Usefulness of pruning
The olive tree is a very widespread plant on the Italian territory, in fact it prefers very dry soils to bloom, while its growth is discouraged by very humid climates. Ideal are sandy and clayey soils (only if well irrigated) or calcareous soils. The plant begins to give its first fruits after four years of age, while it reaches its most productive period within ten, so in this period it is advisable to take great care of the latter. Pruning is a fundamental element for the healthy and correct growth of the olive tree. The frequency with which one must intervene with this operation depends on several factors. Generally it is advisable to prune alternating the years, but this does not exclude the possibility of intervening annually. The frequency of pruning depends on the fertility of the soil.
Periods for pruning
The pruning intervention that is carried out more often is that of thinning. This operation in fact facilitates the circulation of the air through the crown of the tree and favors the action of sunlight, thus guaranteeing a better health to the plant. It is advisable to perform the pruning operations during the course of the winter season (mainly in the period between December and January), especially in the period following the harvest, which is more prosperous after this maneuver. To allow this, we must act above all on the branches not intended for fruiting. Given that the olive tree suffers particularly cold and wet climates, after pruning it is possible to run the risk of exposing too much to the tree at low temperatures, therefore it is also possible to postpone the thinning of the branches during the spring.
Pruning is a delicate operation and should never be improvised or considered unnecessary. To guarantee healthy and luxuriant growth to the olive tree, it is necessary to have good basic knowledge and not intervene in specific processes if you do not have good knowledge. Failure to do so may damage the shaft structure. There are two main pruning techniques: manual and mechanized. Usually in the cultivation industries the mechanized process proceeds, while in the individual cultivation plants the manual technique is used. The main tools for pruning the tree are: - the hacksaw, to cut the branches with a larger diameter than the rest - the shear, to cut the thinnest branches - the pruner (or the ladder), to reach the branches higher.
Prune olive tree: Procedure
The first phase of the pruning process consists in cutting all the dry branches, broken or infected by fungi or parasites (to avoid their spread). The cut of the branch must be dry and without leaving any burrs, while if the plant presents more complex wounds, it is necessary to treat them with cicatrising mastic (available in gardening stores), which speeds up the healing time, also removing any infection from fungi and diseases. various kinds. To perform the pruning correctly, we must act above all on the branches that grow higher up and inside the foliage, since the external branches are those involved in flowering. Once the intervention on the dry branches is finished, proceed to thinning the inside of the foliage. In doing so, sunlight is able to pass ensuring that it reaches all points on the plant.