New Mexico Olive

New Mexico Olive

New Mexico Olive Tree

Scientific name: Forestiera neomexicana

Alternate names: New Mexican Privet

Description: A deciduous shrub or small tree of the Oleaceae (ash) family. Native to New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, west to California. Little used outside of arid regions. Fairly fast growth makes it a good screening plant as well as a landscape item in arid climates. Does well in full sun. Does well in riparian areas (along streams and near lakes). This is a tree that can be pruned and used in a variety of ways.

New Mexico Olive Leaves

New Mexico Olive Leaves

Sometimes multi-trunked, it makes an attractive landscape tree, short enough to grow beneath utility lines. It can be pruned into a shrub or a hedge for screening, garden delineation, or used as one element of a windbreak.

Height: Up to 15 feet and nearly as broad.

Leaves: Small paired leaves

Fruit: Egg-shaped, blue-black fruit, 1/4 inch long, not always produced (some plants do not have both male and female flowers).

New Mexico Olive Fruit

New Mexico Olive Fruit

Habitat: Dry, rocky slopes and canyons in deserts.

Water: After established will survive without additional water, but grows faster with some water.

Wildlife: Birds eat the fruits

Management & Care: Pruning causes the many-branching tendency to increase, making it ideal for hedges and screening. Can be pruned into a tree, sometimes multi-trunked.

2 comments “New Mexico Olive”

privot leaves are curling and dropping off. Any ideas how to correct?

I would take a cutting of an affected stem to a better local nursery (not a big box store) and see if their specialists can identify the problem.


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