HANS OLOF SAVASEN
Cyberspace Real Estate @gent
Wide Real Estate $ervice
are looking for a piece of
Paradise, this is
a great place to start your quest”
Mallorca is one of the privileged places on earth as regards trees. And
privileged it is all year round, as most of the trees are evergreen, which
means a display of Nature during every month of the year. Not only are the
varieties of trees on
Mallorca a feast for the
eyes, they are also important commercially. To mention only a few there are the
olive, almond, citrus trees, the carob, pine, palm, water oak and a myriad of
fruit and flowering trees.
The "olive trees" originated in the
and pre-date the poetry of Homer. Though the achieved enormous importance with
the Greeks and Romans, they are thought to have been introduced into
Spain by the
Phoenicians. Legends, too, has it that Noah´s Ark
received the news of the flood’s subsiding by the return of a dove with an
olive leaf in its beak. It was also the symbol of peace and fecundity in
ancient Greece, and in
Spain on Palm
Sunday both olive and palm branches are blessed. Eighty percent of the fruit of
the island’s olive trees are used for the manufacturing of furniture and wooden
eating utensils, as well as for its most aromatic firewood. Green olives, which
have a slightly bitter tang here in
are harvested during September and October, while the black ones are simply
black by virtue of having been left on the tree till November harvesting. The
wispy, delicate grey foliage, not unlike the willow, contrasts sharply with the
gnarled, muscular olive tree trunks. Some of Mallorca´s
trees are millennial and still producing.
In 1962 it was estimated that the
"almond trees" covered half the island’s surface, or in numbers,
some 6 million. It is justifiably one of the prides of the island, In
Mallorca its magnificent blooms begin as early as January and can last
through February or even March. It gives off a bittersweet odor, which is at once elusive and nostalgic. At one time
the Mallorcan almonds were vitally important
commercially on a world-wide scale.
that is not true today, as farm labor has rapidly
diminished and also because the newly planted almond trees do not produce its
fruits as quickly as some of the other island trees. The sweet almonds are
eaten as nuts or used in confectionery, while the oil is a prized ingredient
for cosmetics. The wood is also an excellent fuel. But for the winter visitor
the sight of the snowy white and pink blossoms is its greatest attraction.
Also for the winter tourist a trip
through the Sóller valley, which can be made on a
lovely train starting from Plaza Espańa should be
considered a must. There the "oranges and lemons" hang like a
starry sky of miniature lanterns on the dark, shiny-leafed citrus trees. At
one time there was an active shipping trade of the fruit from Sóller harbour to
The blossom exudes a heavenly fragrance. Apart from its importance as a
winter-harvested fruit crop, the blossoms that do not come to fruition are
used for cosmetics and perfumes, as well as for soothing herb tea, along with
camomile and linden flowers.
The "carop tree" is truly unique. The black leathery bean
it produces at the end of summer contains a 50 percent sugar content, which
makes it an ideal animal feed. During the Spanish Civil War served as a coffee
substitute. Today it is exported to
England to supply the needs of the latest
rage in health food. It is said that
John the Baptist fed on it during his wanderings in
the desert and thus its other name. St. John´s bread.
It also produces a favorite island drink, palo, a liqueur or digestive, whose individual flavour may
take some time in acquiring, The wood makes a hardy walking stick for the
country roads and hills. Highly important is that it can tolerate the most arid
conditions and the hottest of temperatures. It is known to grow out of what
appears to be solid rock.
Aleppo pine" is natural to the
island and grows almost anywhere in
In days gone by its wood was used for fuel, resin, a turpentine base nowadays,
and ship-building. It has unfortunately fallen victim to the gypsy moth
caterpillar, which the government is attempting to keep under control.
There is only one native "palm Tree" in Mallorca, through one should
really say it is the only native palm of Europe and can be found only in Spain and
Italy. Its leaves were formerly
used, after drying, for the weaving of raffia chairs and baskets. But the regal
palm we associate with the smarter streets and boulevards of Mallorca comes to
Africa. It is fast growing and
decorative, but its fruit never matures in
It is considered something of a status symbol and most often can be seen in the
patios of wealthy estates or lining the driveways to handsome country mansions.
Last but not least, is the "water oak" or Hom
oak or encina or ever-green oak? By any name its
importance is intimately tied to the natural vegetation of the island.
Commercially it serves for the pig feed that acorns provide and the tannin from
the bark is used for curing hides. setting dyes and
for medicinal purposes.
Mention should be made of the plethora of "fruit trees" - figs,
peaches, persimmons, pomegranates, apricots, cherries - which supply the island
with delicious fruit.
There are also some exquisite "flowering trees" without any obvious
commercial value. The most beautiful is perhaps the mimosa which turns January
views into clouds of teathery yellow.
One of the loveliest drives for tree-viewing is from
to Valldemossa, then to Deyá,
and from there to Sóller, returning to
Palma via the Sóller mountains. A trip like that can be done by rented
car, bus or the before-mentioned train. There are rich visual pickings on this
And, it truly is
rather comforting to think that the trees
of the "Old Testament" are all amply represented
in the Paradise that is