Tree of the week: Olea europaea subsp africana – Wild olive – Olienhout – Mohlware

Olea Africana is a small, neat evergreen tree characterized by a dense spreading crown of shiny grey-green to dark green foliage that is silvery underneath. Because of its extensive distribution throughout the country, this tree is considered to be one of our most versatile trees. It tolerates a wide variety of growing conditions and is tolerant to drought, wind, and frost.

In summer, Olea Africana produces tiny white/greenish flowers with a sweet aroma. The flowers are held in axillary or occasionally terminal heads. These are followed by small, spherical, thin fleshy fruits (either sweet or sour) which ripen purple-black. The fruits are enjoyed by monkeys, baboons, mongooses, bushpigs, warthogs, and birds.

This attractive, compact, slow–growing tree grows to a mature height of 5 to 10m when growing conditions are favourable. It makes an excellent screening plant and a good shade tree suitable for even a small garden. Older specimens of this tree develop a very wide crown, making it suitable for large gardens. The root system of O. Africana is sometimes aggressive, hence this tree needs to be planted at a distance of about 4 meters from a building and a pool. It requires minimum maintenance, it is an ideal subject for street planting, parks, schools, housing, office complexes, and even golf courses. Olea Africana has been planted in very dry areas to provide fodder for livestock and game.

Contact us for all your tree needs.

Enjoy your gardening week!
The Highveld Tree Fellers