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  • From: "Mark Lee" <>
  • To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
  • Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Re: olive trees found in Bulgaria
  • Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 09:36:13 -0800

Title: Re: olive trees found in Bulgaria
I asked the guy in Bulgaria if there was a possiblity that the tree was a Russian Olive (Eleagnus).  His reply was "These two may look the same to Russians, but trust me, I can very well distinguish them. And I think that a closer look to the second photo should clear up any doubts. I will make better photos and will post them to my site next week."
So I checked out his site at  More good stuff on cold hardy olives was found there...
"The winter 2001/2002 was very good for cold hardy plants hunters. What I did was to visit all places with low extremes where olives are grown. During that winter there was an anticyclone in southern Bulgaria and northern Greece and in these areas the whole month December 2001 was the coldest on record.   I've been told many times before about many olive varieties that they are very cold hardy. All of these varieties freeze to the ground each year. After this cold winter I found 6-7 really hardy varieties, the others just did not survive.  (picture shows Olea europea garden in northern Greece, zone 8b.) Different varieties were planted for better polination. Only the cold hardy varieties have survived the low of -20°C (-4°F). They were untouched and produced normal fruit crop in the next year 2002. Those, which froze later sprouted from the ground."
Anyone want to take a trip to Bulgaria and bring back olive trees to share?
-Mark Lee, Seattle, z7b/8a
-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Lon J. Rombough
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2003 6:31 PM
Cc: Hector Black
Subject: [NAFEX] Re: olive trees found in Bulgaria

Though I've never tried propagating olives, they were traditionally grown from rooted cuttings.  They were brought into cultivation very early and that is one earmark of just about all the first fruits to be cultivated - they would grow from cuttings, plants like figs, grapes, and olives.  Historically, the Romans planted many olive orchards that way - long cuttings were thrust into the ground and kept watered and cared for, and they would root and grow.  With that in mind, I would imagine that olive cuttings would probably root pretty well with bottom heat in a light, well-drained medium.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at

From: hector black <>
Reply-To: hector black <>, North American Fruit Explorers <>
Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 15:56:42 -0800
To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] olive trees found in Bulgaria at -4'F

I'll be dipped! That really does look like an olive.  I don't know anything about propagation.  Any information about the size and quality of the fruit?  With global warming, we should be able to grow them in many places although I know they don't like high humidity.  I have a correspondent in Croatia who told me about a hardy olive they had, but he couldn't remember where he had seen it.  Maybe in Bulgaria??  That's a great find, in any case, Mark.  Must be something, somewhere on propagation - California Rare Fruit Growers should have some info.
   Hector Black, zone 6 middle TN

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