Oldest olive tree in the world is located in Crete

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The ancient Olive Tree of Vouves (Elia Vouvon) is located in the village of Ano Vouves on the island of Crete. It is believed to be the oldest olive tree in the world which still produces highly-prized olives.

Although its exact age cannot be verified using radioisotopes as the tree’s heartwood has been lost through the centuries, scientists from the University of Crete have estimated it to be 4,000 years old. It is presumed that the tree first appeared in 1100BC, in the sub-Minoan period of Cretan history.

The olive tree’s trunk is now hollow, making it difficult to accurately determine its age. Source: Argophilia.

Due to this unique ecological and historical importance, the tree has been declared a “natural heritage monument” by the Secretary General of the Region of Crete.

Olive Tree Museum of Vouves:

The Olive Tree Museum of Vouves is ideally located next to the special Olive Tree of Vouves and it is visited by over 20,000 people each year from around the world. Mostly they are impressed by the tree’s enormous shape and the imposing volume of its trunk, which is characterised by unusual twists.

Entry to the museum is free and people gain access to a wealth of exhibits that demonstrate the cultivation of olive trees in the area and the processing of olives for olive oil and other purposes. 

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