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How long does it take for an olive tree to produce fruit?

Updated February 21, 2017

From its origin in Turkey and Syria during biblical times, the olive tree migrated to the ideal conditions it discovered in places like Italy and Spain. Today, the tree even produces fruit in sections of the United States.

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Time Frame

The olive tree (Olea europaea) begins to bear fruit at 4 to 5 years of age. The olive fruit, a drupe, is green when unripe and eventually turns a black or deep, purple colour when ripe. Thinning the crop will result in a larger fruit size.


It takes about five years for an olive tree to produce fruit, according to Texas A&M University. The lifespan of the tree is extraordinary, with many living -- and producing fruit -- for more than 500 years.


Climate is certainly capable of adversely affecting the health of the olive drupe. Temperature controls growth, reproduction and survival, with growth only occurring when the temperature reaches 21.1 degrees Celsius. The olive will cease growth when the temperature drops below that same temperature. The olive tree will typically die if temperatures drop below 0-12.222 degrees Celsius.

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About the Author

Mark Bingaman has entertained and informed listeners as a radio personality and director of programming at stations across the U.S. A recognized expert in the integration of broadcast media with new media, he served as associate editor and director of Internet development for two industry trade publications, "Radio Ink" and "Streaming Magazine." Today, he heads the International Social Media Chamber of Commerce.

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