The stages of the annual cycle of the olive tree Las fases del ciclo anual del olivo

The stages of the annual cycle of the olive tree

It's interesting to know the stage or state of growth in which you find an olive tree, this way we can tell the period in which the olive grove is, which is very important in order to provide appropriate treatment for potential diseases, and thus obtain the most effectiveness from them. But keep in mind that all the olive trees do not go through exactly the same phases at exactly the same time, they can vary slightly.

 Before the ripening of the fruit, the olive tree goes through 10 phases: 

- PHASE 1:Winter bud. At this stage the buds of olive trees have short stems, are acute and fully closed.

Bud in winter 

We can see that the bud is completely closed.

- PHASE 2: Sprouting. During this period the buds fatten, the stalk begins to elongate and the formation of the flower cluster begins.

The stalk begins to lengthen  

In this case we can see how the buds get fatter.

- PHASE 3: Flower cluster is created. At this stage the flower or burdock cluster is fully formed, the bracts come out and the calyx disappears from view.

Floral cluster fromation

The stage where we can see the calyx.


- PHASE 4: The corolla. This is divided into two sub-phases:

     a) Formation and prevalence of the corolla. You begin to see the corolla, the calyx is opens out and the flower bud inflates.

     b) Changing the color of the corolla. The flower bud continues to increase in size and the corolla color changes from green to light yellow (almost white).

The corolla changes colour

In this stage we can see the corolla.

- PHASE 5: Stamens come out. The flower bud continues to grow and the corolla begins to open, so we can see the stamens.

The corolla begins to open out

As the corolla opens we can see the stamens.

- PHASE 6: Flowering. This is divided into two sub-phases:

     a) Beginning of flowering. The first flowers begin to open, until they are completely open.

     b) The full bloom. All or almost all the flowers are open, so you can see the pollen.

Flowering of the olive tree is completed

In this stage all the flowers are open.

- PHASE 7: Blossom. The ovary is fertilized, it grows. You can see the olive. All the petals begin to wilt and eventually fall.

Jelling fruit

 In this stage the olive starts to jell.

- PHASE 8: Pit hardening. The fruit grows, to approximately half its size. The pit begins to take woody aspect, providing resistance to being cut.  

Hardening of the stone of the fruit

The fruit grows up to half its size.

- PHASE 9: Veraison. The fruit reaches full size and some strips start to change to a different color which then spread until the whole fruit changes colour.

- PHASE 10: Fruit ripening. The olive reaches full maturity, so it can come loose from the stalk. Once the fruit ripens it begins its winter rest.

Maturation of the olives

In this stage the olives drops off the stalk.


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