The Olive Tree: General Characteristics


The olive tree passes through two important stages in its development:

The Young Stage

This stage is characterized by a greater rooting capacity and by its leaves, which are both thicker and of a smaller size. Moreover, the branches tend to develop small internodes.

• The Adult Stage

This stage is distinguished by its reproductive tendency. The tree will move from the young to adult stage within a few years (from 5 to 8 in trees that have grown from seed).

An olive tree can reach the height of 4 to 8 meters at its adult stage. It is thus an average sized tree, depending on its variety and cultivation site. It usually assumes an open shape with a dense, rounded crown. The crown is usually pruned in an attempt to allow sufficient light to enter.

The trunk is generally quite thick, and the bark is grey or greyish-green. The shape that the tree takes on is affected by the agronomic and environmental conditions, as well as by the type of pruning done.