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Advice on how to prune olive trees

When and how to prune olive trees

First of all, the period in which the olive trees are pruned is between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It must be considered that there are different types of olive tree pruning, which have different purposes: for example that of giving a well-determined shape to the plant, but more important still is the pruning done for productive purposes, which is the one that favors the fruiting of the plant. In the latter case, the branches must be carefully chosen to ensure that they are actually productive. It is then necessary to work with caution to prevent the spread of diseases or to cause injury to the plant, carrying out the cutting operations very gently and checking the cutting tools used after each pruning, carrying out the right maintenance and checking their efficiency.

Reform pruning of olive trees


Reform pruning is so defined because it aims to give a shape to the plant, eliminating the diseased or damaged branches. Once these branches have been cut, it will be necessary to calculate the way in which the new ones grow from year to year, carrying out other cutting operations until the plant has assumed the shape that is considered appropriate. After this pruning, for a few years, it will be very difficult for the olive tree to bear fruit, and it will probably produce a poor quantity of olives. Over time, however, new production branches will grow and production will progressively increase. However, the reform pruning can also be carried out for other reasons, for example if you want to improve the posture of the crown in the event of an excessive amount of wood, in which case productivity is also improved.

Production pruning of olive trees


Production pruning is that which favors fruiting. First, all the twigs present at the base of the stem or along the stem, called “suckers”, must be cut, as they subtract the energy necessary for production from the plant. Later you will have to eliminate the other branches in the middle of the foliage and which are directed upwards, they too suck energy and are called “suckers” in jargon. In this way the tree is strengthened. After carrying out these operations, the productive branches or “gutters” must be selected, each branch must be pruned in order to have the necessary space to favor the passage of sunlight inside the tree and therefore make it perform the chlorophyll function correctly, and therefore allow it to vegetate properly.


Many are wondering how to prune olive treescorrectly. Well, there are many important precautions to carry out all the operations while preventing plant diseases. First of all, the branch must never fall apart, as this could cause serious damage to the bark and favor the formation of diseases such as mange. The cut must therefore be clean and if the branch is very large it is better to cut it first a little away from the point where it is attached and then correctly eliminating what remains of it. The control of all the equipment used for pruning is also very important. All cutting tools must be disinfected after each pruning by passing them under the flame or cleaning them with ethyl alcohol or sodium hypochlorite (bleach), otherwise any pathogens present will spread on healthy plants that will be pruned.

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