The Olea europaea or olive tree is a long-living evergreen tree that can reach up to 15m in height, with a broad crown and a thick, twisted, often very short trunk. A tree of Mediterranean origin, it is very widespread in Spain and much valued for its olives and the quality of the oil produced from them. Older specimens from ancient olive plantations, many of them centenary, are currently used for ornamental purposes. It can live for more than 1,500 years and is a leafy tree, which grows slowly, with a thick and irregular trunk that twists and turns into many shapes.
A tree with a broad crown, it blossoms in mid-spring, producing bunches of white flowers with a pleasant smell, which turn into olives at the end of autumn or in winter. In Spain there are about 300 varieties of olive tree; the best include the Picudo, Empeltre, Hojiblanca, Cornicabra, Lechín, Manzanilla, Verdial and Picual.
Olives can be round or oval, large or small, depending on the species of tree, and from them, oil is extracted, creating a delicacy with many culinary uses which is central to the famed Mediterranean diet, and also has uses in medicine and cosmetics, mainly in making soap.
Its wood is valued for making carvings, for cabinet making and as fuel and charcoal. We promote its potential in gardens since the olive tree is easy to move once fully grown. It is a tree that thrives best in warm and sunny weather although it adapts to harsher conditions such as cold, frost, wind, drought, pollution and poor maintenance.
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