Plant & Flower Identification

What Does An Olive Tree Look Like?

Olive varieties can be called Olea Europaea and have a special appearance. So, what does an olive tree look like? What special things about the flower and fruit production process on Olivia trees?

I have just collected useful information about Olive tree varieties, ranging from physical development features to highly recommended instructions for Olive tree care.

If you are interested in this topic, don’t miss any content below; you will surely better understand the Olive plant.

What Does An Olive Tree Look Like?

what does an olive tree look like

Humans have cherished the Olive bush or tree for over five millennia.

Real Olive trees can offer us different advantages, such as virgin Olive oil, delectable fruit, durable Olive wood, and other medical purposes.

Known as a slow-growing evergreen, this plant features a vast crown, short trunk, numerous branches, and 4-inch silvery-green leaves.

Catching detailed characteristics of ancient Olive trees, including extensive root systems, Olive branches, Olive tree leaves, physical bark, and foliage, will help you prepare well before planting them.

Root System

Green olive trees can thrive in various soil conditions with a dual root system. They have a deep taproot that anchors them firmly and a shallow root network, which easily spreads in the topsoil.

So, what do olives grow on the taproots? 

One of the outstanding features of these roots is the ability to emerge above the ground, creating a distinctive appearance.

They also absorb most of the water for the tree to keep green leaves and produce nourishing edible fruits during dry periods.


The wild olives’ size depends on their growth conditions and environment. It means that the rich soils or weather (like extreme cold) will strongly impact their development.

Some olive trees are dwarf or shrub-like, while others can grow into large and majestic trees.

The height of this plant can range from 8 meters to 15 meters, and its trunk can have a considerable diameter that reflects its age and stability.

Growth Pattern

A handful of Olive varieties have twisted and gnarled patterns, making a distinctive appearance anytime.

The trunks may have a single stem or multiple stems that branch out from the trunk near the base.

The trees’ shape varies depending on how they are grown and cared for from the detailed instructions for garden safety.

You can usually catch the performance of trimmed trees with an appealing rounded shape, while native Olive vegetation has a more uneven and sprawling crown spread.


Olive groves are evergreen plants with distinctive bark characteristics that vary with age and environment.

The bark color can range from brown to gray under different amounts of hours of sunlight and moisture the tree receives.

Young O. Europaea trees have smooth and even bark covering their slender trunks. When the tree matures, its bark becomes more twisted to adapt to changing growth patterns and stresses.

The mature-enough trees have a bark system that is deeply ridged and fissured, creating a rugged and ancient appearance.

The bark also tends to exfoliate or shed in thin scales, revealing the inner layers in the native soil.


Wild or potted Olive trees do not shed their leaves seasonally. It can be explained that they belong to the evergreen family in nature.

So, what do olive leaves look like? Their leaves are a unique shade of silvery green, owing to the lower surface being lighter and the upper surface being darker.

You can easily detect these signs on the black olives.

The leaves are long and narrow, ranging from 2.5 to 10 cm long and 0.8 to 4 cm wide. When you have ornamental trees, they also grow symmetrically on the branches.

It gives you good control while caring for them under any condition, including light soil.

How Do Olives Trees Reproduce?

how big does olive tree get

Trees that look like olive trees can produce flowers and fruits differently. This used to be tested for the International Olive Council on native trees.

Below is our information about the fruit crops and how to detect good flowers on the Olive trees after having strict clarification from Wikimedia Commons. In particular:


Olive plants are fascinating and can produce two kinds of flowers: male and perfect. Male flowers are the source of pollen, while perfect flowers contain both male and female reproductive organs.

The flowers’ color can help you distinguish them effectively: male flowers are yellowish-white, while perfect flowers are greenish-yellow.

Both have a simple structure with four petals and bright yellow stamens that attract pollinators.

Some trees can have flowers growing in clusters at the base of their leaves before reaching the ripening cycle on the native vegetation.

You can see male and perfect flowers in these situations; it is a special experience.


When a flower receives pollen from another plant, it undergoes fertilization. This triggers the development of a special kind of fruit called a drupe.

A drupe is a small, fleshy fruit with a hard stone or pit inside. The pit contains the plant’s seed, which can grow into a new one.

The Olive fruit comes in different colors and flavors, depending on how they are harvested. They are not only delicious but also nutritious. They are rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants.

They are also famous for “oil-cured olives” on the market. If you experience it frequently, there will be many benefits for your skin and hair.

The nutrition values of olive fruits are similar between young and aged Olive trees. Don’t worry about the longevity problem when trying any Olive products.

Where Do Olive Trees Grow?

The proliferation of Olive oil times has witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations. Their long history can be traced back to millions of years ago.

Scientists have found its fossils for leaves, stems, and fruits dating back to the Oligocene epoch, between 20 and 40 million years ago!

The wild ancestors of the current olive plant were first harvested by peoples living in the eastern Mediterranean region, where they grew naturally.

Archaeological evidence suggests that humans have collected and processed wild olives since the Paleolithic era, around 19,000 BC.

The olives cultivation for producing domestic fields began around 7,000 years ago, becoming one of the oldest crops in the world.

These trees’ origin is not completely in North America but in the lands across the Atlantic Ocean.

They arrived in the Americas with Spanish colonists in the 1500s, and since then, they have become a vital part of developing agriculture and economic activities.

3 Common Types Of Olive Trees

olive bush or tree

You normally find information about three common types/levels of Olives in the Heritage Garden or tropical evergreen knowledge websites.

It can cover details about physical features, how to care for them, and how to collect olives in ripening harvests. I will provide you with overall information about these Olive plants below:

Green Olives

When green olives have grown to their maximum size, they are ready to be collected.

However, they are not fully ripe yet, and their skin color is still green, showing that they have reached the optimal stage of maturity.

The inner part of the olives, called the flesh, has a bitter taste and a firm texture that is not soft or mushy.

Black/Ripe Olives

When fully ripe, the olives turn into a deep purple or brown hue on the skin and flesh. These are the black or ripe olives that have a soft texture and a rich flavor.

They are harvested at the peak of their maturity when they have developed their distinctive taste and color.

Semi Ripe Olives

Semi-ripe olives are a special type picked at a specific stage of their maturation process.

They are harvested before they start to ripen, or black olives, meaning that when they show the first signs of changing color.

Their skin turns from green to reddish or brownish hue, indicating that they have begun their ripening cycle.


Where Do Olive Trees Come From?

They don’t completely come from North America but from the Atlantic Ocean. They spread to other Mediterranean regions through ancient civilizations.

You can also see their appearance in the European areas called “Olea Europaea.”

Which Essential Conditions To Grow Olive Trees?

Olive trees need a sunny, sheltered spot with well-drained soil. They tolerate some cold but not frost. They require regular watering and feeding, but not too much.

They also benefit from pruning and cross-pollination.

Are Live Olives Plants Self-Pollinating?

The answer may be Yes. It can be explained that this phenomenon only occurs in certain kinds of olives.

However, olive trees may benefit from cross-pollination with compatible varieties, which can increase their yield and fruit size.


My blog has just provided all the information about Olive tree groves and answered the question, “What does an olive tree look like?”.

You will surely get useful content from this blog and raise a higher awareness of the olive value in supporting your daily life. Don’t miss any opportunities to try olive fruits at least one time!

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button