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The Fragrant Tea Olive Tree is a Gardener's Delight

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The fragrant, evergreen tea olive tree has long been a favorite of gardeners and homeowners who love the sweet smell of its blooms. The tree can bloom several times a year, its white flowers filling the air with a distinctive, peach-like scent.

The tea olive tree is a hardy evergreen

The tea olive tree is native to Asia, but is widely used as a small, decorative tree or shrub in many other places. It is especially popular in the southern United States. The tea olive is a hardy tree, but should not be planted in climates where winter temperatures dip below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, experts say. Tea olive trees can be grown in containers, though, so in areas with harsh winter temperatures, many gardeners simply haul their trees indoors during the worst weather. The tea olive tree is highly adaptable, but does not grow well in soil with a high sand content. It requires full sunlight and should not be planted in shady areas of your yard.

Tea olive trees, left alone, will grow upwards of 20 feet tall, with a spread of some 6 to 8 feet. The tea olive tree, however, thrives with regular pruning, which spurs its growth and fills out bear spots. Many gardeners also prefer to use the tea olive tree as a hedge or shrub, which will require some regular pruning. Tea olive trees are good hedges to use in lining walkways. Because they are dense and evergreen, planting tea olive trees in a row will also make an effective living screen. Experts sometimes recommend them for privacy landscaping.

The tea olive tree has green, glossy leaves that resemble those of a holly bush. In fact, some gardeners refer to tea olive trees by the common name “false holly.’’ While tea olive trees are not typically fast growers – most grow less than a foot per year - they are relatively disease free and live a long time.

Wonderful aroma of the tea olive tree

The tea olive tree’s white flowers are pretty, but generally on the small side. But what they lack in size, they more than make up with their strong fragrance. The sweet, powerful aroma has also earned the tea olive tree another common name, “sweet olive tree.’’ Landscape designers and garden experts often advise homeowners to plant their tea olive trees near walkways, decks or patios – places where they wonderful aroma will be most noticed by people.

A landscape designer or the experts at your local nursery can explain the various tea olive tree species and offer assistance in choosing the best one for your yard. The tea olive tree is a great choice for gardeners seeking a hardy evergreen that will fill their yards with a delightful aroma.


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