Every olive contains a seed and, in theory, there are no inherent difficulties in olive breeding. In modern attempts at olive breeding, however, trees grown from true seed have never equalled existing cultivars, although it must be admitted that this possibility has not been adequately tested. But there are grave logistic difficulties associated with the screening of trees by the tens or hundreds of thousands. If breeding were to be attempted, the most important selection criteria, other than horizontal resistance, would be new characters that would permit mechanical harvesting. This would require dehiscing fruits that are easily harvested by a shaking machine, and fruits that ripen synchronically.

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