closeup of a branch with several green olives and bits of other trees in the olive grove in the background

The olive tree has a unique identity and a long, productive life, especially in the Mediterranean region, where it is an integral part of the cuisine, culture, and history. How long does it live? How many olives make one kilogram of olive oil? Some of these olive tree statistics from the Great Extra Virgin Olive Oil website may surprise you.

  1. It grows mainly along the Mediterranean coast. 98% of olive oil production comes from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea (Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia).
  2. It lives for thousands of years.
  3. For the first seven years, the olive tree does not produce olives.
  4. From the 7th to the 35th years, it grows and becomes productive.
  5. From the 35th to 150th years, it is fully mature and produces maximum yields.
  6. After 150 years, its yield diminishes, but it continues to flower each year.
  7. Only five out of 100 flowers produce olives.
  8. Each tree yields 20 to 30 kilograms of olives.
  9. To produce one kilogram of olive oil, 4 to 6 kilograms of olives are required.

Adapted from “The identity of the Olive Tree,” originally published on the Great Extra Virgin Olive Oil website.