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When are olives harvested

Being one of the earliest crops to be harvested by humans for about six thousand years. Harvesting the olives at the right time is the most important step of obtaining the best quality, juicy, and long-lasting olive oil. If harvested at the wrong time it will not be the best quality of olives you are looking for. So, it is best to know first that when are olives harvested. It is advisable to increase the fat yield before harvesting them.

Before the harvesting process, there are several things to keep in mind such as the types of olives harvested, the area where it is harvested, climate conditions, etc. To facilitate you by giving you all the necessary information we have done our homework on when are olives harvested.

By the end of this article, you will be able to know when is the olive season to harvest it at the best time and will also get the quality of olives you want. So, without further ado let's get right into it.

The growing process of olives:

Olives grow over time and also gets different color in the process. The olives will get mature over time and there are different steps to it. To give brief information on how are olives made, there are five steps.

  • Immature:

At the immature point of olives, the olives are starting to get the shape but are not ready to be used or harvested. It is advisable to leave the olives to be ripped at this point

  • Green:

When the olives on a tree get the green color, it means they are matured and can be harvested. The green color olives have a very juicy taste and are ideal for making oil. They are harvested in the middle of the autumn season

  • Purple:

When the olives turn from green to purple, it is advisable to harvest them because they are ripe at that moment. They are very good for the production of olive oils and the best olives to eat.

  • Black:

From purple to black olives on tree means they are fully ripped and it is the last stage of harvesting it if you want a good quality olive oil. However, the olives from purple olives are better than of black olives.

  • Over-ripening:

By this time the olives get over ripped and starts to fall off the tree itself. You should not let this happen and aim to harvest it before that because it does not produce good quality oil.

Things to consider before harvesting olives:

You should keep in mind some things before knowing when to pick olives off the tree

  • Type of olive:

You should look at the type of olive you want to harvest. As mentioned above there are five different types of olive stages. So, choose among them which one you desire to have.

  • Area of harvest:

The area also plays a major role in the harvesting phase. You need to harvest it according to various conditions of that region.

  • The climate condition of the area:

The climate condition of the area should be kept in mind. Because olives require hot weather for best quality. So, olives in the hot areas are harvested earlier as compared to cold and wet areas.

When to harvest olives:

Now the question is when are olives harvested. The Autumn season is the best season to harvest olives. From the end of September to mid of October, the olives are in the best condition possible which will produce the best quality olive oil also. However, as there are different types of olives with different ripening stages. There are different times to harvest each one of the types.

So, keeping that in mind, olives are mostly harvested from September to December according to the type and condition of olive the user wants.

According to regions, in the Southern Hemisphere, the harvesting season is April to July. Whereas, in the Northern Hemisphere October to January is the time.

How to harvest olives:

How are olives harvested? Olives can be harvested by many different types. Go through the list to know how to harvest olives for eating or making oil and choose for yourself the best one.

  • Machine:

Starting off our list on how to pick olives with the new-age technique. It is the most advanced and modern form of harvesting. In this, the machine is attached which shakes the tree and also gathers the olives from the tree as it falls.

  • Plucking:

Moving from the most advanced to the oldest, the plucking technique. In this, the olives are harvested by climbing the tree and plucking them off by the hands. It is the best form of harvesting as it doesn’t damage the olives in any way.

  • Striking:

Striking is also one of the most common and oldest forms. Not everyone can climb up the tree and pluck the olives themselves. So, you can strike the tree by throwing stones at them so they could fall on the ground and you can pick from there.

  • Over-ripening fall:

Moving to this first of all we don’t recommend that because olives are not in the best condition in this one. In this, the olives get over-ripe and fall on the ground naturally. The over-ripe olives are not the best ones and also can get attacked by insects.


After harvesting the olives, clean them to remove all the dirt. Then store them in a jar and fill the jar with olive as well as saltwater. After that, it is advisable to leave the container in a dark place for a week at least. It is safe to use after that.


Q: when to harvest olives for oil

Ans: when the olives change from green to purple. Then it is the best form of olives that can give the best quality olive oil with great taste and aroma.

Q: how many olives does an olive tree produce

Ans: this entirely depends on the type and size of the tree as well as the region. The olive tree can give 25kgs to 100kgs of olives.

Q: how do you harvest olives.

Ans: the best technique to harvest olives is the oldest technique. It gives the olives in their purest form without getting damaged.

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