Are Fruitless Olive Tree Roots Invasive? (Here’s what I found out!)

Are Fruitless Olive Tree Roots Invasive
Are Fruitless Olive Tree Roots Invasive

Olive trees have been cultivated and loved for their oil, fruit, and beauty for thousands of years. However, some cultivars have been intentionally grown to produce no fruit (i.e., fruitless varieties) while still maintaining their ornamental value, hardiness, and drought tolerance.

But are fruitless olive tree roots invasive? Fruitless olive tree roots are not considered invasive. Fruitless olive tree roots generally have shallow roots, are slow-growing, and spread about 40 feet (12.2 meters) deep (Source: University of Idaho). Therefore, planting them far away from buildings, houses, sidewalks, and sewer systems is recommended. Fruitless olive tree roots might damage the house foundation or sewer systems if planted too close. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about fruitless olive trees, including how to grow and care for them. Check out this article to explore how to prevent olive tree root damage.

Fruitless Olive Trees’ Characteristics

Olive tree roots are known for their resilience and durability, capable of adapting to harsh soil conditions and climates. These roots are characterized as deeply rooted and can extend beyond the size of the canopy. However, many fruitless cultivars have been bred with less vigorous root systems.

The table below contains fruitless olive trees’ characteristics:

Scientific NameOlea europaea
Family NameOleaceae
Common NameFruitless olive tree
Plant Type ( or Category)Tree
Fruitless Olive Tree’s Size Height: Between 25 to 30 feet (7.62 to 9.14 meters)
Width: Between 25 to 30 feet (7.62 to 9.14 meters)
Sun ExposureA fruitless olive tree thrives in full sun
Soil Type – Well-drained
– Sandy
Flower ColorYellowish-White
Bloom Time– Late spring
– Summer
Pruning Requirements It is recommended to prune fruitless olive trees in late winter or early spring before flowering.
Temperature Requirements15 to 20 °C (or 60 to 68 °F)
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneBetween 8 – 10
The Table Contains Fruitless Olive Trees’ Characteristics (Source: University of Arizona, Spruce and NC State University)

Growing Caring For Fruitless Olive Trees

  • When choosing a location to grow a new fruitless olive tree, I suggest you measure how long the sun reaches the area because they require at least eight hours of sunlight.
  • Also, ensure you have a 30-foot (9 m.) space around all sides to allow room for your new fruitless olive to spread its branches.
  • Furthermore, ensuring that your planting area is well-draining soil is essential. Once established, most fruitless olive tree varieties are drought tolerant but require regular water until a root system has fully developed (Source: Gardening Know How)
  • If you are growing an olive tree in a container, choose a well-draining pot to allow water to drain quickly and avoid potential root rot problems. Check out this article  Indoor Plants That Look Like Olive Trees.

The table below contains popular fruitless olive tree varieties

Varieties Of Fruitless Olive TreeCharacteristics
Swan Hill Olive– The Swan Hill olive is one of the most popular varieties of fruitless olive trees (Source: University of Florida)
– At maturity, Swan Hill olive can reach 35 feet (10.7 meters) in height
– Drought intolerant
– It can live for over 150 years
Wilsonii– It has a slow to moderate growth rate,
– The Wilsonii will sometimes produce fruit but in smaller amounts than regular olive trees.
– Drought-tolerant and thornless
– It thrives in low elevations.
Majestic Beauty– The Majestic Beauty is generally smaller than a regular olive tree, reaching only 20 to 30 feet (6.1 to 9.14 meters) tall.
Little Ollie Dwarf Olive Trees– Grow to about 2 to 4 feet, even though some Little Ollie Dwarf Olive Trees can reach around 8 to 10 feet. 
– Grow at a moderate rate
– Excellent for patios and containers.
Skylark Dwarf– Similar to Little Ollie, Skylark Dwarf is a small, ornamental olive tree.
–  It is a slow-growing evergreen shrub.
– Skylark Dwarf can reach 8 to 10 feet tall.
– It blooms typically in summer with cream-colored flowers.
The Table Contains Popular Fruitless Olive Tree Varieties

What Makes an Olive Tree Root System Invasive?

Invasive roots are those that grow rapidly, spread widely or deeply, and compete aggressively with surrounding plants for water and nutrients. Invasive roots can also damage infrastructure and property if they are planted too close or not managed properly.

The good news is that when planted in an area with ample space for root growth, fruitless olive tree roots are less likely to cause issues. And it is always recommended to plant trees at least 10 feet ( 3 meters) away from any infrastructure and to monitor the growth of roots over time.

For example, if a fruitless olive tree is planted too close to a sidewalk or driveway, the roots could eventually damage these structures as they grow. Additionally, if a fruitless olive tree is allowed to become stressed due to poor growing conditions or lack of adequate water, its roots may become more aggressive in search of nutrients and water.

In addition, it is recommended to regularly prune and manage the root system of your fruitless olive tree to maintain a balance between the tree’s growth and the surrounding environment and avoid potential damage.

Fruiting olive trees and fruitless olive trees are generally similar, except fruitless olive trees don’t bear fruits, which might less maintenance requirements.

How To Prevent Any Potential Issues With Fruitless Olive Tree Roots

To prevent any potential issues with fruitless olive tree roots, I encourage you to plant and maintain them properly. When planting a fruitless olive tree, it is recommended to choose a location that is far enough away from any structures or utilities to prevent damage.

In addition, I suggest you provide your fruitless olive trees with well-draining and fertilize them if needed to keep them healthy. Regular pruning and watering can also help ensure the tree stays healthy and doesn’t become stressed.

Furthermore, if you do notice any issues with your fruitless olive tree, such as root damage or excess root growth, it is important to address these issues promptly. I suggest you hire the services of an arborist or tree care professional to assess the situation and make recommendations for treatment or removal if necessary.

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Wrapping Up

So, are fruitless olive tree roots invasive? The short answer is no. While all trees have the potential to cause damage if planted too close to structures or underground utilities. Fruitless olive tree roots aren’t considered invasive.

While fruitless olive trees are not considered invasive, it is important to maintain them properly to help prevent any potential issues properly.

I believe that by choosing a suitable planting location, maintaining soil, and regularly pruning and watering the tree, you can help ensure that your fruitless olive tree remains healthy and attractive without causing any damage to your property or surrounding areas.

Proper management of the tree’s root system, as well as monitoring its growth over time, is crucial to ensuring that the tree does not cause any issues for surrounding plants or infrastructure.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind Plants Heaven is a blog that shares information about preparing, creating, and maintaining gardens in and out of your home, regardless of where you live. My goal is to help you learn to love gardening and reap the benefits that come with it. I am still learning; therefore, the information I share on this site may not always be “expert” advice or information. But, I do my VERY best to make sure the information shared on this blog is both accurate and helpful.

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