Olive tree of Vouves

General discussions of forests and trees that do not focus on a specific species or specific location.

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:25 pm

Olive tree of Vouves

Post by Rand » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:02 pm

I thought this tree was pretty interesting looking
The Olive tree of Vouves (Greek: Ελιά Βουβών) is an olive tree in the village of Ano Vouves in the municipal unit of Kolymvari in Chania regional unit, Crete, Greece. Probably one of the oldest olive trees in the world, it still produces olives today.

The exact age of the tree cannot be determined. The use of radioisotopes is not possible, as its heartwood has been lost down the centuries,[1] while tree ring analysis demonstrated the tree to be at least 2000 years old.[2] and on the other end of the scale, scientists from the University of Crete have estimated it to be 4,000 years old.[3] A possible indicator of its age are the two cemeteries from the Geometric Period discovered near the tree.[1] Current research in Crete and abroad indicates that earlier estimates of the age of olive trees are to be debated as far as their accuracy. There is not yet an agreed upon scientific method to ascertain the age of olive trees. In the case of the Vouves Olive, it could be much younger than earlier estimates or even than the ancient tree in Finix (Sfakia).

The tree remains productive to this day, having been grafted with the cultivar 'Tsounati'.[1] The trunk has a perimeter of 12.5 m (41 ft) and a diameter of 4.6 m (15 ft).
Obligatory google image search for different views:

https://www.google.com/search?q=Olive+t ... B800%3B664

User avatar
Posts: 1570
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Olive tree of Vouves

Post by Don » Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:01 am

Olive trees in the Mediterranean couldn't be in a more natural environment. It is natural to assume they've been around for centuries, and even millenia. But to 'age' a tree by historical documents of considerable dispute (no offense, I am referring to the Bible here, or should I say one of the many, many versions of the historical compendium of events known today as the Bible), and by archeological estimations are two very speculative estimates...I much prefer the other way around, with the support that dendrochronology has provided through continuous ring studies in the Southwestern US in support of "aging" archeological events such as the disappearance of the Anastazi.
While I know little of ancient 'silviculture' of olive trees, I do know just a little bit of how they have been cultured in Spain over the last century or two...it's my understanding that it is, and has been a common practice to severely prune olive trees back to cause regrowth of new branching, the thinking being that there is an accumulation of root energy that renews the olive trees production, keeping the production of that tree younger, longer.
For four thousand years? Pretty speculative...
But they sure do look ancient!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:

User avatar
Posts: 850
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:55 am

Re: Olive tree of Vouves

Post by Lucas » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:37 pm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 141241.htm

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), long-known for its heart health benefits, has now been identified for its rapid destruction of cancer cells. While scientists have proven that the oleocanthal compound found in EVOO causes cell death in cancer cells, they have been unable to provide an explanation for this phenomenon until now. Paul Breslin, David Foster, and Onica LeGendre offer answers in their paper, published in Molecular & Cellular Oncology.

In their recent study, the researchers discovered that the key to understanding the toxic effect of oleocantha in cancerous cells lies in its reaction with the lysosomes of the cell, where the cells store waste: the oleocantha ruptures the cancer cell lysosomes causing cell death within 30 minutes to an hour while leaving un-cancerous cells unharmed. This suggests that the lysosomal membranes of cancerous cells are weaker than those of uncancerous cells. Because of oleocantha's targeted damage to cancer cells, it may prove an ideal option for therapeutic cancer treatment. Paul Breslin, co-author of the study, said "The mechanism of killing cancer cells and sparing healthy cells, lysosomal membrane permeabilization, has been hypothesized as a possible mechanism of effectively killing cancer cells and sparing healthy tissues but has never been realized before. Our realization of this makes this paper of particular therapeutic interest for cancer treatment."

The study's focus on the effect of oleocantha on cancerous and un-cancerous cells leads to larger implications about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in EVOO. Breslin stated, "the Mediterranean diet is known to be associated with a reduced risk of many different kinds of cancer. Whereas the entire diet likely has many benefits, this study points directly to the olive oil phenolic, oleocanthal, as playing an especially important role in these observations. As more people turn to the Mediterranean diet as a healthy life option, oleocanthal is growing in its significance as a key active component of this diet."
We travel the Milky way together, trees and men. - John Muir


Re: Olive tree of Vouves

Post by Joe » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:48 am

Lucas wrote:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 141241.htm

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), long-known for its heart health benefits, has now been identified for its rapid destruction of cancer cells."
Plus, it tastes great!

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussions”