Color/Appearance:Heartwood is a cream or yellowish brown, with darker brown or black contrasting streaks. Color tends to deepen with age. Olive is somtimes figured with curly or wavy grain, burl, or wild grain.
Grain/Texture:Grain may be straight, interlocked, or wild. Fine uniform texture with moderate natural luster.
Endgrain:Diffuse-porous; small to medium pores in no specific arrangement, moderately numerous to very numerous; solitary, and commonly in radial multiples of 2-3 or rows of 4 or more pores; yellow heartwood deposits present; growth rings may be distinct or indistinct; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing normal to fairly close; parenchyma vasicentric, though not distinct with lens.
Rot Resistance:Conflicting reports range from non-durable/perishable to durable/moderately durable. Olive is susceptible to insect attack.
Workability:Somewhat easy to work, though wild or interlocked grain may result in tearout during surfacing operations. Olive has high movement in service and is considered to have poor stability. Turns superbly. Glues and finishes well.
Odor:Has a distinct, fruity scent when being worked.
Pricing/Availability:Because of the fruit’s economic importance, healthy, cultivated Olive trees (O. europaea) aren’t felled for lumber; availability is generally limited to pruned branches, trimmings, and diseased/storm damaged orchard trees. Short lumber, turning squares, and burls are occasionally available from wild trees, as well as the closely related East African Olive(O. capensis). Prices are very high.
Sustainability:This wood species is not listed in the CITES Appendices or on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Common Uses:High-end furniture, veneer, turned objects, and small specialty wood items.