in Species Guide
Latin name : Olea Europaea Family : Oleaceae Genus : Olea

Recognizing the olive

  • Indurated, thorny branches that are almost quadrangular in shape
  • Opposite, evergreen leaves, tough with a short stem, oblong or elliptic in shape, 3-4 cm long. Non-serrated, pointed, ash green and hairless on the upper surface, silky white hairs underneath, rolled along the edges
  • Rather hollow fruits, green then turning black, with a bony stone inside

Sites favored by the olive tree


A very heat-loving species (needs heat to grow). Heliophilous (also needs light).


Adapts to soils with limited water reserves. Sites where water is scarce.


Soils relatively saturated in cations, pH close to neutral.

Root development of the olive tree

  • Deep, powerful, very dense rooting which does not reach out far from the trunk.

Growth of the olive tree

  • Very slow growth.
  • Lifespan exceeding 400 years for the cultivated variety.

Olive tree wood

  • Compact, very homogeneous wood of very high quality.
  • Very good fuelwood.
  • High heritage value
  • The fruit is pressed for oil.


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