The Q&A Archives: Olive tree roots?

Question: I am considering planting a Fruitless Olive in our S. California (zone 19, soil type-compacted clay) backyard. Firstly, how much shade does this tree provide? It would be near a patio and concrete path. I am concerned that in time the roots may lift and damage the hardscape. How invasive are the roots of this tree? What is the minimum distance that should be maintained between the tree and hardscape? If the roots could be a problem are there any preventative measures such as root barriers that could also be considered?

Answer: Fruitless olive trees are slow growing to about 25-30'. These trees are drought resistant, and grow in shallow, alkaline soils with little fertilization. They have shallow roots which are not considered invasive. Majestic Beauty has an open, airy canopy so will provide filtered but not dense shade. To keep it healthy, avoid overwatering and provide good drainage. Fruitless olive trees thrive in hot, dry summers but adequate in coastal regions. Plant in early spring to establish before winter.

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