How Many Olive Trees Is Enough To Make Oil For Your Needs?

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large olive grove

If you’d like to make olive oil for your needs, there’s no need to plant hundreds of trees. In this post, I’ll show you how many olive trees are enough to make olive oil for your family’s needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • 5 to 10 olive trees is the average number of trees required to get enough olive oil for the average US family.
  • Ideally, plant 10 olive trees because you’ll increase olive oil consumption once you start producing your own olive oil.

One Tree Bears 10 to 70 kg of Fruit on Average

On average you can expect one olive tree to bear anywhere between ten to seventy kilograms of fruit each year. As you can see, it’s a wide range, but that’s the statistics.

When you don’t have too many olive trees to take care of, you’ll probably pay more attention to each one of them, and that may lead to better fruit production.

So, if you have five olive trees in your garden, you can expect anywhere between 50 to 350 kilograms of olives every single year.

The best thing about olive trees is that they’ll probably produce olives as long as you live, and even more than that. They’re like eternity plants.

Olives Usually Produce 10-20% Olive Oil

Olives will usually produce anywhere between ten to twenty percent of olive oil. That means that for each 10 kg of olives, you can expect anywhere between 1-2 liters of olive oil.

Depending on the year, time of harvest, and type of olive oil you’re making, it can be a bit less or a bit more than the numbers above.

Most people that make their own olive oil aim for the extra virgin olive oil since it’s the most healthy olive oil type out there, and is the most expensive if you want to buy it too.

For instance, if you have 5 trees in your garden, let’s say they’ll bear 20kg of fruit per tree, that’s 100 kg of olives that you’ll harvest. You can expect 10 to 20 liters of olive oil. Usually, that’s enough for most family’s yearly needs.

How Much Olive Oil an Average Family Spend Each Year in The USA?

family consuming olive oil

According to Centrafoods, the average person in the USA spends about 1.1 liters of olive oil each year. So, a four-member family will spend about 4.4 liters. Let’s round it up to 5.

In some other countries, people tend to use ten times more olive oil than in The USA. Those are mostly countries that traditionally produce olive oil.

Here is some country-specific data:

  • USA: 1.1 liters
  • Spain: 14.2 liters
  • Greece: 20 liters
  • UK: 1.1 liters
  • Portugal: 8 liters
  • Australia: 2.1 liters

As you can see, some countries, especially Greece, spend plenty of olive oil per person each year. In my opinion, that’s a good thing. Olives are extremely healthy plants, and all their products are fantastic.

Personally, ever since I started growing a few olive trees in my garden and producing olive oil for my needs, I started using much more olive oil. My family’s needs increased two times, and now we spend much more on olive oil than we used to.

Whenever it’s possible, we use olive oil instead of using unhealthy sunflower oil. It took some time to adapt, but now everything’s healthier and actually tastes better.

Is It Hard To Produce Olive Oil?

Now you probably wonder if it’s very hard to produce olive oil. Actually, it’s pretty straightforward. When you harvest olives from the trees, you can then take all the olives and transport them to an olive oil mill, which will produce olive oil for you.

Check out the video below and find out how olive oil is made in large olive oil mills.

Olive mills aren’t expensive, and they won’t charge you much. However, they’ll usually have requirements for the amounts of olives needed to produce olive oil. For instance, the olive mill in my town requires at least 200kg of olives in order to produce olive oil for you. If you don’t have the exact amount, they’ll mix your olives with someone else’s and then make the oil. It’s not bad, but I prefer to press only my olives.

There’s a solution to that too. For people who don’t have large olive farms, there are small oil press machines intended for house use. And honestly, even though they’re slow, they’re great for people who have only a few olive trees.

You’ll produce olive oil by yourself, and you’ll know that the machine is clean and that olive oil comes from your olives only, without mixing it with others.

Olive oil press machines aren’t extremely cheap, but they’re not that expensive either. They’ll pay off quickly since you won’t have to pay olive oil mills to produce oil for you.


As you can see, you don’t need too many trees to produce olive oil for your family’s needs. Again, five trees are enough, but if you have enough free space in your garden, try to plant ten olive trees; that’s much better, and you’ll have some extra olive oil to give to your friends and family.

Also, don’t limit yourself to olive oil only. There are other products you can make from olives, and they’re healthy too. I believe that once you start growing your own olive trees, and make your first olive oil, you’ll start using it much more frequently.

If you’re still not sure how many trees are enough for your needs, buy one liter of olive oil, and check for how long it’ll last, then count the average yearly needs for you and your family. That’s the best way to get the most precise results.

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