Cultivar Arbequina is the major cultivar of Catalonia in Northeast Spain. It is a relatively small tree with small fruit, it is suitable for dense planting but hard to harvest by conventional shakers. The oil is considered of high quality but not very stable in storage. The production starts early and is high, with relatively small alternance.

Geographical Distribution

The origin of the cultivar is believed to be in the province of Lérida. It is the major cultivar in Catalonia particularly in Lleida and Tarragona. It is also widely used in the new plantations in Argentina and to a lesser extent also in Chile. Traditionally planting was up to 200 trees per hectare but is planted considerably denser in new modern orchards. Different selected clones of this cultivar are presently tested in Andalucia.


Tree The tree is relatively small with low vigour and somewhat dropping branches of short to medium length. The tree tends to naturally widen. It responds well to pruning and can be shaped and kept small if required. The tree responds well to relatively severe pruning.
Leaf The leaves are elliptic-lanciformic of small size about 4cm long. The leaf is symmetric with the wider diameter in the centre of about 1.2cm. The upper surface is dark green and the lower surface greyish.
Flower The inflorescences are long and narrow with 22-27 flowers.
Stone The stone is relatively large (18-20%) elongated with a rough surface, the tip is generally round but has a clear mucro.
Fruit The fruit is small (1.5-1.8g). Its shape is generally round with a slight ovalic and asymmetric tendency. The widest diameter is slightly shifted from the centre towards the proximal side. The proximal fruit is round and the petiole cavity deep. At maturation the fruit is uniformly dark black but the colour change is gradual.

Agronomic Characteristics

The cultivar is considered frost hardy and well adapted to different soil types. As the crown is small it is suitable for dense planting. In Catalonia the Arbequina is usually self-fertile. The yield is high and it is considered an early bearer. The fruit is small with oil content 20-22% under non-irrigated conditions. The oil is of high quality with a fruity flavour but its stability is not very high. Harvest mechanization by conventional shakers is not very efficient (85% fruit removal) but overhead harvesting has been recently developed in Catalonia for this cultivar. The cultivar is sensitive to peacock spot infection and also to Black scale and the olive fly. Rooting ability under mist is high. | ph:+618-8110-0988 | fax: +618-8110-0900
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