This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

March 10, 2014

Stopping olives on your olive tree

I have two very old, and very beautiful, olive trees on my property. I love the dappled shade that they provide to the garden, the fact that they do very well here in the desert, and, well, just about everything about them. But I don't like olives. Every year a tree like this sets fruit, makes about a million olives, and drops them everywhere, making a mess. The fruits get squished underfoot and gets trampled all other place. But there is a solution: fruit stop.

When I first moved into this house, I sprayed the olive trees myself. They have gotten bigger in twenty years so now I hire professionals. It costs me $60 per tree every year, which I consider a bargain, as I have made the mistake of failing to spray fruit stop a couple of years ago and it was a terrible mess. Here is what you need to do:

When to spray

Here in the Phoenix, Arizona area, spray in March. You can go get some fruit stop and Home Depot, mix it up yourself, and spray today. It's best if you can spray as high as possible. I used to climb on my roof, but I don't do that anymore. This morning I am waiting for the pros to arrive, and they wear protective clothing and have super-dooper sprayers. By the way, the timing has to be correct on this. If you spray any other time than March, or late February, it won't work.

What to do afterwards.

You do nothing afterwards. If you spray at the right time (in March), the chemical will keep the opening flowers from setting fruit. I have been doing this every year since I moved in here and it always seems a bit strange to go to the trouble and expense and then see, well, nothing. And that's the point. If you fail to spray, you will see a lot. Of olives.
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