OLIVE TREE DISEASES - Practical Guide with Photos

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The olive tree is one of the most important crops in Spain and in many areas with a Mediterranean climate. Its fruit, the olive, is used both for consumption in different ways and for the production of precious olive oil, which is why it is a crop with great economic potential, but which can be attacked by a variety of diseases.

If you want to learn to recognize the main olive tree diseases, as well as the methods to prevent them naturally and how you can recognize when your tree is sick, keep reading us in this Green Ecologist article.

Olive tree diseases and their natural treatment

Although there are many diseases that olive trees can suffer, there are a few diseases that are the most important in terms of damage and number of attacks. In addition, there are also a large number of pests that cause losses, such as olive milkweed, although these are not considered diseases as such. These are the main diseases of olive trees:


Scientific name Cycloconium oleaginea, is one of the worst diseases that can damage an olive tree crop. This condition causes olive leaves fall, in addition to a significant decrease in fruit production and, in the long run, a general weakening of the tree. The most visible symptom is the appearance of circular spots on the leaves, which can also sometimes be seen on the fruits. The leaves end up adopting a whitish tone, and fall prematurely.

There are no varieties of olive tree that are completely resistant to this fungus and once the plague has appeared, it is only possible to apply fungicides, which should be used in autumn and at the end of winter. It is important to concentrate the fungicide application in the lower part of the tree canopy.

In this other post we explain everything about the best homemade and natural fungicides.


Verticillosis is another very dangerous disease for olive trees, whose cases have increased a lot in recent seasons. It is quite difficult to combat and is present throughout the Mediterranean basin, with special incidence in Andalusia.

The fungus sneaks into the interior of the plant through wounds or through its roots and the first symptom it produces is the leaf discoloration, which wrap on themselves around the midrib. The flowers and fruits end up drying too, and it can kill the tree. It is very dangerous because it spreads through a large number of plants and can survive up to more than a decade in the ground.

In its combat it is very important not to spread the infection with the work of soil work and fertilizer. In addition, there are varieties resistant to it. Otherwise, only methods such as solarization or antifungal substances can be used, in addition to pruning and controlling the infected parts.

Anthracnose in the olive tree

The soapy olive or anthracnose is currently considered the most important of the diseases that affect olive trees worldwide. It causes a great deal of damage to the harvest, spoiling the oil of the affected fruits.

Your symptoms are olives with brown and wrinkled spots and leaves with dry and necrotic parts, which end up drying out completely. The branches also dry at their tips and the inflorescences can be equally affected.

In the face of anthracnose, resistant varieties such as picual can be chosen, provide good ventilation between the branches to the tree and apply fungicides.

In this other article you can discover what anthracnose is and its treatment.

How to know that an olive tree is sick

As mentioned above, each disease shows particular symptoms, although some of them are quite universal. Usually see a olive tree with yellow leaf ahead of time or stained leavess in them or in the fruits will always be an indication that something is wrong.

Also the dried tips on leaves, necrosis spots or unnatural curvatures give us clues that the tree is not healthy, and we must observe carefully to discover what the problem is, that it does not always have to be a pest or disease.

How to prevent diseases in the olive tree

These are some tips to prevent olive tree diseases that we offer you in Green Ecologist:

  • Since many diseases are fungal in nature, control excess humidity and heat they are always a very good way to avoid the appearance of harmful unwanted elements.
  • Also, keep a good crop hygiene removing unnecessary organic matter from the soil, cleaning and disinfecting pruning tools before and after treating each tree, and keeping branches well ventilated and not too dense will also help keep the crop healthy.
  • It is also very important to consider the use resistant species and not provide seedlings or water that may be infected.

After knowing all this guide on olive tree diseases, you may be interested in discovering Olive tree pests and their treatment.

If you want to read more articles similar to Olive tree diseases, we recommend that you enter our category of Outdoor Plants.

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