Friday, 24 March 2017

The Millennium Olive Trees of Calig

We took ourselves on a walk from the opposite side of Calig a couple of days ago and discovered a duo of ancient olive trees in an orchard just out of town. A bright green signboard drew our attention to the orchard and we were both glad that it had. Otherwise we would have passed by thinking 'just more olive trees'! They are one of the most predominant crops in this area and have been for centuries meaning that certain trees are now considered millennium olive trees or Oliveres Millenaries. There are over 4000 such specimens in the Territori del Senia which encompasses Alcanar, Benicarló, Càlig, Canet lo Roig, Cervera del Maestre, Freginals, La Galera, Godall, La Jana, Mas de Barberans, Peñarroya de Tastavins, Rossell, Sant Carles de la Rapita, Santa Bàrbara, La Sénia, Traiguera, Ulldecona and Vinaròs.

Of course no one actually knows exactly how old each particular tree is - scientists aren't cutting them down to count rings! - instead, membership of the 'club' is determined by a tree's circumference. For an olive tree to be included in the inventory, it must have a trunk perimeter of at least 3.50m at a height of 1.30m above ground. There's more information on this on the Millennium Olive Trees website.

These are the two stunning trees we saw:



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