Olive - Olea Europaea

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The olive (Olea Europaea) is one of the most popular cultivations in the world. The surface area of the cultivation has trebled between 1960 and 1998 and has reached 10 million hectares in the year 2010. The ten largest in production countries according to FAO are in the Mediterranean basin and produce 95% of the world production.

It is an evergreen perennial plant tree with edible fruit. Its longevity is the most characteristic feature of this tree. Simultaneously, it remains productive for lots of years. The olive and its cultivation are closely linked to the history of our country, rural economy, local heritage and environment. It is widely known that the ancient Greeks would crown the winners with wild olive wreaths in Olympics (kotinos). 

The importance of olive for the Mediterranean countries is due to the fact that the olive has been developed and flourished in two narrow strips in temperate zones (30°-45°) that they also include Mediterranean basin. Olive oil is considered to be of the best quality oil and is recognized worldwide for its pleasant scent. In Greece, the olive trees are in the 75% of the surface area and the 1/3 of the rural population of the country is involved in olive cultivation. 

It is unnecessary to be mentioned the importance of olive cultivation for our country since closely linked to its history, rural economy, local heritage and environment. Olive tree is a fruitful tree and like all fruitful trees have great requirements concerning nutrients. There is a misunderstanding that it has not great requirements, for the reason that this tree has the ability through its rich root system to explore large volume of soil. This is the reason why the olive tree shows great adaptability to various environments, even to environments with extreme soil conditions. Though, this is not a sufficient reason for lacking fertilization, because when this tree is poorly nourished, it may alternate so in a productive year to be followed by a year with no or minimum fruition.