The olive tree (Olea europaea) is a small evergreen tree native to the sunny coastal regions of the Mediterranean Basin. Olive trees are member of the the plant family Oleaceae which includes lilacs, jasmine and forsythia. Olive trees reach a mature height of 40 to 50 feet and present a 20 to 30 foot spreading canopy. In the United States, olive trees do well in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11. The richly grained hardwood of the olive tree is prized by woodworkers and artisans.
The smooth, strong wood of the olive tree is used for a diverse array of applications. Olive wood is used for furniture making, cabinetry, gun stocks, musical instruments, bowls and carvings. Small pruned branches from the olive tree are prized for crafting smoking pipes, beads and small objects of art.
Strong And Durable
Slow growing olive trees are especially hardy and tenacious. Wood from the tree can be harvested and the tree will grow back from the roots. Olive trees recover from severe wind damage and will even grow back when chopped down to the ground. The average lifespan of an olive tree is 500 years, however many live for thousands of years. Wood carvers advise that wood from older trees has the richest texture and grain.
Olive Wood Carving
Olive wood carving is an ancient art form past down from generation to generation. Trees are pruned after the harvest and the wood graded and sold to craftsmen. Prized for its durability and density, olive wood exhibits a rich golden color. Olive wood blanks are available for purchase online or from rare wood supply stores.
Olive wood is an oily, richly textured, fine grained hardwood. The deep golden color of the wood is accented by black streaks or swirls. Lumber and carving blanks are classified as plain, figured or burl.