The mythical olive tree

First thing’s first:

  • the olive is not a tree – it’s a shrub !

So why do they look like trees?

  • they are pruned that way to allow tractors to navigate right up to the trunk
  • the conservative mentality of farmers: other people keep them like trees, so that’s what I’ll do
  • there is some myth that the ‘suckers’ that grow up around the trunk steal energy from the ‘tree’, so farmers cut them off. Actually:
    • those ‘suckers’, if treated well, will heave with olives
    • those ‘suckers’, if treated well, will become legitimate trunks in their own right
    • continuing cutting off the ‘suckers’ leads to callus and cankerous formations near the base of the trunk, as you try in vain to own the growth pattern of the creature.