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How to prune the olive tree

How to prune the olive tree: the first steps

Before going into the details of the operation relating to how to prune the olive tree, it is necessary to begin to illustrate some key concepts: first of all, it should be emphasized that this operation must be carried out in the most reductive way possible, especially in the presence of young trees: it must in fact be finalized to the growth of the tree, which will annually show its evolution in height and thickness of the trunk. To summarize, it could be said that there are two training objectives during the first three years of your olive tree development: the first is to develop on the basis of a solid structure that will offer it the possibility of supporting heavy crops and facilitating the same time mechanical harvesting; the second is to bring the new olive trees into a condition to produce as soon as possible.

General considerations and warnings


Olive trees hold most of their energy in their leaves, and unlike deciduous trees, they don’t show an immediate response to pruning. In fact, the latter will not have to remove large quantities of foliage, since it would end up stopping the development of the specimen, undermining its growth not only irreversibly, but clearly delaying the onset of production. As a result, it becomes clear that olive growers will not have to prune their trees conspicuously for at least the first four to five years. The beneficial effects of this operation have been demonstrated to allow the trees to go into production two or three years earlier, and with better yield, than a situation that would occur if they were extensively trained at a young age.

How to prune olive trees: practical and specific advice


There are many indications on how to prune olive trees, but some technical advice seems to prevail over others; the simplest way to manage this tree and its habits is to allow the development of three or four branches, leaving the center of the olive tree rather open, to allow it a good exposure to light in the lower portion of the tree. Among the various types of trees, the preferred one is undoubtedly the so-called ‘single-trunk olive tree’, as it provides a path for agitators, who can easily cling to this structure. Another advantage is given by the fact that it will be possible to easily limit the presence of any parasites, which could attack the tree in the hottest months. If you find yourself in the presence of an olive tree with several trunks, you can prune the specimen at the time of implantation and land on a single trunk; all the lateral branches up to three meters above the ground must be eliminated. In this regard, the indications on how to prune the olive tree may be useful, which you will find in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zxr80d8FlM

The first summer and the following seasons


During the first growing season, you will need to select three to five side branches and place the bridges at a certain distance from each other around the trunk, leaving enough space between the various parts to allow the ‘shakers’ to access. to the branches smoothly. Another operation not to be forgotten is to remove all the other vigorous shoots on the trunk while they are small enough, in order to favor continuous growth in selected ‘scaffolds’; however, larger cuts and those carried out late in the growing season should be avoided. During the second and third growing seasons, the only suggested pruning is to continue directing the growth of the trees in the previously identified ‘framework branches’. Production started, it will also be appropriate to create a second scaffolding that will make the work of shakers undoubtedly less complex. That said, the procedure relating to how to prune the olive tree mentioned above can be considered concluded; further attention must be paid during the growth of the specimens, to prevent them from growing in an irregular manner.

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