Forty Million years!
The olive tree origin was traced back to Italy, where fossil evidence indicates that this tree existed 20 to 40 million years ago. Archeologists discovered olive pits and olive oil traces in pottery, estimating we have been cultivating them for 6,000 to 8,000 years. Not a strange thing for a tree that can survive up to 3,000 years! The oldest existing olive tree is in Portugal. Its age is estimated to 3,350 years.
The olive tree or Olea Europea is never higher than 26 to 49 feet, or meters 8 to 15, and a large and twisted trunk characterizes it.
It prefers calcareous soil and flourishes even on limestone. The soil composition has a low impact on olive trees comparing to the climate. However, poor soil will generate low-quality fruit and oil.
In subtropical weather with a mild winter and warm and dry summer, olive trees flourish the best. The olive tree can tolerate drought but not a temperature under ten degrees celsius. Nevertheless, in conditions where the tree is damaged by extreme cold, the root can survive and produce a sapling.
The adaptive power of the olive tree is what is making it survive for millions of years. Researchers are still working on olive trees, and discoveries are being made even concerning its leaves' benefits for the human body. Indeed, nothing else could be better than this tree to symbolize generosity, glory and prosperity.