The Olive Tree

The southeastern part of Lesvos with its typical maquis shrub land vegetation is dominated by expansive olive tree orchards. This is the most prevalent tree system in Lesvos and presents notable internal variation in terms of altitude, tree age, density and underlying vegetation. The plant variation of the Lesvian olive tree groves is mainly characterized by theropohytic species, such as Anthemis  chia, Medicago orbicularis, Lathyrus sp. and many others. The olive tree is a common species in the xerothermic zones of evergreen brushes throughout the entire island. Its cultivation starts from the coasts and may reach as high as 450-500 m (Megalohori-Agiasos-Ambeliko and so on). The olive tree is used as edible fruit tree with pharmaceutical, aromatic and decorative applications. Its excellent quality wood is widely used in furniture, cabinet making and wood carving. Its wood is also used by the locals liberally as firewood and charcoal production. Finally, extracts from the leaves help fight arthritis and rheumatism, while olive tree bark is scraped in the springtime from green twigs in order to prepare an anti-fever concoction.