How to prune olive tree

How often to prune olive tree

It is advisable to prune the olive tree every other year as this plant produces fruits whose quantities can vary from year to year. In other words, it may be that the year following an excellent harvest there is a decrease in the olives produced. Therefore, pruning is usually done the year in which it is assumed that it will not yield any harvest. Despite this peculiarity, if you want to prune your olive tree every year, there are no limits in doing so. This operation is always good for the plant because it favors the passage of light and the exchange of air in the thick foliage. Just remember to be careful in doing it so as not to cut too many branches to the plant and leave it completely bare and exposed to the elements. Preferably eliminate those who appear to be less healthy.

When to prune olive tree

Generally it is preferable to prune the olive tree in winter, exactly after the harvest of its fruits. Despite this, someone decides to carry out both operations at the same time. Nothing changes, it only depends on your availability. Remember, however, that the harvesting period begins in about mid-October and ends in mid-December, although variations may occur due to the continuous climate change to which we are subject in recent years. Finally, since the olive tree is a very sensitive plant to the cold temperatures of the winter periods, especially when they go below freezing, you can also decide to prune around March, at the beginning of spring. The milder and more continental climate will certainly benefit the health of freshly cut branches.

How to prune the olive tree

As for the olive tree pruning techniques, you are spoiled for choice: manually or with some machinery. It is obvious that if you only have one or two olive trees to prune it is recommended to do it by hand. The tools necessary to carry out this operation alone are the ladder and the pruner, essential for reaching the highest branches. The shears and a pair of scissors will suffice for the thinner ones. If you do not have these tools at home, you can also use a normal hand or compressed air hacksaw. If, on the other hand, the number of plants is high enough, it is obvious that the use of a machine will allow you to save time and effort. However, consider that the use of specialized machinery will increase production costs.

How to prune olive tree: How to start pruning

If it is the first time you do this, pay close attention to doing it because making a mistake in cutting could mean compromising the health of an entire branch. So, whatever tool you decide to use, the important thing is that the cut is clean. Do not leave any burrs or pieces of branch protruding. After cutting the branch, if the wound in the plant is very deep and consistent, use healing mastic in order to speed up healing times. This step is very important because during this phase the plant is very exposed to the risk of contracting infections or bacteria that can be fatal for the health of the olive tree. Obviously, pruning must be gradual: do not start immediately from the thickest branches, but from the smaller and drier ones.

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