March 2019 Plant Profile: Olea europaea ‘Frantoio’

If you’ve been dreaming of escaping our cold, snowy Pacific Northwest, to a sunny and warm Mediterranean climate, dream no more! The ‘Frantoio’ is one of the most successful olive trees for the Pacific Northwest. Touted as the hardiest olive for our climate, 10° F or below and apparently gains cold hardiness the older it gets. Beautiful silvery foliage is attractive year-round. Form tends to grow more tree-like than shrubby. Best of all, as we can attest to this past February, it handles snow and ice quite well. Bring the Mediterranean to your backyard with what many consider the premier olive oil-producing tree.

This tree is well adapted to our winter rain region (Mediterranean climate), but best to provide protection from winds, if possible. Needs at least ½ day to full sun and well-drained soil. No pest or disease problems.

‘Frantoio’ is self-fertile, though crops will be heavier with another variety nearby. Will begin bearing olives 1-2 years after planting.

Common Name: Frantoio Olive
Scientific Name: Olea europaea ‘Frantoio’
Location: Mediterranean Collections display, map grid 21-3E, adjacent to Arboretum Dr E.
Origin: ‘Frantoio’, a cultivar, is grown mainly in the Tuscany region of central Italy and said to be the benchmark for olive oil in Italy.

Height and Spread: A fast-growing tree to 20′ tall x 10′ wide in 10 years.
Bloom/Berry time: Bloom time is May. Olives ripening in October.

2 Responses to “March 2019 Plant Profile: Olea europaea ‘Frantoio’”

  1. David Zuckerman

    Hi Heidi,

    Not that I am aware of. It’s still a bit on the young side of establishment. And there may be patent restrictions, although it’s been in trade a long time.
    I can ask our Arboretum Foundation Pat Calvert group who we’ve given permission to propagate many of our collections for the public, if they could attempt propagating it.
    Although, your best bet, in terms of finding one of reasonable planting size would be to purchase one through your local nursery.

  2. Heidi Koonz

    Do you propagate this tree for sale at the Arboretum?