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The Olive Tree

Updated on December 16, 2011

Olive trees can have a reachable lifespan of up to 2,000 years or more. Olive trees have not only seen many a generations, but entire empires rise and fall.

The olive tree has silvery green/grey foliage with a brown to grey colored trunk. Olive trees are used frequently for ornamental purposes because of their symbol, beauty, no messy bark and leafs dropping loose all the time.

It has the capacity to withstand the rough treatment of winds and storms, saltier water, heat waves and cold extremes, and their evergreen yearly appearance.

The olive tree has been cultivated for more than 3,000 years in Mediterranean countries and due to its recognized culinary and medicinal properties was brought from Asia long before that.

There are records that date back 5000 years showing olive trees were planted and cared for in Syria in an orchard like manner and the olives and olive oil commercialized.

After the flood rain stopped, as said, Noah sent out a dove to search for land and it came back with a small olive branch.

Olive trees will survive with minimal care and will live and produce fruit for many centuries. In the Middle East and in places like the Olive Garden in Jerusalem, have olive trees that are said to be well over two thousand years old.

Ancient Olive Trees

A 500 year old Olive tree with 4 meters in diameter
A 500 year old Olive tree with 4 meters in diameter
View from the opposite side
View from the opposite side

There are no limits to the marketable possibilities of an olive orchard in age and continual production, having normal fertile soil and provided that the tree receives suitable annual rain fall, good trimming and fertilizer.

Mediterranean countries are full of olive trees and olive groves wherever you look and their diet has included for thousands of years olives and olive oil and has been recognized as one of the healthiest diets worldwide due in part to the bearing fruit of the olive tree. A diet that includes olives and olive oil helps lower the levels of the bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attacks and various cancers.

Countries that combine the Mediterranean reap the benefits that olive trees provide. These countries know the healthy consequence of olives and olive oil on high cholesterol blood levels, cardiovascular diseases and stomach problems to name a few. Especially in Crete as for instance, where the highest use of olive oil is per person in the world, has the lowest rate of death from heart related diseases.

Throughout thousands of years the olive tree has proved to be very drought resilient. When many other trees have died due to lack of rain fall, the olive tree has always been among the few survivors. As well the olive tree is a good fire survivor. An olive tree can be burnt in a passing fire through its life several times and still sprout new leaf growth a few months later. The Olive tree is one of the few trees that will easily survive and adapt a relocation or transplantation.

People have used the olive tree in many ways, as for income, food, medicine, heat, light, shade, wind breaker, friendship, ornamental and even status. The olive tree can increase the Real Estate value of any property.

Used as a Gift the olive tree is a symbol of joy, peace, longevity, health, happiness, bonding and forgiveness. It is known for centuries that a person giving an olive tree to another would mean the building of a long and lasting relation and has been used as well as a gift to open the communication doors between feuding families.

Olive Tree
Olive Tree
Olive Tree
Olive Tree
Olive Tree
Olive Tree
Young Olive Tree
Young Olive Tree


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    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Hi James and you´re right! I did not find any as well, but will keep looking and post if I find any!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I've been looking for Frantoio seeds, any clue as to where I can buy them? Preferably online, having a hard time finding some.

    • nelson soares profile imageAUTHOR

      nelson soares 

      8 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      I´m glad you enjoyed my hub! Thanks oceansnsunsets!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Nelson, I love Olive trees, and think they are fascinating. Great hub. I went to Greece, and got to see some very very old ones, and they are just incredible.


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