This photo shows the additional realism to our built-to-order artificial olive trees, brought by using natural trunks. The tree shown was built using our colourfast and fade resistant UVsilx™ foliage.
We now hold in stock several dozen olive tree trunks removed from commercial olive plantations, where they were producing a reduced crop compared to other trees. Some of these trees are approaching 200 years old according to TreeLocate’s Operations Director, George Robertson.
Olive trees do not have a uniform shape, either to their canopy or their trunks, which makes them ideal for creating unique reproductions. However, TreeLocate have plans to take moulds from the more interesting cleaned trunks in order to produce fully artificial trees using the various manufacturing processes introduced and expanded upon over the last year and a half.
Before building a tree from the olive trunks, they have to be cured and preserved to ensure a long display life without sprouting back to life. In addition to other considerations, this is one reason why some will be chosen for moulding and casting.
As a species, the olive tree originated in the Eastern Mediterranean and the old Arabian lands now comprising parts of Iran and Iraq. The Ancient Greeks made extensive use of and reference to it, And the Romans continued this. It was probably the Romans who introduced it commercially to Spain, and the Spanish in turn introduced it to Central America and their colonies in North and South America. Roman records exist of attempting to introduce it commercially to Britain.
Olives are very long living and extremely hardy evergreen trees that traditionally grow best near the sea. Some of the oldest living olive trees, at 1,500 and 2,000 years old, are found in Croatia and Montenegro, both of which are Mediterranean coastal countries. In Israel’s Galilee region examples have been found that are 3,000 years old, although the research on the age is disputed. Lebanon claims to have a grove of 3,000 to 4,000 year old olives at Bshaale, whilst there is also a claim of a 4,000 year-old olive on Sardinia.
Whilst the majority of olive trees are seen at around five to ten metres high, they do grow to 15 metres or more with extreme age. The trunks that we have in stock are all two to two and a half metres in height, which will yield trees of three to four metres with a simple canopy. Adding branch extensions, they can be stretched up to around five metres from floor to top of canopy.
Shown below is a random selection of photographs of our current stock of natural olive trunks in storage at our factory prior to cleaning and preserving. I’ve tried to highlight some of the more interesting shapes and textures, and to demonstrate that no two olive trunks are alike … beyond the adjectives, “gnarled” and “contorted” – two common descriptions for olive trees.