En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Source for Texas Olive Tree from Tucson AZ

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - August 10, 2013

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Trees
Title: Source for Texas Olive Tree from Tucson AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can one start a Texas Olive Tree from the olives it produces? How can you start one. I am having difficulty finding a nursery, but do see the trees around.

ANSWER:

This USDA Plant Profile Map for Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) does not even admit that the Texas Olive will grow in Arizona, but that just means it has not been reported to the USDA as growing there. If you follow the plant link above, you will find these growing conditions:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained caliche, sand, sandy loam, medium loam, clay loam, clay, or gravel soils
Conditions Comments: Prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Requires mild winters. Regular watering necessary to establish it, but once established within its natural range, it can be left on its own, making it a popular highway planting in the Valley."
Here is an article from the Master Gardeners of the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension on the Texas Olive. If they tell you it will grow where you are, you can probably believe them, but do note the cautions about planting it in full sun and in a sheltered location.
In an article from Desert Tropicals, we found this paragraph on propagation by seed:
"Propagation by seeds might be tricky. Best results are obtained with fresh seeds at temperatures above 95°F". Here are the comments on Propagation from our webpage:

"Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds , Semi-hardwood Cuttings , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Plant seed fresh or double-stratify. Take softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings in summer.
Seed Collection: Collect seed when it becomes muted yellow-white or pale brown with interior seed plump and hard. Clean and air dry before storage in cool, dry location.
Seed Treatment: Varies with locale and climate.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Requires much water to get it established but once established it is drought-tolerant."
If you are still having difficulty locating a source for this tree, go to our National Suppliers Directory, put your town and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Search Location" box, click on GO and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area.
 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

More Trees Questions

a source for fruitless olive (non-native) trees
June 29, 2012 - I was given a "mexican olive" several years ago which is doing very well. This one is non-fruiting and I would like to have another that is non-fruiting but cannot find one. Cordia boissieri see...
view the full question and answer

Care of Styphnolobium affine, Eves necklace
October 05, 2007 - I have an 18 yr old Eve's Necklace tree that is dying from the "bottom up". It has only a few leaves at the very top of the tree. I have, connected to the gutter, a rain barrel from which the exc...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing native trees for Manor,TX
August 04, 2005 - A friend wants to plant fast-growing trees to disguise a road on ranchland east of Manor, Texas. Any ideas? Many thanks.
view the full question and answer

Container plant to grow in late afternoon sun
July 02, 2011 - I have a shaded brick walkway that leads to my front door. It faces west, and can get very hot late afternoon Houston sun, although it is shaded for the remainder of the day. I have been successful ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing "climbing" tree.
February 12, 2009 - I live in Northern Virginia. My children would love for me to plant a "climbing" tree - short trunk, nice spread of limbs. Can you recommend a tree that could grow to meet this requirement in abou...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center