Pescia, 60 kilometres
northwest of Florence, is the most important centre for the cultivation of
olives in Italy and
one of the most significant in the world. Its
specialised nurseries produce about 60% of the olive trees planted
which are also exported to some 30 countries. Since 1743 generations of
Pescia’s horticulturalists have
developed sophisticated techniques for the
propagation of olives as well as setting quality production standards
nurseries and technicians. One of Pescia's most significant contributions to
olive growing dates back to 1995
with the development of Italy's first
certified olive tree which was fully guaranteed with regard to its variety
health and was also virus-free.
A healthy plant, developed to its optimum stage for open planting and of
guaranteed variety, ensures rapid growth
and premature production, as well
as offering a verifiable product to the market which, of course, translates
distinct economic advantages. The production of these premium quality, certified olive cultivars is
by CO,RIPR,OL., the Consortium for the Selection and the
Control of Material for the Propagation of Olives.
CO,RIPR,OL. is a formal
association of 38 of Pescia’s most specialised olive nurseries. The
operates under license to selected academic institutions in Italy
according to guidelines established by the
Tuscan Regional Administration.
The production of olive materials is controlled by the Italian Ministry of
Agriculture and Forests and supervised by the Italian National Plant Health
Service. Registered mother trees in
CO,RIPR.OL.'s high technology
Multiplication Centre al San Piero just outside Pescia are used as the
cuttings which are distributed to associated nurseries for
propagation and growing-on under strict supervision
and control. Each CO,RIPR.OL.
certified tree is supplied with a numbered certificate, specifying its
origin. As of 1998 the five classic Tuscan cultivars -
world-renowned for the quality and the type of the oil they
produce - are
available in certified form. Other popular varieties are being added to the
This is a particularly
wide-spread oil variety which is appreciated not only in Tuscany and the
central zones of
Italy, but throughout the world. The plant is of medium
vigour, semi-drooping and with an open structure and
fruiting branches which
are long, slender and flexible. The leaves are eliptical-lanceolate shaped,
dimension and glossy dark green.
The drupe is of medium
size (between 1.5 and 2.5g.), extended oval in form but with well visible,
markings, Maturation is late and gradual. When mature the
fruit is purple-black, but at the preferred picking time
it is green and
purple-green. It is rich in oil (between 17% and 22%) which is very fruity,
notably aromatic and of
a high quality.
The tree is
self-fertile with a high, constant productivity. It starts setting fruit
extremely premature and has an
ovarian abortion rate which rarely exceeds
10%, sometimes being even as low as 1%. The tree’s principal
is the Pendolino, but the Maurino and the Leccino are also suitable.
While the self-fertile
character of the tree guarantees a high and constant fruit production, the
presence of an
impollinator further increases production. This peculiar
productive characteristic, as well as the quality of its oil,
Frantoio a highly valuable and irreplaceable variety.
This plant, which
yields a widely diffused variety of oil, is vigorous and tends to be open
The crown is ample and expansive with many small
pendulous branches which are curved at the tip. The
leaves are of medium
dimension, elliptical-lanceolate in shape and greenish-grey in colour. The
a yellowish hue.
The drupe is of medium
size (2 to 2,5g.), ellipsoidal and slightly asymmetrical with a rounded tip
base. The maturation is premature and simultaneous. The mature
fruit is purple-black although it is purple
green at the optimal picking
time. It has a variable oil content of between 16% and 21%. The oil is good
fruity and delicate.
The variety is
self-sterile and so needs an impollinator, principally the Pendolino or the
Maurino, although the
Frantoio and the Moraiolo are also effective. It has
good and constant fruiting. The tree resists low temperatures,
temperature, winds, fog, olive knot, fungus and Peacock Spot.
This is a very rustic
variety, widely planted throughout the world. The tree is quick to produce
and is highly resistant
to adverse climatic conditions and parasites. More
recently it has been used for the production of semi-ripe or
The Maurino is a
medium-sized, typically Tuscan oil variety. It is of medium vigour and tends
to be pendulous,
while the fruiting branches are delicate with upturned tips.
The leaves are lanceolate, of medium size and
greyish-green in colour.
The fruit is between
1.5 and 2.5g. in weight, ellipsoidal and slightly asymmetrical in shape and,
when fully mature, purple-black in colour. Fruit maturation is considered to
be relatively premature and the oil,
which is highly regarded, is between
17% and 20%, and has a delicate and not overly fruity flavour.
The cultivar is
self-sterile, needing an impollinator which can be either the Pendolino, the
Leccino, the Frontoio
or the Moraiolo. It has a low ovarian abortion rate,
generally under 10%. Fruitinq is good, a1[l]though slightly
it has a good resistance to Peacock Spot, cold temperatures, olive knot and
This is an excellent
impollinator for the Moraiolo and the Pendolino and can be cultivated in
cold, humid zones
which are subject to fog. It is widely appreciated for its
ability to produce significant amounts of fertile pol1[l]en
and for its
compatibility with a wide range of other olive cultivars.
This is a tree of
medium-to-low vigour with branches which tend to be upturned and widely
spread. The crown
is gathered together and has leaves which are
elliptical-lanceolate in shape, of medium dimension and
grey-dark green in colour.
The fruit is rather
small (1.5 to 2g.), rounded and spheroid in shape. When fully mature it is
colour, but at the correct picking time it is generally
purple-green. It has a good oil content, on average between
17% and 21%,
although this can often be much higher. Fruit maturation is generally
This variety has a
relatively high and constant fruit production. If is self-sterile and
requires specific impollinators
which are the Pendolino and the Maurino. It
is resistant to salty winds.
The Moraiolo is
considered a rustic variety and is ideal for planting in hilly zones subject
to winds. As a result it
is very diffuse in the major olive growing regions
of central Italy. Its oil is highly regarded, generally fruity and
slightly bitter aftertaste.
This is a slow growing
cultivar of limited development with a very obvious tendency to “weeping”.
The crown is
dense and abundant with leaves of medium size which are
lanceolate, thin and long and rather dark green-grey
The fruit form is
ellipsoidal and asymmetrical with a rounded tip and weighs between 1,2 and
2g. It generally
matures simultaneously, although the time of maturation is
intermediate in relation to the other Tuscan cultivars.
The drupe, which is
black in colour with a pruinose surface, has on oil content of between 22%
and 23%. The oil
has a delicate flavour and is pleasant.
Due to its high and
constant pollen production, this variety of oil is considered an ideal
impollinator for most
Tuscan oil cultivars. It is self-sterile and prefers
the Maurino and the Leccino as impollinators. It has a mild
cold. Because of its long, flexible branches it is well-suited to manual
This cultivar is
widely appreciated by growers for its high fruit production and crucial role
as an excellent
impollinator, both for table and oil cultivars.