Pruning Olive Trees – How to prune olive trees
As it happens to the majority of fruit trees, the olive tree reacts positively to pruning. We prune the olive tree in order i.) to create strong trunk and crown frame (this allows the tree to withstand heavy load and high winds), ii.) to gain adequate (quantitatively and qualitatively) crops with the prompt production of new fruit-bearing wood, iii) to facilitate harvest and application of plant protection programs, iv) to reduce the tree tendency to alternate bearing, v.) to remove dead wood and finally vi.) to extend the productive life of the olive grove. Pruning of olives trees often takes place immediately after harvesting the olives in areas where there is no danger of frosts. In other cases, pruning takes place during March-April.
When pruning, we must have in mind that the olive fruits can only grow in parts of the tree that grew the year before. In a few words, our purpose is to remove old growth and trying to restrict the tree from becoming too big and dense. If we succeed in this, new growth will be promoted. Generally, we shall prune more the base and the lower branches, which normally have no value. Then, we shall clean the center of the tree, so that sunlight can have direct access to the inner part of it. Light penetration is extremely important for fruit growth. Old, broken and diseased branches must also be removed.
The frequency of commercial olive tree pruning ranges from once a year to once every two years. Not pruning our commercial olive trees for 3 or more years will definitely have a negative effect in production.
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11. Olive Tree Pruning
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