How Many Liters of Olive Oil Can An Olive Tree Produce?

bottle of olive oil with olives

If you’re producing your own olive oil, one of the things that probably bothers you the most is how many liters of olive oil you can yield from one tree. Today, I’ll give you my detailed answer to that topic and show you all the data to substantiate that.

On average, you can expect one olive tree to produce anywhere between 1 liter and 14 liters of olive oil. It depends on many factors such as the quantity of olive fruit, olive ripeness, olive variety, weather conditions of that year.

Knowing these numbers is important if you’re a small olive grower just like me, since we always expect more than it usually happens, and it’s in our nature to strive for more. You’ll see many numbers on the internet, but they’re just not true, in my opinion. People on the internet say that you should always expect olives to give +20% of olive oil; that’s not the case in the real world.

I want to give you detailed and exact information on this topic, so I hope you don’t mind if I write a longer article. I want you to understand each part of it completely.

How Much Olive Oil Can You Expect From One Olive Tree

I gave you the quick answer above, but let me justify those numbers by math. We know that an average olive tree will produce between 10kg to 70kg of fruit. Now, we should take those numbers and count them with the average oil production per kg of fruit.

In the past few years, the average oil production for olives has been between 10% and 20%. That means that for each 10kg of olives, you can expect 1 to 2 liters of olive oil, depending on the various factors I’ll be mentioning below.

So, 10% of 10 is 1, and 20% of 70 is 14. That’s how I counted the averages. I know it’s a wide range, but that’s the average situation. So, in the worst-case scenario, you should at least get 1 liter of oil per one olive tree.

From 1kg of olives, you can get anywhere between 100ml and 200ml of olive oil.

For instance, check the Spain data. They say that you can expect olives to give anywhere between 8% to 25% of oil. Spain is the biggest olive oil producer globally, and these are their averages. So, if anyone tells you that you should always expect 20% of oil in your olives, they lie. I’d like it to happen, but it can’t always be the case; a lot of variables need to be matched to get that much oil in the olives.

Oil Production Depends On Many Factors

Olive oil production per tree depends on many different factors. There are too many variables that can affect the oil yield from an average tree, and here they are.

1. Quantity of Olive Fruit Produced

I don’t even need to explain this factor to you. The more olive fruits your tree bear, the more olive oil you can expect (based on other factors I’ll be mentioning just in a moment).

Sometimes, the annual weather will not help olive trees to bear more fruit, while sometimes, the yield will be huge.

2. Olive Ripeness – Maturity Index

Olive ripeness is a significant factor when talking about average oil production per 1kg of fruit. Depending on what type of olive oil you want to produce, you’ll choose to harvest olives sooner, or in other cases, later.

Usually, for producing extra virgin olive oil, you should harvest earlier. That way, olives will produce less oil, but the oil will be high-quality. People who want the best quality of olive oil will primarily produce extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is much healthier than regular olive oil, and here are the reasons.

The olive maturity index is fundamental to determining olives’ average ripeness on your farm. That way, you can guess just the right time to pick them. Check my detailed guide on the olive maturity index here.

3. Olive Variety

As you may know, there are around 139 olive varieties grown worldwide, and you can’t expect them to be the same. Some varieties yield incredibly high amounts of oil, while others don’t.

Here you can check the best olive varieties for producing olive oil. The article isn’t very long, so it’s worth reading it.  

4. Weather In That Year

The last factor here, but a critical factor in olive oil production per olive tree, is the weather circumstances. Each year is different, and each year brings different yields. Sometimes, the weather will be the best, and you’ll get crazy amounts of olives and high-quality oil from them, while some other year everything will be the opposite.

We can’t influence the weather; mother nature always decides what’s best for it. For instance, if it rains just before the harvest, olives won’t produce as much olive oil because they’ll get soaked with water.

On the other hand, if it was draught all the year, olives wouldn’t grow enough and wouldn’t give so much oil. However, the oil will then be highly healthy and quality.

It’s Not About The Quantity Only – The Quality Matters

There’s one thing I want to talk about, and that’s about the quantity of olive oil. In my opinion, you shouldn’t aim for the amount of olive oil. It would be best if you sought for quality of it. Especially if you’re a small olive grower like me, and all you want is the best possible olive oil that you can use by yourself or sell at a marketplace.

Large companies will always aim for quantity because they don’t actually care so much about the quality, and all they want is more profit.

Us, small growers, strive to produce high-quality olive oil that people will likely buy. I know from experience that 80% of people are more likely to purchase olive oil from small growers instead of buying some cheap crap from large companies.

When you’re aiming for quality instead of quantity, you can then go to various olive oil competitions and potentially win, making your olive oil famous.

If I can choose between 1 liter of highest quality olive oil and 5 liters of average oil, honestly, I would go for 1 liter of the highest quality oil.

Conclusion

Knowing the exact number is impossible, but I hope that I have given you some good points you can look at when expecting the amount of olive oil per one olive tree. You should be fine if you get anywhere between 1 and 14 liters. It’ll probably be more than 1 liter, but I had to count it because it’s what some people got.

I made a small survey below where you can answer your average olive oil production per one tree, so make sure to answer it. It’s 10 seconds of your time, and I’ll also get a better picture and maybe even adjust the given data above.