The olive trees are a medium-sized trees that can grow up to 5m. It is a very long-lived tree, with a trunk of gray or silver bark and it can reach a great thickness in very old olive trees. Its leaves are evergreen, up to 8cm long, lanceolate and with a very short petiole. Olive flowers are white, hermaphroditic and grow in the axils of the leaves. Its fruit is a succulent ovoid drupe 1 to 3.5 cm long.
In Spain, approximately 2,579,000 hectares of olive trees are cultivated, which annually produce about 9.8 million tons of olives. Andalusia is the autonomous community where most of the olive production is concentrated In Spain. At the level of Spain, almost 95% of the olives produced are used for the extraction of oil in the mill.
Olive grows optimally in deep, air- and water-permeable medium-textured soils. It does not tolerate well in waterlogging, but on the other hand, it can grow correctly in stony soils where other crops would have difficulties. It grows correctly in alkaline pH values above 7.5, although it can present problems of iron chlorosis in pH that is too high.
It prefers climates with a mild but cold winter and hot and dry summers, with high insolation. This makes it grow optimally in the Mediterranean climate, although not near the coast since it does not tolerate excess humidity well.
It does not have high water requirements, being able to grow in areas with irrigations of 300-600mm per year. Likewise, to grow with maximum yield, you may need 1,500 to 3,000m3 / ha
The most used varieties In Spain depend on the area where they are grown. For example, in Andalusia the varieties Lechin, Verdial de Huevar, Manzanilla Serrana, Lechin de Granada and Aloreña are mainly cultivated, among many others. The Picual variety in Jaén or the Hojiblanca in Córdoba are also well known.