The olive tree is an evergreen tree that produces fruit that bears the same name (olives). It is a short, yet stout, tree that does not commonly grow past 15m trall. The olive tree has been a significant plant within Mediterranean culture and history and is listed in many historical texts such as the bible. But, where do olive trees grow? This article will answer this question and take a look at some interesting facts about olives.
Where do olive trees grow?
Olive trees are native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is believed that the tree originated in the Mediterranean region and spread to the surrounding areas from here. There is evidence that the olive tree has been cultivated for about 9000 years.
Today the olive tree has been introduced into many countries of the world, but it is still mainly grown in Mediterranean countries. The largest worldwide producers of olives are Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Tunisia.
Interesting facts about olives
- An olive tree can live for over 3000 years and there are some olive trees in the world that are believed to be over 4000 years old!
- Canned black olives may actually be green olives that have added chemical to make them black.
- The main use for the olive is the popular and healthy olive oil. This is made by grinding and pressing the olives.
- There are six natural subspecies of olives around the world.
- An olive tree can actually be considered a pest! In South Australia the introduced olive tree has become a major weed.
- The olive tree is quite hardy, but there are some natural predators (like rabbits) and diseases (fungi and bacteria) that can cause problems to plantations.