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Date of Photograph: April 22, 2016
Location: Ostuni, Italy
There are an estimated 10 million olive trees growing in the Puglia region of southern Italy. Trees like this one, located at the Masseria Brancati near Ostuni, can be up to 3000 years old. Carbon dating indicates that some of the oldest specimens were planted in pre-Roman times. Olives are still harvested from this tree.
Trees of this vintage, considered natural monuments in Italy, are tagged with a small metal registration plate that allows them to be tracked by satellite. Nobody can uproot, cut, or sell one of these trees without permission. Before this program was implemented, ancient trees were being cut and shipped world wide to serve as sculptural elements in the gardens of weatlhy clients.