Spring bloom is underway! While olive trees are beautiful throughout the year, they are truly breathtaking during the spring months. Like any other fruit-bearing plant, olive trees are governed by the shifts in the seasons. Warmer weather and longer days trigger the trees to begin to bud and eventually blossom.
At this time of year, our orchard teams are watering the trees and doing light pruning to prepare them for the growing season. Before flowering, a lot of work is done to make sure the soil is healthy and the trees are getting balanced nutrients. Olive trees are wind-pollinated, meaning they don’t rely on bees to pollinate them. The wind, instead, distributes the pollen from tree to tree. The flowers open up from the initial bloom to the full bloom over three to four days.
Each branch has some amount of male and female flowers, and both are needed in the pollination process. A perfect flower has both male and female parts, which give it the ability to produce fruit. The so-called “perfect flowers” will produce the olive fruit, while the other blossoms will grow into shoots and branches, one day producing buds of their own. A few weeks after the buds appear, tiny olives begin to develop and are about the size of a grain of rice! With plenty of sunshine and the right amount of water, the olives will grow and slowly mature, ready for harvest around October!