Posters found in coffee shops of several Greek villages offering up to 700 Euros for ancient olive trees. These trees are shipped to cities across Europe and sold in turn for up to 5.000 Euros! First Lord Elgin and his looting of Greek antiquities, now this... Travesty!
There ought to be a law in Greece against selling national treasures such as archaic olive trees; how repugnant it is that the economic crisis is prompting Greek farmers to sell off an integral part of their heritage.
If the grand old olive trees are not being sold, they are being ripped from the earth for a myriad of reasons, none of which are justifiable to me. I took a photo of the image below driving in my car on route to Sparta one morning. This is becoming an ever more common image on the rural roads of southern Greece. Judging from the size of the stump, this olive tree was surely centuries old, and now it is gone forever. Chances of farmers allowing the newly planted trees to grow for any significant length of time are slim next to none because young trees produce more crop than very old ones, and farming these days has become purely a matter of business. Perhaps giant olive trees are destined to go the way of the dinosaurs... on second thought, ironically it might be best that affluent buyers outside of Greece are purchasing venerable olive trees, perhaps the trees that are replanted in some villa off the coast of the French Riviera will be safe from the jaws of a bulldozer. To quote a famous Metallica song, "Sad but True"...
In the "About" page of my website Olivetree123.com you will find more information about how and why older olive trees are in such danger; this post was merely my venting about an existing problem being further exacerbated by money and greed (i.e., endangered trees due to farming practices are being further exploited by merchants who are capitalizing on the financial woes of the Greek populace).