We call "high density" orchards where trees are planted close to one another. They constitute big investments at first, but they will yield more and provide better pollination in the long run. High density orchards are considered a smart investment by most olive producers. The trees are pruned, or trained, in a mono-tubular shape to allow more trees to be planted.
The type of olive trees you will select for your high density orchard depends upon several factors. Of course, the first thing to consider is what type of olive you wish to harvest. Second is the climate in which your orchard is situated. Finally, as we discussed in another article, you need to consider what pollinator you will use. The type of olive tree you decide to plant will need to be compatible with the pollinator you choose, or you may experience a slow or unprofitable yield.
We've put together a short list of common olive tree types, which are particularly well suited to high density orchard, either because they are good self-pollinators, or because they are well suited to many types of pollinators.
- Arbequina: Yields small but aromatic and sweet fruits.
- Frantoio: Offers a very good yield and has a pungent but sophisticated taste.
- Maurino Full of flavor and deeply spicy olive, highly resistant.
- Pendolino Often used as a pollinator, a good medium-quality olive.
- Sevillano: A mild fruity flavor which produces a low oil quantity, but its oil is very sought after and can better the taste of less sophisticated oils when blended.
- Ascolano: Yield large fruits, fruity and very juicy. Very resistant and a good self-pollinator.
1) Production Techniques in Olive Growing by the International Olive Council
2) "Variety and Maturity - The Two Largest Influences on Olive Oil Quality" by Paul Vossen
3) University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (http://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/files/30942.pdf)