SelecTree: Tree Detail

Olea europaea

Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea Olea europaea

Photo Locations: Santa Barbara, CA, Santa Cruz, CA, The National Arboretum - Washington, Santa Clara University - Santa Clara, CA DC and Lotusland - Santa Barbara, CA

General Notes

Native to the Mediterranean region, it does best in fertile deep soil, but also tolerates rocky or alkaline soils. It does well in heat and tolerates moderate short-term dryness. Multi-trunk specimens can be trimmed-up to expose the attractive gray trunks. It may eventually require regularly scheduled light top-trimming (but not necessarily shearing) of vigorous top shoots to maintain a lower height. The underside of leaves is silver-gray. Fruitless or few-mature-fruit varieties include 'swan hill', little ollie', majestic beauty', and 'skylark dwarf'.

This plant is classified as invasive by the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC). Its rating is limited.

Has fragrant Flower.

Native to Mediterranean region.

An Olea europaea in Sacramento Capital Park #338 is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 34 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 168 inches and a crown spread of 60 feet.

Family: Oleaceae

Additional Common Names


Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading with a Low Canopy.

Rounded, Spreading or Vase Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 25 - 30 feet.

Width: 25 - 30 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 to 24 Inches per Year.

Longevity Greater than 150 years.

Leaves Ovate, Bluish Green or Silver or Gray Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. Fragrant Flowers in Spring. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Prolific, Black, Purple or Mostly Green Drupe, Medium (0.50 - 1.50 inches), fruiting in Fall Edible and Wildlife use it.

Bark Light Gray, Scaly.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Wet Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 8, 9 and 11 - 24; H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 8 - 10.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist to Dry Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Slightly Acidic to Highly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Moderate on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Good to Medium in Mild Zone.

Pests & Disease Information

Resistant to Texas Root Rot. Susceptible to Scales and Psyllid, Anthracnose, Armillaria, Phytophthora, Root Rot, Sooty Mold and Verticillium.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Strong.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Moderate.

Allergy Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Low.

Fire Resistance is Conflicting.

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Birds and Bees.

Wildlife use Fruit.

Special Uses & Values



Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Olea europaea Tree Record." 1995-2021. Apr 12, 2021.
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SelecTree Nursery Connection Map
Cal Poly / ESRI