Olive plants or its botanical name olea europea are species of small tree in family oleaceae. We can find in most of Africa, Mediterranean basin, and also Portugal.
We can also find them in southern Asia as well as China, Maurutius and Reunion. People cultivate olive all over the world. Hence, you can find olive everywhere you go.
Olive tree has been major component for olive oil in Mediterranian. The word ‘olive’ itself derived from Latin which is oliva meaning olive fruit. Olive tree is squat and short. Its height is around 8-15 m. Some have large trunk diameter. It has silvery green leaves with 4-10 cm long and 1-3 cm wide. The fruit of olive tree is a small drupe with 1-2.5 cm long. It has seed which some call it a pit, a rock or a stone.
Olive is grown for many purposes both personal use or commercial. It can be eaten or made into oil which has lots of benefits. However, you cannot eat olive fruit directly from the tree. They need to go through brine processed first. The color of olive fruit depends on its maturity. Green means it’s unripe and dark purple or black means it’s already ripe.
Planting Olive Trees
It is claimed that olive tree can live until 1000 years and more. It has small-white flowers with feathery texture and aromatic.
To plant olive, the weather should be in the right condition. Olive planting is suitable when the climate is mild winters and long, dry, and warm summer.
Olive is included in tropical plants, so the frost will kill olive tree. It cannot thrive the temperature 22 F.
Some trees may survive but their production will not be satisfying. It can be planted in temperature 45 F.
It doesn’t suit wet condition because it can influence the quality of the fruits. Hence, the best time to plant olive is in spring around April or May.
Here are Simple Ways For Olive Planting:
Olive trees are sold as orchard stocks in 4-inch pots to 1 galloon container. Then, pick some and buy it as you need. The trees need to be well- watered before planting for the best growth. Now let’s move to the planting process.
First, you need to dig the planting holes. The size can be adjusted with the container’s. Next, remove the trees from the container. Be careful when you examining the roots.
Second, put the tree into the hole. It should be placed slightly higher than the ground level. Third, place soil about one inch from the surrounding area on top of the root ball. Then, build up the grade. If you are thinking about adding organic matter or soil mix then it’s better for you not to do it because it can create potted effect. Make sure that the soil is well-drainage.
Maintaining Olive Trees
For the first few years, you need to take care of young olive trees. They are quite sensitive to cold and extreme hot. Hence, when the weather gets hotter, you need to place drip irrigation emitters. The newly planted trees should be irrigated daily. However, you can modify irrigation frequency and duration once the trees become more established. The trees will be shaped in fourth to sixth years.
Advantages of Olive Oil
Olive oil has been major commodity all over the world. Here are some advantages you can get from olive oil.
Fight against cancer
Olive oil has phytonutrient and oleocanthal that can reduce inflammation. Thus, it can decrease breast cancer risk. It contains squalene and lignans which are effective to fight against cancer.
Reduce type 2 diabetes
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats which is good for a low-fat diet. From the studies, it is found that high fat diets can increase the risk of cancer and diabetes. Hence, the type of fat is more important than the amount. Fats contained in olive oil is indeed good for our health. It can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Reduce the risk of stroke
For older individuals, it is good to consume virgin olive oil. It can be used for cooking or dressing. It will lower the risk of stroke and it has been studied by researchers.