Humble Abode

Olive trees are believed to have been grown since prehistoric times. They have been cultivated for their oil for about 6000 years. Scientists believe they originated in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Here they defined the landscape. Not only was this definition agricultural and useful, they also provided a mythical and religious definition for these people in ancient times. According to Greek myth, the goddess Athena gave the olive tree as a gift. The city of Athens was a memorial for Athena and it was believed that the endurance of the olive tree proved the survival of the city.

Map of Mediteranean

In these ancient times, the people thought highly of the byproducts of the tree. An olive branch was given to new born babies. When children would win a competition they were given a bottle of olive oil. Men entering the army planted an olive tree at the edge of the city after the fight was over to become a part of the army. Elders wore an olive branch on their head while officiating these fights or games. The olive was an important part to this civilization's history. For more facts about Ancient Greece and olive check out FURTHER FACTS.

Ancient Athens 

Spaniards then brought olive trees to South America and then in 1769 they were introduced to California and Arizona. Originally there were attempts at introducing the trees into the eastern half of the United States, but they didn't take hold. The climates in Arizona and California better matched the needs of the olive tree. Virtually all olives cultivated in the United States come from California. For more information about the history of the olive check out

cartoon olive branch and ship Microsoft Word 2003 Clipart

Olive Trees will grow in many types of soil, although it is important that the soil has appropriate drainage. These trees grow in subtropical regions that have a hot and dry climate. If the temperature falls below 26 degrees F (-3 degrees C) the fruit will be injured. The tree itself will be injured if the temperature falls to 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C). 

It has been shown that olive trees grow better under some stress. This is why olive trees traditionally were grown on land that little else could survive on. They do well under stress with the help of an extensive and sturdy root system among other things.