The Olive tree has always held an eminent position in ancient Greek literature, folk traditions - which frequently reach our times in a direct line from antiquity-, Greek art and in the church's ceremonies and texts. Either as a tree producing precious fruit and its special hard wood, or as a symbol of wisdom, strength, spirit and peace.
The Olive tree needs time to grow and produce fruit, but it is worth the wait, because this evergreen tree is resilient, very productive and can live for centuries or even millennia. In Crete there are some very impressive olive trees, many centuries old, some of which are literally natural monuments.
The Olive Tree and Man have led parallel lives in Crete, taking care of each other for thousands of years. In the eyes of Cretans, olive groves are a familiar and 'cozy' image on the island's plains and mountain sides. Many romantic, funny and even tragic human stories have unraveled, starting from an olive tree. For example, a quaint custom, which causes great headache to Cretans however is that a field may be inherited by one heir, but the olive trees on it are bequeathed to a different heir! And when it comes to nature, olive groves are an integral part of the Cretan ecosystem, with many wild animals and birds finding food and refuge in them!