Selecting the right container

22nd October 2021

So, you have just bought a majestic, gnarly 200-year-old Olive tree but what are you going to put it in?

A good pot/container that is fit for purpose is an essential investment. If you scrimp on the cost of a container upfront it will end up costing more money in the long run. You wouldn’t buy a thoroughbred horse and keep it in your garden shed. A tree like this deserves the respect it commands. If you are sourcing the pot yourself (it’s worth noting though that most plant nurseries will happily advise what type of pot is suitable), there are a few things to consider.

WEIGHT: The weight of the root and trunk can be immense. The container needs to be able to withstand this and of course, be frost proof. This leads on to….

LOGISTICS: You may need to hire a crane to lower the tree into the container. Depending on the weight of the tree, to lift and manoeuvre it carefully into the pot would take a lot of manpower as well as potentially damaging the tree and container if not done correctly and with the right equipment. Hiring a professional planting company eliminates these risks.

LOCATION: Where will the olive tree and container be placed in your garden? Consider what direction it will face for sunlight, is it an exposed or sheltered position? In an exposed location a tapered pot will be blown over. A rectangular or square shaped pot is a much safer and sturdier option. Source a container that sits low to the ground. The taller the container is the harder it will be to lower the tree into.

SHAPE/MATERIAL: You want to lower the centre of gravity as much as possible to balance out the weight in the top half of the tree. A large/old tree will have a huge root-ball which needs to have enough room to spread out in the pot. We advise against tapered pots for this reason. A metal or fibreglass container is the most durable and will give you longevity. Make sure the pot is thick to avoid cracking. A terracotta pot is likely to break during the planting process.