The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region and dates back to the beginning of mankind. The olive tree has played a role in human history, even mentioned in the Genesis story of Noah. The olive is an attractive evergreen tree that can grow 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. However, it usually grows short and stubby (20' x 20'). The leaves are a grayish-green with a silvery underside that makes an interesting landscape accent. The tree is easy to grow and will tolerate many soil types, but prefers the soil to be well drained. It is cold tolerant to around 10*F. The olive fruit is green, on all varieties, and ripens to a blackish-purple color. The different varieties are harvested for different purposes, usually for oil or preparing for eating. Some varieties are harvested when green for one purpose or allowed to turn brown-black for another purpose. Olive trees have been in cultivation since 2,500 B.C. so there are hundreds of varieties. Willis Orchard Company offers seven of the top olive tree varieties from around the world for you to enjoy in your home orchard.