Olive tree that does not produce

Question: olive tree that does not produce

Five years ago I planted a centenary Tuscan olive tree in my garden.

It has never produced olives and the inflorescences are very scarce even absent.

Is it true that it could be sterile?

Can it be made productive?

Thanks for the reply

Olive tree that does not produce: Answer: olive tree that does not produce

Dear Nella, welcome to the section of our website where readers can propose their curiosities to the experts of our site. Centenary olive trees, having reached a certain point in their life, stop producing flowers and fruits and probably its plant has reached this stage of its development. After a certain age, the olive trees go into senescence and are no longer productive plants but their function is only ornamental. In practice, they only vegetate without being able to reproduce. A second cause of the lack of flower and fruit production could also be transplantation. In fact, such large plants struggle to recover from a transplant and can take a long time to recover and get their functions back to full capacity but given the age-old age of its olive tree, the first hypothesis is probably the real cause of the plant's sterility.

The olive tree fears many diseases (fungi, bacteria) and parasites (insects).

Among the diseases that cause the most damage to olive crops we find : peacock's eye or cyclonium, Gleosporium olivarum or olive leprosy and olive mange (pseudomonas savastanoi - olive tuberculosis)

Among the parasites that attack olive trees :

  • the olive fly (dacus oleae),
  • cochineal half a grain of pepper (seissetia olea),
  • the cottony cochineal (filippa, lichtensia viburni),
  • the olive thrips (liothripis oleae),
  • moth and green margaronia moth

The oil fly is a very fearsome parasite that lays its eggs in olives. The larvae grow in the pulp causing rot and desiccation.

The peacock eye or cyclonium (spilocaea pleaginea) is a fungus similar to the peacock's eye with brownish spots with a lighter center, which attacks the leaves and fruits causing their early fall.

The fumaggine covers the leaves and young branches with black-sooty deposits causing damage to the vegetation and flowering.

Mange or tuberculosis of the olive tree of bacterial origin that produces cancerous formations, the size of a walnut, on the branches that have wounds caused by hail or beating.

The characteristics of the olive tree

The olive tree is a plant that blooms between May and June. The olive tree in the garden can live several centuries and is characterized by its own trunk often from strange shapes and often twisted, but also for his own lanceolate leaves, small, silver in color in the lower part and deep green in the upper part.

THE olive tree flowers they are grouped in mignole, ie inflorescences, while its oval-shaped fruits can have different colors depending on the variety. Their pulp is oily, and thanks to it, theolive oil.

Krisma white olive tree

Olea Europaea L.

Family: Oleacee

In the Locride area it was said that in the farms of the Basilian monasteries, belonging to the order of S. Basilio di Neocesarea sul Ponto, there was an olive biotype, considered sacred, which produced white olives. About thirty years ago, in the territory of Ferruzzano in an abandoned agricultural area, the writer identified an olive tree inside a huge hedge, which produced white olives. The plant was observed for about three years and it was found that it produced flowers grouped in racemes, which would turn into olive trees in clusters of three or four at a time.

It was necessary to spread the olive tree since it was a rare biotype, in order to save it from extinction and the investigation was also extended to Bianco where plants that still exist today were identified, including one not far from the ruins of the Byzantine church of S Mercury, in the vineyard of the Sinopoli family, which fails to pick the olives out of reverence for its sacredness.

In fact, holy oil was obtained from them, according to the testimony of the late Francesco Mezzatesta, who managed the agricultural consortium in Bianco and was the depositary of the ancient knowledge of the agricultural world of his territory other people who own an olive tree of this type fail to collect olives without knowing why.

Still others reported that in the farms belonging to the monasteries the settlers or the tenants could not collect the white olives as they had to be delivered to the monasteries themselves who were concerned with obtaining the oil of the most important religious functions and added that in every field belonging to the church at least one such plant had to be planted.

The research led to the identification of another plant in Mammola in a field that in the past belonged to the monastery of San Nicodemo, while in Bova, a Byzantine city where some old people still sporadically speak Greek, new information enriched the historical investigation.

The late Bruno Casile, a highly refined Hellenophonist, said that the olive tree with white drupes was called leucolea and that it was planted only in the fields of Greek Orthodox monasteries, so as to obtain the Krisma oil, that is what was needed for the anointings of the Byzantine imperial officials and prelates were forbidden to plant them in other areas.

The investigation was extended to Gerace, the Byzantine city par excellence, where the deceased Antonio LaganĂ  had a conservation field with 79 biotypes of olive trees from the area and was happy when he learned of the reappearance of the one with white drupes, which he considered definitively lost. He wanted to take grafts from a reproduced specimen and did not have the satisfaction of seeing it in production because he died shortly thereafter.

He said that it was called leukocase, that is the white of Kasos, the Aegean island from which it originated, and it was used to produce Krisma oil, that is, anointing for those designated to high offices, both civil and religious.

Ten years ago Fedele Lamenza, owner with his wife of the Pompilio olive farm in Cosenza, came to Locride to visit a rescue camp of ancient vines and communicated that he had discovered two centenary white olive trees in Saracena (Cosenza) in the vegetable garden that belonged to to the Capuchin convent, set on fire by the Piedmontese in 1861. The oil was used by the monks to illuminate the church, as, when burning, it did not produce much smoke, perhaps because it was low in fat. Fortunately he had grafted some plants, taking the scions from the aforementioned olive trees, anticipating the fire that destroyed the two plants years later.

Mario Cleminus, when he was mayor of Placanica, informed that in Titi Convento, a fraction of Placanica, there was a centenary olive tree that produced white drupes, which before taking on this color in a definitive way, turned from green to yellow and were produced from an olive tree belonging to Antonio Cavallaro, who said that the olive tree in his field had been grafted more than 70 years ago by his father who had recovered the graft in a field located under the Byzantine hermitage of Monte Stella, in the municipality of Pazzano, when there was went to have his cow covered in heat by a bull of a friend of his.

According to the story of Antonio's wife, in the year of office the olive tree produces about forty liters of clear and transparent oil which is used especially for salads. Another peculiarity of the Titi olive tree is the fact that among the white olives sometimes a few velvety black drupes stand out.

In December 2011, at the request of Sergio Guidi of Arpa Emilia Romagna, together with the managers of Arpacal and Dr. Vanna Forconi of the ISPRA Research Institute, the writer brought an olive tree from the krysma to the Vatican Gardens director. , where he was planted, after being delivered in a ritual manner in the governorship to Cardinal Sciacca.

The research was enriched by prof. Daniele Castrizio, Greek Orthodox papas in the church of San Paolo dei Greci in Reggio Calabria as well as a professor of numismatics at the University of Messina who pointed out that the anointing oil was probably obtained from white olives, which perfumed with odorous essences not known, turned into myron.

Later another information arrived from Oppido Mamertina, the ancient Motta S. Agata of the Byzantines, Castro (administrative city) and seat of Droungos (military district) in the Turme delle Saline, where the olive tree of the krysma is still sporadically in the past it embellished the noble villas for the beauty of its drupes, which were pressed separately, obtaining a light, almost transparent oil, used only for salads.

In the same area it was also investigated in Santa Cristina where in a farm of the young entrepreneur Roberto Papalia, in the Campo district there are two plants with the same characteristics, which are strangely called "French olive trees".

After a further investigation, thanks to a text given to the writer by the young Tuscan engineer of Calabrian origin Cesare Scarfò, it became known that in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, among the fourteen most important varieties of the Kingdom, the white or Albicora, which yielded minute and white fruits like ivory, oil as white as water.

Furthermore, in the garden of a monastery in Taggia, in the province of Imperia, there is a similar olive tree brought to Liguria by the crusaders from the Holy Land, which had been taken from the island of Kasos, on which he discussed a thesis, Pino Baffa , which asked for information on the white olive tree of Locride, also constituting a small conservation field for the white olive tree of Taggia.

Again Teresio Leoncini from Villafranca in Lunigiana, asked the writer, his friend, about the scions of the Krisma olive tree, which he grafted creating olive trees that he is spreading in Tuscany and offered small olive trees to admirers of Veneto, including Vladimiro Rocco . A nurseryman from the province of Catania came to Ferruzzano and obtained slips from an olive tree of Callipari Domenico in the Carruso district, grafted about 25 years ago by the writer.

Recently, on the recommendation of the young Raffaele Scali of Gioiosa Marina, an olive tree of Krisma was identified in the municipality of Gioiosa itself, in the property of Giudice Cento, managed by Nicola Musolino.

He informed that the olive tree with white olives was called the olive tree of the Madonna and out of devotion its olives are never harvested or used.

It should be noted that olives are very delicate and that if attacked by the olive fly, they begin to deteriorate and lose their whiteness, while they are also subject to being attacked by the tripod.

By now the risk of extinction of the olive tree in question is moving away, thanks to the beauty of its drupes and every year in the garden of the railway station in Ferruzzano Marina visitors come to admire the olives of the young olive tree of Krisma, grafted almost thirty ' years ago. Its most important admirer is Dr. Gerardo Pontecorvo, currently an official of the ministry of agricultural, food and forestry policies, author of this photograph.


Garden trees, as can be easily understood, do not constitute a particular category for which it is possible to identify unifying characteristics but are a very vast and also highly heterogeneous whole. For this reason there is no specific classification for them other than that of trees in general.

According to their height, therefore, we will have:

  • Garden trees of the first magnitude. They are all those who as adults can reach a height of more than 20 m.
  • Second size garden trees. They are those that as adults develop a height between 10 and 20 meters.
  • Garden trees of third magnitude. As adults they develop heights of less than 10 meters.

Depending on their posture and therefore on the shape and size of the trunk and foliage we will have:

  • Columnar garden trees. They have a straight and imposing trunk so as to resemble a colona.
  • Pyramidal garden trees. They have branches and foliage in the canopy arranged to resemble a pyramid.
  • Globular garden trees. They have a globe-shaped hair.
  • Ovoid garden trees. They have the branches and leaves of the canopy arranged to form an egg.
  • Weeping garden trees. They have pendulous and drooping branches.

Depending on the shape and size of the leaves we will have:

  • Deciduous garden trees. They have broad and varied leaves.
  • Coniferous garden trees. They have small needle-shaped leaves.

Depending on the life cycle of the leaves we will have:

  • Deciduous garden trees. If in the bad season the leaves all together dry up and fall off.
  • Evergreen garden trees. If in the adverse season the leaves do not dry out and remain green on the branches.
  • Semi-persistent deciduous garden trees. If in the adverse season the leaves dry up but remain on the branches.

The different species of garden trees

A small garden can appear as spectacular and impressive as a very large one. Selecting the right plants means choosing those that are most suitable for the climate, the type of soil, the geographical context and the lighting that the space enjoys. For example, in the part immediately adjacent to the house, it is advisable to opt for evergreen: this is to prevent leaves from entering the house during the autumn season. Still, if you love cooking, a good idea could be represented by a fruit tree, such as a peach or a pear tree, in order to prepare delicious jams. Below is a selection of the most beautiful species useful for making the best choice for your garden.


The Hamamelis belongs to the Hamamelidaceae family and is also defined as the witch hazel.

The name indicates a species that does not reach a high height, characterized by copper or yellow flowers with ruffled and ribbon-like petals as well as deciduous leaves.

One of the most interesting features of this plant is the ability to present both the flowers of the current year and the fruits of the previous vegetative cycle simultaneously.

Specifically, it happens that the latter take a long time to mature enough to remain on the plant until the next flowering.

Prunus glandulosa

Prunus is a genus that in itself contains about a dozen species of trees and shrubs, evergreen or deciduous, belonging to the Rosaceae family. In particular, Prunus glandulosa indicates a small tree with a maximum height of 2 meters.

It almost always assumes a shrubby bearing, very similar to the almond tree (in fact, it is generally defined as an ornamental almond). The tree has a series of dense, robust branches covered with small, dark green deciduous leaves.

A noteworthy peculiarity is that concerning the flowering: it, in particular, is not only early, but also prolonged. The small flowers, white or pink, create a pleasant sight to behold. The fruits, then, recall the dorma of small cherries and are sour, but edible. If you opt for this species, it is good to remember to place it so that it can enjoy a few hours of exposure to sunlight so as to make it grow more luxuriant and healthy.

Lagerstroemia indica

Lagerstroemia indica is nothing more than a shrub or small tree with deciduous leaves, which has the ability to reach about 10 meters in height.

The stem is thin with a smooth, clear court and tends to flake over the years. It is also distinguished by a rounded crown, not very dense and enlarged, rich in oval and elongated leaves.

In the summer, Lagerstroemia indica produces panicles of lilac, pink or white flowers.

This plant is an excellent garden tree, which allows you to have bright colors in your garden and a fresh intoxication of peace and tranquility. To fully enjoy the properties of this garden tree, care and maintenance of the soil and the plant is recommended.

Olive tree

Belonging to the Oleaceae family, Olea europaea, commonly known as olive or olive tree, indicates a fruit plant probably born in the Middle East. Olives, or its fruits, are used for the extraction of oil, which is directly used in everyone's daily diet. The plant has the particularity of producing its first fruits around the third or fourth year of vegetation, then reaching maturity after 50 years.

Contrary to what one might believe, it is not a long period since the plant in question is very long-lived (being able to live up to a thousand years). The stem is characterized by being contour and cylindrical defining the fundamental lines of an authentic masterpiece of nature with gray bark and heavy and hard wood. Finally, the branches form nodular structures, called ovoli, from which tender twigs come to life every year. An evergreen plant, the olive tree goes through a period of vegetative rest in the colder months.

Maple tree

Belonging to the Aceraceae family, the maple looks like a medium-sized broadleaf tree. In practice, it is a sort of ornamental shrub with deciduous leaves, which tends to lose all its leaves during the winter.

In autumn, however, the leaves take on wonderful warm and iridescent shades ranging from bright red to golden yellow in order to create a suggestive chromatic effect. They are then lobed and webbed. From the shrub mottled with wonderful veins, the plant produces green, red and orange flowers. Given these characteristics, Maple trees are perfect for placing in green spaces and small gardens.


Peach trees are part of the Rosaceae family and of the genus Prunus. Scientifically known as Prunus persica, some of them produce peaches characterized by a skin with a slight fluff, which however tends to disappear following the ripening of the fruit, while others, known as Persica laevis DC, have peaches with a smooth skin: this is nectarics or nectarines.

With deciduous leaves, the trees belonging to this genus enter a period of vegetative rest in winter. In addition, they are able to reach a maximum height of about 8 meters. Finally, the trunk is covered with a reddish gray bark, which becomes darker with time.


Magnolias represent trees characterized by a showy summer flowering. An evergreen plant, it is one of the most loved flowering trees since it gives an unforgettable sight thanks to the delicate petals on the branches which, long before the leaves, indicate the arrival of the warm season. Being available in different sizes and bearing, the Magnolias are suitable to be placed in small gardens as in large parks. In fact, there are more than 125 species that generally require a soft, deep, fresh and non-calcareous soil.

Acacia dealbata

The Acacia dealberata identifies the much better known mimosa. Symbol of women's day, it is an evergreen plant that has an irregular to globose crown as well as gray branches covered with toothed and bipinnate leaves. The flowers, which are very abundant, bloom from January to March and are characterized by an intense yellow color and a very pleasant scent. It is a species that is able to reach a maximum height of 25 meters and is particularly easy to grow in the presence of good sunlight and irrigation in periods of drought.

Blue dwarf fir

The blue dwarf fir is an evergreen conifer that grows very slowly in a spherical shape. The name refers to the circumstance that, after 10 years, it is able to reach a maximum height of one meter. It is also characterized by a greenish tending to blue needles that sprout from the ends of the branches which, thanks to their yellow hue, are able to create a wonderful chromatic contrast.

Video: Olive Trees Take Constant Care Farmher S4 Ep15

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