Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil are the major producers of olives in South America, among which Peru and Argentina are the largest producers accounting for 70% of the production. Grapes and olives have long been planted together. They exist in a great harmony. Climate is one reason that grapes and olives make good companion plants. Both crops are also self-pollinating – neither need insects nor birds to carry pollen between flowers – and olive trees shelter grape vines against strong winds. Olive trees make good natural firebreaks because they have a higher burn point so they protect the vineyards in case of wildfire. When burned it produces 2.5 times the heat of burning wood, and the smoke is harmless. Its ash is used for fertilizing gardens.
It takes about fifteen years before an olive tree is mature and you can start harvesting fruit. After 4 to 6 years an olive tree will begin to take on a mature shape. An olive tree does not change much after that and only becomes a larger version of its present condition. Olive trees can get very old. The average age of an olive tree is 300-600 years. The oldest certified olive tree is more than 2000 years old! It can be found in a small town on the island of Crete in Greece and it still bears fruit. The tree is visited by more than 20,000 people every year. The trunk circumference is 41’, diameter of over 15’.
Random amazing facts about olive trees: