When we think of Olive Trees, we usually associate them with Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Spain because of their hotter climates. However, in recent years olive trees have become increasingly popular within the UK, and have become somewhat of a staple in British gardens.
With the adverse effects of climate change, the UK’s climate has experienced warmer temperatures, especially in winter, and due to this, the UK’s weather is much more suited to that needed to grow olive trees.
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Furthermore, over the last decade or so there has been an increasing realisation that mature olive trees are quite tough, thus making them more suitable for UK environments. In fact, the oldest olive tree in Britain is now over 100 years old and bears fruits in successful summers.
In accordance with everything mentioned above, statistics from Google also suggest an increasing demand for Olive Trees throughout the UK. According to Google search terms, the term ‘Buy Olive Tree UK’ is up 60% in comparison to last year, and the search term, ‘Olive Oil Trees For Sale’ is up a staggering 300%.
This increasing interest has meant there has been an influx of Olive Trees either imported to the UK or grown there themselves. With this has come a number of different varieties of olive trees, some of which bear fruit and some which do not. However, the most popular variants include the Olea Europaea (also known as the Tuscan Olive Tree) and the Ancient Gnarled Olive Tree.
William Mitchell, the proprietor of Sutton Manor Nursery based in Kent, has seen first-hand the increasing demand for olive trees throughout the entirety of the UK.
“There has been a growing demand for olive trees in private gardens all across England and the rest of the UK within the last number of years. Within the last few months, I have experienced this first-hand with a rising number of customers wishing to purchase an olive tree for either their own personal use or as a gift,” says William.
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“For me and my business, I have seen such a surge in my customer base since the Coronavirus lockdown in April. Perhaps it was due to folks having more time for their gardens, or the exceptional weather conditions back then, or maybe just even a growing trend.”
He continues, “In fact, this growth has meant I am able to offer free delivery to all my customers in mainland UK, and offer suitable discounts where possible. Which has led to more returning customers and my family-run business growing bigger than I could have ever imagined”
Finally, with the rising demand for olive trees in the UK and other modern varieties of olive trees being bred for colder climates, what does this mean for commercial olive production? Will the Mediterranean still be the home place of the olive tree, or will modern groves in other countries across the world take their place?
For more content like this, why not take a look at our blog post about the best food and drink recipes that contain olives.