These multiple stems of an Olea capensis subsp. capensis tree in Kirstenbosch is how the enlarged shrub may end up when growing unimpaired through a long life.
The pale grey bark, sometimes grey-brown, becomes longitudinally striated, rough and corky with age.
The wood is hard and heavy. It is seldom used as large blocks are rare. Subsp. macrocarpa is more in demand as timber (Venter, 2011; Coates Palgrave, 2002; Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997).