Just Released: UC Davis Table Olive Grower Economics Study Learn more >

Just Released: UC Davis Table Olive Grower Economics Study Learn more >

Table Olives 2.0

“Modern acreage is a great fit for California agriculture. Table olives are a hearty tree which provide attractive diversification versus other crops.”

~ Dennis Burreson, VP of Field Operations and Industry Affairs, Musco Family Olive Co.

Land Application

  • Trees live much longer than other crops–literally hundreds of years–with maximum productivity between 5-50+ years old
  • Harvest is later than other crops
  • Olives do well in marginal soil; plenty of vacant land exists that would be ideal for olive orchard cultivation
  • Modern acreage plantings are much higher profit for growers because they are denser and higher yield: 200-250 trees per acre vs. traditional 80)

Higher Density Maximizes Land Use and Profit

Modern High-Density Orchard
(200–250 Trees/Acre)

Traditional Orchard
(80 Trees/Acre)

The transition to modern acreage will further strengthen California’s position as the most competitive high-quality source of ripe olives, securing strong economics and long-term market growth in both retail and foodservice.

California Orchards

  • The Burreson Ranch 100+ acre model orchard pictured above is 18 x 12 feet—these trees are now 12 years old and have been successfully mechanically harvested for the past 5 years
  • Ideal is no closer than 10 feet between trees in order to accommodate mechanical harvesters: trunk-shaking equipment
  • Land preparation is essentially the same for mechanical as it is for traditional plantings
  • Several major growing regions across California (shown yellow) are ideal for olives