Physiological Features of Olive Tree

If the olive tree is left alone, it is a shrub-like plant like Oleander, Hazelnut, and Blackberry. It branches, knots, grows denser, goes longer, becomes bushy as it grows, and grows longer as it grows.

The adult olive tree is genetically medium-sized, its natural canopy is spherical. Olive is a tree of varying stages and has a juvenile stage with leaves clearly different from those in the mature stage.

As a Mediterranean tree suitable for arid, subtropical climate, olive tree adapts very well to extreme environmental conditions such as drought and high temperatures. Although olive trees require aerated soils, they are well adapted to different soil types with a wide distribution and are resistant to low temperatures a few degrees below zero.

There are root systems and trunk structures that show the unique species and characteristics of each tree and a balance between them. This situation is defined as "Physiological Balance". Knowing the physiological characteristics of a tree and growing it in ecological conditions suitable for its characteristics, trying to grow it by subjecting it to care and applications and thus maintaining the physiological balance is the most important element of cultivation.

Plant physiology is important in understanding how the internal balances of the plant are affected by the agricultural practices and application times.

During the agricultural practices, the specific physiological balance of the tree should be taken into account.



Leaves of Olive Tree

Olive leaves have a leaf development with different stages. Juvenile leaves on caries are small, round or slightly elongated, with a high enough chlorophyll content to cause them to have a fleshy and dark green color. The leaves on the strong bottom shoots that emerge from the base of the tree are similar to those seen in the youth stage in terms of their shape. The transition from the leaf type of the youth stage to the mature leaf shape is gradual and there are many intermediate forms in the transition period. The upper part of the leaves has a light green color and the lower part has a more dull silvery color. The tip axis of the leaf is round in some varieties. Leaves usually change every three years.


The average olive leaf is about 5-6 cm long and 1-1.5 cm in the middle. Wide. Although leaf shape, size and characteristics can vary significantly between varieties, the basic characteristics are similar for most varieties. All olive leaves have straight edges and only one short stem. The size of the leaves of many varieties; varies significantly according to the age, strength of the plant and environmental conditions. In addition, a successive change in leaf size is evident on the annual shoot during the growing season.

The upper surface of olive leaves does not form stomata.

The bottom of the upper epidermis is 2-3 layers of palisade cells. These cells contain a large number of chloroplasts that have dense chlorophyll. Olive leaves are very sensitive to light limitation and will fall off under such conditions.

Olive trees carry the leaves of summer and winter, they do not shed. The olive tree, which has a unique root system consisting of independent grains system and a very strong vegetative growth tendency, goes through 2 periods of vegetative development, July - August and post-harvest. In addition, these trees have the ability to renew themselves thanks to the tubers formed in their root systems after they reach a certain size. They are trees with unique characteristics that can grow in different regions with their adaptation to stress conditions with antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids.


They are short, leafy shoots with thin, short and light-colored bark emerging from the trunk, branches and dallets. Although these do not yield much product, they are the nourishing organs of the tree. There is little or no grain in the shoots and shoots shorter than 15 cm and in the ones longer than 50 cm.


Water Sprouts

The shoots rising upright like a cane over branches and twigs are called "water sprouts". These also contain very little grain. Water sprouts are more exploitative parts of the tree than they are productive. However, they are useful for new branch formation.


Root System

In seedlings that are formed from seed or slip, the roots always grow vertically until the 3rd and 4th years of age. Later, with the formation of tubers instead of these roots, a new fringe-like root system is formed.

This root system is located just below the soil surface. Roots continue to grow and spread depending on the age of the olive tree. The distribution of the root system depends on the composition of the soil and especially its aeration.


Flowereye initiation, differentiation and development is known to be a relatively short and continuous process, often dependent on the tree's performance history and environmental conditions. Flowering occurs almost only on shoots that developed vegetatively in the previous season. In the spring and summer, the fruit branches form long twigs, forming the next year's product branches. The flowers appear in clusters on two-year-old dallets, their colors are white and it is called “inflorescence" among the people. Each cluster has an average of 5 to 65 flowers. The sepals are green in color.

Olive grain, as November comes, the black flesh in the shell is 2 mm. The olive grain has matured when it forms a layer in the color of cherry rot.


The amount of oil in olives also increases until a certain time. The most suitable harvest time to obtain oil economically is the end of the linear oil increase period. To put it this way, it is the time when the linear increase in the percentage of fat in the pericarp with fresh fruit weight stops and the color of the fruit skin changes. A delay in harvest leads to loss of fruit and a decrease in quality without a significant gain in oil. The decrease in quality may be related to purity and flavor.

There are various reasons for inefficiency or fruitlessness in flowers. Those related to flower rates;

(i) Deformation of the female organ up to 80%;

(ii) Flower powders do not germinate well,

(iii) Inability to form flower powder,

(iv) Conflict.

Olive flower powders are easily spread by the wind. For this reason, sterile varieties can be fertilized with dust from other varieties or other types in the environment, or from wild varieties. Most of the varieties are partially self-fertile and some are self-sterile.

In years of good flowering, 1-2% of the flowers are sufficient to get a good fruit. Olive is an anemophile plant, meaning that its flowers are pollinated by wind. For maximum yield, 1 full flower is sufficient per inflorescence.



With the birth of fruit eyes on the tree, the first formation of the fruit begins. Fruit eyes form in the leaves towards the end of summer and spend the winter like that. In the spring of the following year, they become large enough to be visible. Flowering is between the end of April and mid-May and is in the form of a cluster.