Olive trees like cool or cold winters and hot summers. They can grow anywhere from Tuscany, Italy where the temperature gets to -20 degrees Celsius to Seville, Spain where it’s quite warm. So it’s okay to grow olives in Southern California. In fact, there is a 25 acre olive farm in Santa Ynez Valley.
It depends on how far south you’re talking and how close to the coast you are. I found a good map for you to show where olive trees grow best, but instead I found one that shows the distribution of the olive fruit fly. Since olive fruit flies thrive in places where olive trees thrive, I think that is a pretty good indication of where you can grow olive trees. It appears that inland areas in Southern California are not quite as popular for growing olives as coastal areas.
Personally, I live in Davis near Sacramento, and there are several olive trees around town. People come by to pick the fruit annually. I’ve considered harvesting olives as well, but I don’t know how to cure them. Do you happen to know by chance? Actually, I’m going to go ask that now 🙂
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