compost for container-grown specimens) not waterlogged. Use 50/50 John Innes no 3 with multi-purpose for a container.
- Eventual Size: Up to 5 metres, but can be pruned
- Habit: Bushy, Foliage: Evergreen
- Common Names: Italian Olive Tree, Olea europaea
Plant in the sunniest position possible, avoiding northerly or easterly cold winds in free draining soil adding organic compost to improve soil quality. Consider a raised bed or planting in a container if the soil is waterlogged. If planting in a container use a mix of 50/50 John Innes no 3 and multipurpose compost, and always re-pot to a just a slightly larger size. Olive trees can be easily pruned to maintain the size and habit required. We recommend that light, formative pruning is undertaken in mid-spring with heavier trimming in early to mid-summer. Never prune during the winter and be cautious in the autumn. Feed your olive tree with seaweed extract fortnightly between May and September to ensure your tree stays healthy, vigorous and happy. In areas where the minimum temperatures are between -2c and -5c, Olives require no winter protection and will tolerate drops down to -7c for short periods, providing day time temperatures rise sufficiently. In areas of lower winter temperatures, your olive tree can be protected with several layers of horticultural fleece wrapped around the trunk and crown of the tree. Like many plants, olives are not happy with frozen roots. If this happens, they can suffer from drought through not being able to take up water or worse still, the roots can be damaged which can result in poor subsequent growth or even death of the tree. But fear not! This can be prevented by adding several layers of bubble plastic to the inside of the pot when repotting the plant or simply add whilst needed to the outside of the pot and securing with twine.
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