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The Olive Tree, an emblematic tree and a prized wood

texture of olive wood

Olive wood comes from the olive tree, a fruit tree that has been cultivated for thousands of years in Mediterranean regions. Olive wood is often used in crafts and furniture making because of its natural beauty and durability.

The natural properties of olive wood make it an ideal material for kitchen utensils, cutting boards and similar items. It is water and stain resistant.

Technical data sheet of olive wood

You will find all the necessary information to help you understand and use olive wood. We have gathered the characteristics, specifications and information of this exceptional wood.


Common name

Olive tree

Scientific name

Olea europaea


Evergreen fruit tree of the Oleaceae family.

Leaf color

Dark green leaves on top and lighter on the bottom.

Fruit color

The fruit of the olive tree is green or purple or black depending on the variety and the level of ripening.

Wood color

The wood of the olive tree is light yellow-brown, with darker veins. More information on the color.


Up to 10 meters. The olive trees are often pruned to not reach this height to favor the olive harvest and maintain the optimal health of the tree. More information on height.

Trunk diameter

For a mature olive tree, the diameter size varies between 50 and 80 cm. While for a young olive tree, the size is about 30 cm. More information on the diameter.


Slow. The olive tree can take several years to reach an adult size. More information on growth.

Life span

Up to 500 years. More information on lifespan.


Hard and dense wood that resists water and stains.


Small white and fragrant flowers. More information about the flower.


The olive: small, round, oval fruit that is harvested to produce oil or to be eaten. More information about the fruit.


Small leaves (between 4 and 10 cm), dark green on the top and pale green on the bottom and elongated shape.

Flowering period

April to June.

Availability of the olive wood


Due to its slow growth

Price of the olive wood


Disease and pests

The olive tree can be affected by many diseases and pests. More information on diseases.

Description of olive wood

Take a closer look at the characteristics and uses of the olive tree, as well as its history and benefits as a craft and decorative material.

Where to find the olive tree in the world

world map of the origin of olive wood

The olive tree is a tree that comes from the regions along the Mediterranean. It is mainly in Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco and Algeria.

We can also find olive tree crops in :

  • Middle East
  • North and South Africa
  • Australia: hot regions in the south of the country
  • America: Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina

The millennial history of olive wood

olive tree in a field

The history of the olive tree goes back several thousand years. This tree has been cultivated since ancient times for its food, oil, wood and medicinal properties.

During the time of Ancient Greece, the Greeks and Romans valued the olive tree for its oil. They considered olive oil a luxury product and used it for cooking, skin care and religious practices. Olive trees were also considered symbols of peace, wisdom and fertility.

In the Middle Ages, olive cultivation spread throughout Europe and many olive groves (land where olive trees are grown) were established in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. It was at this time that olive oil became a staple food in Europe.

Olive wood, unique colors for a variety of uses

olive wood bowl

Olive wood is a dense and hard wood. It is water and stain resistant, and contains natural oils that can help prevent the growth of bacteria.

Even though olive wood is a hard wood, it is very pleasant to carve and work with. In addition, its wood grain gives it a natural resistance to cracking and warping.

Its color varies from pale yellow to dark brown. It also has brown, green or black veins that give it a unique appearance.

Because of its beauty and durability, olive wood is used to make kitchen utensils, cutting boards or dishes.

However, it is important to source responsibly and sustainably to avoid harming local populations and ecosystems.

The olive, a fruit with multiple virtues

green olives on their branch and olive leaves

As many people know, the fruit of the olive tree is the olive. It is a small round or oval fruit, depending on the variety that is harvested when ripe to produce olive oil or to be eaten as is.

There are many varieties of olives. They are different in color, shape and taste. Olives can be of different colors: green, black or purple.

Olives are harvested in autumn, often between November and December. Olives are rich in nutrients that are beneficial to health.

Olive oil, the precious nectar from the fruit of the olive tree

olive oil and fresh olives

Olive oil is produced from the olive, the fruit of the olive tree. It is extracted from the pulp of the olive tree, which is crushed and pressed to bring out the oil.

Just as there are many varieties of olives, there are many varieties of olive oil. They are differentiated by their color and taste.

It is important to know that the production of olive oil is a major economic activity for many Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece. There are very strict standards to guarantee the quality and authenticity of olive oil.

The flowering of the olive tree: a sign of renewal and prosperity

olive branch with its flowers

The flower of the olive tree is a small white flower and very fragrant. It blooms in spring during the months of April to June in the northern hemisphere and from October to November in the southern hemisphere.

The smell of the olive flower is sweet and is similar to that of the jasmine or the orange flower. Moreover, the olive flower is often used to make perfumes.

At the beginning of the flowering period, small buds appear on the branches of the olive tree. When they develop, these buds become clusters of small white and yellow flowers.

Without flowering, there are no olives! Indeed, flowering is the starting point for pollination and fruit formation. When flowering is affected by weather conditions, diseases or parasites, it has repercussions on fruit production.

The leaf of the olive tree is elongated with a specific tip. It is about 4 to 10 cm long and 1 to 3 cm wide. The olive leaf is said to be leathery, meaning that it is thick and tough. It is also persistent, which means that it will remain on the tree all year, it does not fall in the fall as for trees like the elm.

The growth of the olive tree, how does it grow?

old olive tree

As for many wood species, the life span of the olive tree will depend on its variety and its living conditions: climatic conditions, soil quality and maintenance.

The olive tree is a very long-lived tree, but on average it has a lifespan of 500 years. Also, it is slow growing and can take years to reach full size.

It is only after 6 to 8 years that the olive tree begins to produce olives. The olive tree is at its best between 35 and 150 years old! After 150 years, olive production decreases but does not stop.

One of the main factors that makes the olive tree long-lived is that it is very resistant and adapts to many environments.

The height of an olive tree will change according to its age and growing conditions. Young olive trees are small with a thin trunk, less than 30cm, and with compact foliage. When they reach adulthood, olive trees can reach 10 meters in height and more than 5 meters in span. As for their trunk, it can reach 80 cm in diameter.

The pruning of olive trees is a common practice because it allows the tree to keep a correct height for the olive harvest but also to give it a singular appearance.

Diseases that threaten the health of the olive tree

olive tree disease

Most of the diseases that affect the olive tree will have repercussions on the production of olives. Here are some of them:

  • Hard skin disease: a disease that causes lesions on the trunk and branches of the olive tree.
  • Verticillium disease: a disease that causes wilting of the leaves and branches of the olive tree.
  • Fumaginia: a disease caused by fungi that leads to the formation of a black and sticky substance on the leaves of the olive tree, reducing photosynthesis and fruit production.
  • Olive fly: this insect lays its eggs in the fruits of the olive tree, causing the premature fall of the fruits.

The natural beauty of the olive tree in images

A collection of carefully selected images to inspire you and arouse your curiosity.

olive leaf with water drops
varieties of olives
bee gathering olive tree flowers
old olive tree
black olives
sun in the leaves of the olive tree
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