In the following post, we would like to provide you with information about the thousand-year-old olive trees from which we obtain our Grenade oil. We’ll tell you how long they can live with practical examples and the impressive measurements of some of them. Here in Spain we also have magnificent specimens.
Have you ever wondered why they can live so long? Here you will also find the answer. We will talk a little about the productivity of these trees.
Keep reading because we are sure you will love this post about ancient olive trees.
How long can ancient olive trees live?
To illustrate this section on the longevity of thousand-year-old olive trees, we are going to talk about two of the most famous trees in the world.
The oldest olive tree in the world is supposed to be in Bethlehem, in the village of Al Walaja. Experts from Europe and Japan have determined the existence of an olive tree that is between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. This tree has been named Al Badawi, which means “The Great”.
El Grande is 12 metres high and 25 metres in diameter. One of the characteristics of thousand-year-old olive trees is their large size.
Let’s travel to Spain, to a place called Ulldecona, in the province of Tarragona, on the border between Catalonia and the Valencian Community. Here, an olive tree has been dated at over 1,700 years old. The name given to it is Farga de Arion and it was planted in 314 during the rule of Emperor Constantine.
There is a large number of centenary and millenary olive trees. Their life expectancy is 2,000 years on average. And you can be sure that there are many more that do not exist simply because of what man has done, taking them out of their natural habitat to make money from them for their decorative qualities, of which there are also many.
Why do thousand-year-old olive trees live so long?
The answer to this question may surprise you. Olive trees can reach two thousand years or more because they are slow-growing trees. In this sense, they are similar to oak, beech or redwood which, although they belong to different families, it is not unusual to find specimens over a thousand years old.
On the other hand, the olive tree is a very intelligent fruit tree: when the temperature during the summer months exceeds 30 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity drops below 20%, the olive tree closes its stomata through which it breathes and works at 30% of its total capacity. As a result, it does not suffer in the slightest and its service life can be increased.
What must not be forgotten is that the olive tree is a tree found in the Mediterranean region and is not a slow-growing tree because it suffers from cold or adverse climatic conditions, but because in this Mediterranean region, which stretches from Israel to the Iberian Peninsula, the soil in which it grows is very poor in nutrients.
For this reason, the olive tree cannot grow faster. It just needs to be put to the test. If you take an olive tree, water it and look after it carefully, you will notice its growth year after year. But if you don’t, it will be many decades before it becomes a wonderful specimen.
Ancient olive trees are a natural heritage that deserves to be protected.
Whatever their age, we are more than aware of the importance of the role played by the tree in the production of excellent quality olives, the raw material for our extra virgin olive oil, and for this reason we give them all the care and attention they need.
Productivity and quality in ancient olive trees
That said, at what age do olive trees give their best? In our experience, the most productive olive trees are those between 30 and 40 years old.
At least, they have the best average productivity. In the case of olive trees grown without irrigation, a 100-year-old olive tree usually produces more than when it was only 60 years old.
In summary, we can say that olive trees between 5 and 100 years old are the most productive and offer the best quality. From that age onwards, both productivity and quality decline. It is as if the tree becomes a little slow.
Oil from millenary and centenary olive trees
We hope you enjoyed this post about ancient olive trees. Would you like to try our organic extra virgin olive oil? Our estate produces oil from ancient and centenary olive trees. Visit our green oil online shop.