By the time you count to three,
another ancient olive tree ceases to
exist as it is ripped out from the Greek
landscape where it has proudly
stood for hundreds, and even
thousands of years.
Ancient olive trees are ever-more frequently chopped down or ripped from the earth with bulldozers and used for firewood since electric bills are very expensive and the winters can be cold for people in rural Greece- the majority of whom live in non-insulated concrete homes. As such, and in just a blink of an eye, trees that have taken centuries to grow simply vanish, leaving behind a scenic void and depriving future generations of such earthly visual beauty.
Thanks to this site, people from all over the world can gaze online at some of nature's marvellous creations before they slip away from us forever. At the same time, this ugly practice of uprooting century old olive trees may cease if enough individuals become aware and engaged in the cause of safeguarding such a natural treasure.
The author's contribution and his intention with erecting this site is to help raise awareness about the systematic disappearance of the ancient olive tree in the Greek Mediterranean region.
The author's goal is to document and commemorate the most stunning olive tree specimens by way of producing a photographic anthology of many spectacular olive trees found across the southern Peloponnesian coast of Greece.
By the same token, the purpose of this website is to serve as an online repository of regal olive trees. Day by day, these trees simply vanish as they are arbitrarily chopped down for firewood or to make room for new crops.
Be that as it may, (human intervention produces good and bad things for everyone and everything on earth), with the aid of this website many such time-honoured trees will continue to be admired and immortalized throughout the ages via the power of the Internet and photography. This may be little consolation, but it is better than nothing and it is the author's hope that legislation will one day prohibit the destruction of such national treasures and staples of Greek heritage.
The disappearance of sacred elderly olive trees in varying parts of the world, especially Greece, is borderline epidemic. These majestic trees are not only a natural wonder, they also tell a story, and serve as clues for archeologists and historians. Sadly, they are vanishing quicker by the year.
The video above showcases what frequently occurs in rural communities. It is a tragedy and a travesty to witness such regal trees being ripped from the earth where they have stood proudly for centuries, but what can be done? Private landowners cannot be forbidden to re-landscape their property.
Sorely, with the advent of the economic crisis in Greece, many farmers seldom think twice about tearing out ancient olive trees situated on their land in order to sell the wood or to make space for factory farming, i.e. planting a plethora of new olive trees only two meters apart, in straight rows, and on bulldozed flat land in order to make the harvesting process more efficient.
Unlike their predecessors, most of these younger generation farmers do not value the importance of such kind of national heritage. They live for the "here and the now", and they are far more interested in how much revenue their land can produce for them. They are not concerned with the aesthetics of nature, nor are they particularly historically minded; they are more profit-oriented than anything else. Moreover, as a result of the aforementioned economic crisis, they do not think twice about replacing one old olive tree with three or four younger ones. They seemingly do not care about the fact that it will take hundreds of years for these new saplings to grow into beautiful trees full of character and pride.
The only thing that can be done is to photograph what has remained of all such amazing ancient olive trees and to share their beauty with people who recognize and value their importance. There is a Greek saying, "Olive trees are blessed by God", such a saying exists likely because olive trees are so resilient and because they produce olive oil which is a healthy nutritional commodity. One look at the photographs throughout the pages of this website makes it easy to understand how and why archaic olive trees should be protected, they are full of character and their beauty and strength are evident upon gazing at them. We hope that this site contributes to people's sensitization of the issue.
Links to Feature Articles
In the meantime, articles have been written regarding this issue and featuring the work of Adoni Dimakos, creator of this website. Please find links to articles below where you can read more about this topic:
Earth Island Journal:
Olive Oil Times:
Hope on the Horizon?
There is a mysterious beauty possessed by all these archaic trees, a certain nobility and timeless quality. Their existence transcends so many generations of people who have lived in the area over the millennia. Their branches have witnessed and survived through all the historical events and have watched us humans toiling in our endeavours. We have coexisted with these trees for so long yet it now seems as though their life span is coming to an abrupt yet unnecessary end.
There is, however, hope! As you can see from the photo below, even a tree stump can re-blossom. Granted it will take hundreds of years to grow back to its former glory, but the important point is that not everyone can afford to hire a bulldozer to rip out the deep roots of an ancient olive tree.
In other words, most of the time, such trees are merely cut to stumps since entirely uprooting these trees is not very feasible. While the visual result may not be pleasing, what this means is that these innocent victim olive trees will continue to live on, despite our meddling practices. Our mission is to photo-document them in all their glory before there is nothing but scattered stubs left.