Oleaceae (Olive) Family

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Example species (Olea europaea)

Common Name and Type Genus: Olive family, derived from the Olea genus

Distribution: Worldwide occurrence

Family Size: About 25-30 genera and about 700 species

Notable Genera: The genus with the most commercially significant lumber is Fraxinus (ash). Olea (olive) is another notable genus that sees some use in woodworking for more speciality applications.

Comments: Many of the species contained in Oleaceae tend to occur only as shrubs or small trees—with ash trees (Fraxinus) being a notable exception, and the most prominent lumber-producing member of this family.

Olea (olive) is another important genus, both to woodworkers, but also for food/oil production. There are also a handful of olive-like trees that are sometimes harvested for lumber (and some species have have been listed in the Olea genus in the past), such as species in the Nestegis and Osmanthus genera.

Lastly, there are a number of ornamental trees and shrubs, and the wood of some of these species have been used on a limited scale for specialist or hobbyist uses. These include lilac (Syringa) and privet (Ligustrum).

  Genera listing

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