Having Survived Invasion and Disease, Millenary Olive Tree Recognized in Spain

The Spanish Association of Olive Municipalities has named a 1,100-year-old olive tree on Mallorca the “best monumental olive tree in Spain.”
Photos courtesy of the Spanish Association of Olive Municipalities.
Jul. 10, 2020
Daniel Dawson

Recent News

A mil­lenary olive tree on the island of Mal­lorca has been named the best mon­u­men­tal olive tree in Spain” for 2020 by the Span­ish Asso­ci­a­tion of Olive Munic­i­pal­i­ties (AEMO).

Sit­u­ated in the munic­i­pal­ity of For­na­lutx, on the ter­raced slopes of the northerly Sierra de Tra­muntana moun­tains, the tree is esti­mated to be 1,100 years old.

See more: Mil­lenary Olive Trees in Spain Named Global Agri­cul­tural Her­itage Site

Researchers believe it was planted by the Moor­ish set­tlers in the ninth cen­tury. The judg­ment panel for AEMO said this means the tree lived through an impor­tant part of Span­ish his­tory: the recon­quest of Mal­lorca by the Span­ish king­doms.

The ancient olive trees always con­tain the mys­tery of how a liv­ing being dares to chal­lenge eter­nity, of how a plant, where the liv­ing sap passes cen­tury after cen­tury, is capa­ble of sur­viv­ing both civ­i­liza­tions,” the judge­ment panel wrote.

The mil­lenary olive tree, named Can Det by the locals, has also sur­vived another inva­sion: the spread of Xylella fas­tidiosa on the island.


Intro­duced in 2016, the plant pathogen has been detected in eight munic­i­pal­i­ties in Mal­lorca and infected mil­lions of grapevines, almond and olive trees.


Can Det is also unique for another rea­son: the tree still pro­duces olives of the Empel­tre Mal­lorquina vari­ety, which is native to Mal­lorca.

Thanks to the ded­i­ca­tion of a local farmer, the olives con­tinue to be trans­formed into oil.

In the 21st cen­tury, the olive tree con­tin­ues to bring har­vest thanks to the care of its own­ers, the Deya Canals fam­ily, who grind their fresh olives in the last press mill on the island, the Can Det Mill,” the judges wrote.

Related News