Olive Tree (Olea europaea)

Untitled design (22) (1)The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean, Asia, and Africa and has been cultivated for it’s fruit for thousands of years.  It is a hardy, drought and disease resistant tree, well suited for the harsh conditions of the Sonoran desert.  It is an evergreen tree which can grow to 30 ft and has an attractive gray, often gnarled and twisted trunk gaining character with age.  Some trees are hundreds of years old.  The olive tree produces a small,  inconspicuous pale, white flower which is wind pollinated and produces volumes of airborne pollen in the spring.   Olive tree pollen is one of the most potent and sensitizing of the allergenic plants of Arizona.  Because of it’s association with severe springtime allergy symptoms, the city’s of Phoenix and Tucson have banned the planting of fruiting Olive trees since the 1960s.  More