The oldest and biggest Olive Tree

Not far from the Temple of Demeter, where the gravel road leading to the Fortress of Apalírou begins, one can visit an ancient spring (Brysi Adisárou) in a small valley covered with plane trees.

This small path leads to the spring Brysi Adisárou.

The ancient spring has recently been restored. It has water all year round.

Nearby lies this small new chapel of Ágios Isídoros.

But what makes this place really worth a visit is an ancient olive tree, the diameter of which is much larger than that of the supposedly oldest olive tree in Kolymbari in Crete. It is difficult to determine the age of an olive tree, because they don’t usually form regular growth rings, and because in old trees the trunk is often hollowed out or has been replaced by younger trunks that grow from the same root. Our tree is completely hollowed out inside, as it is often the case with old olives trees. So we have to try to guess its age based on its diameter. The smallest diameter of this Methuselah amounts to 5 metres. In the lagest direction the diameter even reaches more than 10 meters! The circumference of the entire giant amounts to almost 24 metres.

Here is our gigantic olive tree. Inside, the giant is completely hollowed out, which often happens with old olive trees. It looks like separate trunks standing in a circle, but all trunks are in fact the same tree. We look either at what is left over of a trunk that has fallen apart, or more likely the original tree trunk has disappeared completely and what we see today are “new” shoots grown in a circle out of the root. However that may be, the size of the root shows the tree’s true size even after the trunk has been lost.

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