Olive wood has a very characteristic and appreciated aspect. O irregularity of your veins and the complex patterns they form make each piece unique.

It originates in the Mediterranean region, that is, southern Europe and northern Africa. It is very abundant in this area, however, from an economic and industrial point of view, its main use is not to obtain wood, but to harvest its fruits, olives or olives, to obtain olive oil. In many cases, the wood obtained comes from branches or trees that for some other reason have been cut.

Its scientific name is Olea europaea.

As a curiosity, it is worth mentioning that the olive tree has great sentimental and religious significance for the cultures that emerged in the area.

Since 2013, a bacterium, xylella fastidiosa, also known as Ebola da oliveira, has been killing millions of specimens. It started in southern Italy, moved to France, to some islands in the Mediterranean and has just arrived in the Iberian Peninsula.

Characteristics of olive wood

Color: Heartwood cream or yellowish brown, contrasting with dark brown, almost black. It darkens over the years, reaching richer tones.

Fiber: Wavy.

Grain: Thick.

Density: Heavy wood, with an approximate density of 950 kg / m3 at 12% humidity.

Toughness: This is a 6 hard wood in the Monnin test.

Durability: Moderately durable against fungi and insects.

Dimensional stability:

  • Volumetric contraction coefficient: –

Mechanical properties:

  • Compressive strength: 750 kg / cm2
  • Static flexural strength: 1,600 kg / cm2
  • Modulus of elasticity: 181,000 kg / cm2

Impregnation: Impregnable sapwood, heartwood slightly impregnable.


  • Sawn. Complex, tendency to crack.
  • Drying. Slow, with risk of warping.
  • Brushed. Problems derived from its hardness and wavy fiber.
  • Glued. No problems.
  • Nailed and screwed. Requires knockouts.
  • Finish. Very smooth finishes with good natural shine.

It is recommended to work with olive wood with protection, as dust or sawdust can cause irritation to the eyes and skin.

Price: It has a relatively high price, largely because the tree is not normally exploited for timber.

Main Uses

olive wood
  • Sculpture and turning. The manufacture and sale of small handicraft items is very common in places where this wood is more abundant.
  • Sculptures
  • Platforms.
  • Wood veneers.
  • Manufacture of high quality furniture.