In a weekly series, readers tell us about their favourite trees. This week: an olive in a small Californian orchard
Every morning John Copeland gets up early to watch the sunrise with his wife, Shannon, and their dogs. The former television producer always stands next to the same olive tree in one of the three orchards he owns in Santa Ynez, California. For there, he says, they get a magnificent view of all the trees “illuminated by the glow of the rising sun”.
This particular olive tree, which sits in the middle of their oldest orchard, is just over 20 years old. The couple make artisan extra virgin olive oil and now have about 800 Italian, Spanish and mission olive trees. “When we planted this, it was a one-gallon tree,” says John, explaining that it’s a reference to the size of its pot. At the time, it was just one metre tall. “Now it’s an actual tree. I think, ‘Gosh, we’ve nurtured this thing and we now have this thriving orchard.’”