Products / Lumber / Olivewood, Italian
Print
Share
Request

for orders, quotes and samples

Request
Print
Share

Olivewood, Italian

Common Name(s): Olive


Olive trees are commercially important throughout the natural regions where they grow. There are several subspecies and hundreds of cultivars of Olea europaea; the olives harvested from the trees are made into olive oil. The mechanical data and density readings shown above are an average between Olea europaea and O. capensis. Olivewood (Olea spp.) is sometimes confused with Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), though it bears little relation to true Olive and is in an entirely different family of trees. Technically, Olive is a part of the Oleaceæ family and is more closely related to Ash (Fraxinus spp.) and Lilac (Syringa vulgaris).

Thicknesses

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

Distribution

Europe and eastern Africa

Scientific Name

Olea spp. (Olea europaea, O. capensis)

Specific Gravity: Basic 

0.72

Specific Gravity: 12% MC

0.99

Janka Hardness

2,700 lbf (12,010 N)

Colour/Appearance

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

Grain/Texture

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

Endgrain

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.

Rot Resistance

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

Workability

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.

Odor

Has a distinct, fruity scent when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity

Although severe reactions are quite uncommon, Olive has been reported as a sensitizer. Usually most common reactions simply include eye and skin irritation.

Pricing/Availability

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.

Sustainability

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