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The Acebuche, what is it and what are its characteristics?

The Acebuche, what is it and what are its characteristics?

The wild olive tree is how the olive tree is known in the wild. An evergreen tree that can reach 8 meters in height. It is characterized by its rounded and wide crown. In the first place it grows in height, and then it extends its branches, thus preventing the arrival of light to all of them. That is why the branches of this tree are very dark.

The fruit of this tree is called acebuchina. They are small olives, between 1 and 3.5 cm long. When it grows, the fruit is green. During the year of maturation it acquires a very characteristic black-purple hue.

The wild olive is a popular species in Mediterranean areas. It is extremely sensitive to frost, so during the flowering period it is not recommended to expose it to the cold.

Characteristics of the wild olive

  • Scientific name: the scientific name of this tree is Olea Europaea var. sylvestris. It is therefore the same species as the olive tree, but wild. What's more, if an olive grove is left uncultivated for a long period of time, the olive trees progressively become wild, taking on many of their characteristics.
  • Shape: in terms of its shape, it is generally shrub or scrub, since it rarely exceeds 3 meters in height.
  • Stems: Compared to the olive tree, the stems of the wild olive tree are stronger and more robust.
  • Fruit: the fruit of the wild olive tree is the acebuchina, practically the same as the olive but smaller. In addition, the amount of fruit from this tree is much lower than that of the olive tree.
olivo acebuche características

Wild olive planting

Wild olive trees can be sown at any time of the year. However, there are certain times when it is more convenient to do so thanks to both weather and terrain conditions. The two most suitable seasons for planting are the first and autumn.

Spring offers a long period of time for tree growth before the first frosts arrive. Therefore, it is one of the times in which wild olive trees are planted the most. Special attention must be paid to three factors: irrigation, weed growth and pests.

As for autumn, it is a less appropriate season since there are only a few months left before winter arrives, and with it the first frosts. Of course, planting the wild olive tree in autumn also has its advantages, and that is that ant infestations are minimized and, in addition, it needs less watering.

In no case is winter sowing recommended due to low temperatures and frost. Neither in summer due to the high temperatures and the high demand for water.

acebuche olivo

Wild olive tree care

  • Pruning: pruning the tree should be done for the first time when the wild olive tree is already established. What should be done is to remove all the branches that protrude from the general design. Subsequent pruning is usually lighter, eliminating only the branches that hinder the crop and those that close the crown. The best time for pruning is spring.
  • Subscriber: as for the subscriber, it must be done twice a year: in November and March. During the first year of the tree's life it needs about half a kilo of fertilizer. From that moment, the demand grows up to the kilo of fertilizer.
  • Irrigation: regarding the frequency of irrigation, it depends on numerous factors, such as the weather, the type of soil, etc. In general, 50 liters of water per week per wild olive tree is enough. During the summer months it is convenient to increase the irrigation volume up to 70 liters per week.
  • Weeds: to keep weeds under control, it is best to use a hoe. It is essential for the wild olive tree to have all the water and nutrients it needs for its growth and development.
  • Fumigation: pests during the summer months are common. Thus, it is advisable to spray before harvesting, during the last days of July.
  • Tillage: Regarding tillage, it is usual to do it three times a year. The best times for this are the months of May and September. It is enough to remove the superficial part of the earth, without ever going more than 20 centimeters deep.
  • Cutting: the wild olive tree should always be cut in the month of January and with the waning moon. This is so because at that moment it hardly has any sage, so that the wood does not crack.

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Olive and wild olive: what are their differences?

Both the olive tree and the wild olive tree are trees with very interesting qualities. On the one hand, its growth is very slow. On the other hand, they adapt very well to any type of terrain. In addition, they are trees for warm areas. And finally, they do not need to be watered constantly.

  • Fruit: in both cases the fruit is the olive. However, in the wild olive it is smaller. Larger olives grow in the olive tree with a more intense color.
  • Leaf: the leaves of both the olive tree and the wild olive tree are perennial. The main difference between them is that in the first case they are longer and bigger.
  • Size: the most noticeable difference between both types of trees is related to their size. The wild olive does not grow too much. On the other hand, the olive tree can reach up to 15 meters in height.

Currently, one of the main uses of the wild olive tree is for the production of high-quality organic oil. The wood of this tree is not widely used in carpentry as it tends to crack easily.

This tree is also used to repopulate forest areas that have been devastated by a plague. The reason is that the wild olive tree shows greater resistance than other varieties of the traditional olive tree. It is a very long-lived tree, whose life can exceed 100 years.

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