Olive Trees are trees in the Olea genus of the olive family. Other members of the olive family include ash trees, fringe trees, and privets. There are about 40 species of olive trees, but only one is commonly seen in Woodland.
European Olive (Olea europaea) is an invasive weed from the Mediterranean region. It usually grows 25 to 50 feet tall and has a lifespan of more than 3,000 years. Freshly harvested olives cannot be eaten until they are cured and fermented, which typically involves soaking them in lye for days or packing them in salt brine for months.
European Olive has "perfect" flowers (containing both male and female parts). It is ranked 10 out of 10 on the Ogren Plant Allergy Scale, indicating a tendency to cause very severe hay fever. It typically blooms from about April through June, so if you suffer from hay fever during those months, European Olive could be the culprit. The City of Woodland has planted European Olive at Everman Park, Spring Lake Park, Woodland City Cemetery, and Woodside Park. The city has also planted it as a street tree on East Street, Elm Street, Kentucky Avenue, North East Street, and Pendegast Street. In fact, the Urban Forest Resource Analysis published by the City of Woodland in 2018 indicated that the city was knowingly and intentionally maintaining 137 of these invasive weeds in Woodland.