Will my olive trees survive if uprooted this time of year?

danno99 Image
03/12/2010 - 10:19

Hi All, Im hoping a green fingered wizz might be able to answer my query. I have about 50 Olive trees, but I need to make room for building a small dog kennels & cattery business. So I was planning to remove about 20 olive trees which are around I guess 25 years old. I am not sure how to remove them, or indeed what to do with them once removed. A friend said that he thinks they may not survive if removed after March, but that was the extent of his knowledge. In a perfect world, I would like to say to a nursery or similar, I have 20 trees, if you want them you must collect & remove them. Although before I go traipsing around Le Marche with my not so good  Italian language, I thought I would ask if anyone has experience in this kind of thing. I guess my main queries are, 1) How hard is it to successfully uproot them & an idea of the process,  2) What time of year it should be done  3) Is there much demand for them, & if so, by whom & are they worth much. Any pointers in the right direction would be great, as it would be a pity to just kill them if they can be found a home & earn me some money towards the kennels at the same time. Many thanks in anticipation. Dan



  Although no expert when it comes to 'olive trees', do know a bit about plants and gut feeling says you need to act fast as sap will be rising.....  Understand your fear / concerns re: asking nurseries for quotes etc and as this building up to their 'busy time probably not good idea.  If any help, if mine I would get digger to dig trench in unused area, get digger to dig up trees, prune roots back to 1m diameterand transplant...water well and see what gives.....If sucessful you could spend all yr looking for buyer and trees eaier to dig up next winter and sell for 'kennel loads of money'....know in uk an olive tree of that age would fetch £200 plus retail...just a thought....Sorry cant be more help, sure people more knowledgable than me can offer more advice....Good luck. PS I have lovely lurcher and young cat, may need putting up in hotel one day...let us know when you can accept paying guests.

Thanks to all of you for very good advice, I hope that there is not an issue with needing permission to dig up (although I dont suppose anyone would know if I did it!) Thanks Gala for the article, which I read with interest, who would have thought a tree that age could get sunburnt if re planted in diferent orientation Dylano, Its a good Idea to buy myself time & possibly ultimately getting a fair price, but its kind of double work, so there are pros & cons to that one. I guess it just depends if I can get an offer from someone before "sap rises" that wants to take care of the digging/collection.  I wonder if there is a way to know more precisely when they need uprooting, I imagine its before everything goes into full flight growing mode? Which I guess means you are right in me not having much time to play with.  I will try & remember to update you re- the hotel (-:    

May be worth contacting a May be worth asking a few architects who have landscapers 'prettying' up estates for rock stars and politicians in the region...sure they are the people in the money.... If anyone has any .....  If no joy tho' do consider transplanting, as Gala's article says prune top back hard to same diameter as roots and see what gives....sure you could find buyer but just running out of time...Not sure where you are but would help you if I could....dont like to think of trees 'homeless'.....

 My husband shopped around for a client who wanted 2 mature Olive trees for his new build holiday home and the best he could find was €600.  Sounds like a lot of money potentially in those trees!  Nurseries seem to dig up trees and wrap the root ball to the diameter of the spread of the tree (having heavily pruned most of the branches) in black, weed suppressing type material.  Trees then seem to survive like this for very long periods of timel.  Certainly we have seen one particular supplier near us who has had the same trees displayed like this for the 4 years we have been here.  Definitely worth establishing prime time to dig up and them "store" them somewhere else on your land until you can find a buyer. 

Thanks KarenR.  I Hate to de-value house by selling them, but sometimes its a case of how to make the best out of a situation. If I can get anything like that figure, I will be a happy bunny. I gave circumfrences of trunks today, to potential buyer, which are between 70-95 cm. Although Im not sure if this is in the same class as the ones your husband sourced. Cheers for info

I will ask my husband when he gets back (sourcing turf today) but I am pretty sure that the trees he purchased had narrower trunks.  I have seen them, but from a distance and did not take to much notice.  I will find out size and age and come back to you.  Will also mention to him that you are looking to sell as he may have other clients that would be interested.  Several new gardens on the go at the moment. p.s. good luck with the kennels and cattery.  Nice to have some more animal lovers around.

 Dan We have a client who has just given us instructions for a couple of large olive trees, prepared to pay a tidy sum to get large enough trees.  The two I referrred to in earlier post are not big enough for this client - thus yours sound perfect as younger but larger, thus within his budget.  The issue will be getting them to client!  Also for just 2 trees you may feel it is not worth it to arrange their removal, transport etc.  Where are you located?  You may want to PM me and we can discuss logistics, price etc. Karen

Olive trees are best uprooted, (poor things), in Spring after being severely pruned above and below ground. Have you considered the cost of transportation and types of vehicle one must have to do so? Best approaching a Vivaio or asking an Italian neighbour. Can't the olive trees remain for the cats to climb and dogs to scratch?

Hi KarenR, any info from hubby much apreciated, & thanks for advice colonel mustard, but I am keeping perimeter trees & they will provide me more oil then I need.  I just need space for concrete base & money to fund project, so I guess I will just have to find them something else to scratch. Ciao for now Dan

 Dan Trees husband acquired for his client had narrower trunks but were about 100 years old and thus trunks were very gnarled and interesting.  Assume your trees though thicker trunks are less so.  However having done a lot of research for this client he tells me that you should still get €100-€150 per tree.  Also confirm Col Mustard re now is good time to uproot them and they need heavy pruning.  Good luck. Karen & John

 Hi Dan, Sure Karen in the know as to local price, and good luck with potential buyer.  Incase decide to hold fire til next year or move and trees to temporary home I do have many wholesale contacts uk who would be interested.  As for suggestion to wrap in permiable menbrane a good one if able to tend almost daily as will need regulary watering and support to keep upright etc etc etc.  Nurseries and landscapers already well equiped and turnover normally quick.   Imporant thing is you get the best price and at the right time for you....yesterday would have been good !  Let us know what happens.....

Hi Dylano, I have jigged things around to allow me to have small kennels area close to the trees, this area can be increased when the times right, so there is no urgency for me to dig up the trees. However, if you know of a buyer at some point, they are there & waiting for the right home. We harvested them the season before last & got amazing oil, which I am still enjoying daily. Anyway, please keep it in mind. All the best