What is Olive wood? What are olive wood properties? The olive tree has many benefits for human. The Bible mentioned Olive too many times.

The New Testament tells how Jesus and his disciples sang together – “When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” Gospel of Matthew 26:30.

Olive wood has unique properties. Read this article to learn about the properties of this wood.

Before that, we have collected interesting things about olive so that knowing them may be interesting for you.

What Is Olive?

This is a plant. Olive Includes nearly 20 species of small trees from the olive family and has been widely dispersed in the world from the Mediterranean, North Africa, Southeast Asia, North to South China, Scotland and East Australia.

They are always green and have small and integrated leaves that are facing each other.

History Of Olive

It is not possible to estimate the exact time when the olive was removed from the wild state was controlled by farmers and used as a garden fruit.

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The many references to the Bible about this plant and its production, and its implicit abundance in the Canaan and regional land in Syria, which always been important for the economy, suggests that Syria is the birthplace of olives.

Olive In Ancient Greece

Olive in Greece has been very important.

In the Homer world, as it is known in the Iliad, olive oil is known only as a material for the rich – an external product – and is more known for its value for the archery of the climbers; the fighters were taking olive oil after bath, and the body of Patroclus Equally covered with olive oil.

These stories reflect the fact that olive was known at the time of the writing of the Odyssey.

Olive As A Symbol

In the past, olive was not only a sign of peace but also a sign of wealth of the country. Carrying its branches at the great festivals of Greece and the victorious crown of the Roman conquerors, they all were a symbol of olive.

The Olive Crown is a branch of an olive tree that has been crocheted by a twisted ring and awarded to the hero in the ancient Greek Olympics. At the 2004 Olympics, the tradition of donating crown olive was renewed and awarded to the heroes with the gold medal.

The Olive branch of the United Nations flag is also used as a symbol of peace.

Species Of Olive

The most famous known species of this plant is the European olive, which has been used since the ancient times to produce olive oil and also to eat its own fruits.

For modern breeders, the variety of known olive is very high. Only in Italy, there are at least 300 species, but few of them grow to the best. The main species of Italy are Leccino, Frantoio, and Carolea.

Benefits Of Olive Tree

Olive is a very old fruit that has been used for a long time.

All parts of this plant can be used. Here are some of the uses of this plant:

  • Use of olive fruit for nutritional purposes
  • Use of Olive Leaves for medicinal purposes
  • Use of olive oil for medical and nutritional purposes
  • Use of olive wood for industrial use

Olive Wood And Its Properties

The freshly cut olive wood has a slightly sour taste and a pleasant smell. When the wood is dry quickly, its ends are cracked and, despite the stiffness and high density, it is not difficult to work with different tools.

The olive tree has a very uneven and deformed trunk, and its stick is narrow, gray to pale yellow with a very stylish character and dark veins of irregular color.

Olive wood can be well polished and be easily stained.

It is used to make wooden handicrafts such as wood carving, engraving, and woodturning projects.

In addition, you can also make a variety of coatings.

You can find other general and physical properties of olives as below:

Common Names:


Scientific Name:

Olea spp. (Olea europaea, O. capensis)


Europe, eastern Africa and western Asia

Tree Size:

25-50 ft (8-15 m) tall, 3-5 ft (1.0-1.5 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight:

62 lbs/ft3 (990 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC):

72, .99

Janka Hardness:

2,700 lbf (12,010 N)

Modulus of Rupture:

22,530 lbf/in2 (155.4 MPa)

Elastic Modulus:

2,577,000 lbf/in2 (17.77 GPa)

Crushing Strength:

11,180 lbf/in2 (77.1 MPa)


Radial: 5.4%, Tangential: 8.8%, Volumetric: 14.4%, T/R Ratio: 1.6


Heartwood is a cream or yellowish brown, with darker brown or black contrasting streaks. Color tends to deepen with age. Olive is sometimes figured with curly or wavy grain, burl, or wild grain.


Grain may be straight, interlocked, or wild. Fine uniform texture with a moderate natural luster.

Rot Resistance:

Conflicting reports range from non-durable/perishable to durable/moderately durable. Olive is susceptible to insect attack.


Somewhat easy to work, though wild or interlocked grain may result in tearout during surfacing operations. Olive has high movement in service and is considered to have poor stability. Turns superbly. Glues and finishes well.


Has a distinct, fruity scent when being worked.


Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Olive has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually, most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.


Because of the fruit’s economic importance, healthy, cultivated Olive trees (O. Europaea) aren’t felled for lumber; availability is generally limited to pruned branches, trimmings, and diseased/storm damaged orchard trees. Short lumber, turning squares, and burls are occasionally available from wild trees, as well as the closely related East African Olive (O. capensis). Prices are very high.


This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Common Uses:

High-end furniture, veneer, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.


Diffuse-porous; small to medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to very numerous; solitary, and commonly in radial multiples of 2-3 or rows of 4 or more pores; yellow heartwood deposits present; growth rings may be distinct or indistinct; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing normal to fairly close; parenchyma vasicentric, though not distinct with lens.


Information used with permission The Wood Database

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