Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsEnvironment'Evdokia' the 1200-Year-Old Olive Tree on Corfu, Greece

‘Evdokia’ the 1200-Year-Old Olive Tree on Corfu, Greece

Olive tree Corfu Greece
The ‘Evdokia’ olive tree in Corf was planted around 928 AD. Credit: AMNA

An imposing olive tree on Corfu, known as “Evdokia” is among the oldest trees in Greece, estimated to be between 1086 and 1200 years old.

A recent study by German scientists from the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden) determined that the tree is around 1086 years old (+/- 10 yrs). They believe it was planted sometime around 928 AD, before the island’s successive occupations by Saracens, Normans, and Venetians.

“Their study proved that the centuries-old olive tree is 1200 years old, with a margin of error of 10 percent,” Konofaou, founder of the Hellenic Union of Heptanesians (HUH) – a name referring to the hepta, or seven, main islands in the Ionian Sea explained to AMNA.

Konofaou said that the islanders decided to contact dendrochronology specialists at TU Dresden’s Institute of Forest Botany and Forest Zoology independently, after a series of failed attempts to attract the interest of academics and government officials in Athens.

The tree is one of three especially enormous olive trees on Corfu and part of the Heptanesians Union’s efforts to promote all three areas in which they are located as alternative tourist destinations.

Evdokia is considered one of the ten largest and oldest living trees in all of Europe.

Konofaou said that schools and tourists on Corfu have expressed interest in visiting the tree, while the owner of the parcel of land where the tree is located has conceded the rights for the tree’s promotion and exploitation by members of the HUH.

Oldest olive tree in Greece is on Crete

However, the olive tree in Corfu is not the oldest in Greece. The oldest olive tree in the world is believed to be located in the village of Ano Vouves of Kissamos in Chania, Crete.

Olive tree Greece
The most ancient olive tree in the world, in Crete, Greece. Credit: Dimitra Damian/Greek Reporter

The ancient tree is 3000 years old, as determined by the international scientific community.

The ancient olive tree in Vouves has a trunk with a circumference of 12.5 meters (41 feet), and a diameter of 4.6 meters (15 feet). It belongs to the local tree variety of tsounati and was grafted at a height of three meters onto a wild olive tree.

Because of the grafting, its trunk has been so beautifully shaped by nature that it resembles a sculpture. In 1990, after a unanimous decision in the prefecture of Chania, the Vouves Olive Tree was declared a Natural Monument of great importance due to its status as the world’s oldest tree of its kind.

The fruits of the  ancient olive tree produce the best olive oil in the world, making the area the cradle of olive cultivation on the island of Crete. The trunk of the tree is now hollow as there is no heartwood, so the olive is renewed outward and the heartwood gradually rots away.

Since the olive tree is constantly renewing its wood, it has served as a symbol of immortality since ancient times.

Another ancient olive tree on the island of Evia was destroyed during the wildfires of 2021. The 2,500-year-old tree was located in the olive grove of Rovia, and was such an enduring symbol of the landscape that the ancient geographer and philosopher Strabo featured it in his writings.

The tree was large, with a trunk so wide ten people could fit along its diameter. The tree was fertile with olives until it fell victim to the wildfire.


See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts