General olive tree
The olive tree is a plant that comes from the Caucasus, although for centuries it has rooted perfectly in the Mediterranean environment, thanks to the temperate climate. Typical of southern Italy, it is a characteristic evergreen that draws the landscape in an unmistakable way: the secular trees, with their gnarled trunks, are wonderful and give splendid scenery. The cultivation of olives is especially important for the production of oil, a precious commodity exported all over the world and used in Italy for the production and seasoning of numerous dishes. The flowering of this vegetable begins in the middle of May and the fruits are usually harvested in October, but also at other times of the year: it depends on the result to be obtained, speaking of oil and the type of fruit. Important for maintaining and caring for the tree is pruning, to be carried out with precision.
Prune the olive tree
Pruning the olive is an essential operation as it affects the plant's production capacity. Not only the aesthetic criteria are important, although following the natural course of the plant is a point to be reckoned with. This type of tree, not pruned, takes on the appearance of a bush and concentrates the fruit outside the crown and this is not good for the harvest. To reach the peak of productivity the foliage of the olive tree must - in fact - have an open shape, so that the leaves and branches can breathe well. The usual pruning will eliminate 25-30% of the plant, and it will mainly be about balancing the foliage. Attention however: in the first ten years of life, not all plants need annual interventions.
Olive tree: how to prune it
The question at this point arises: what and how to cut, once in front of the plant? This depends, as mentioned, on the type of intervention you want to carry out. It is usually advised to eliminate more than 40% of the plant only in case of extreme necessity (risk to the health of the plant). Ordinarily, it will maintain the order of the crown and cut the sterile branches (suckers and suckers). The branches to be grown are those of vertical fruit of medium vigor, which will carry a greater quantity of olives. Observe the progress of pruning and harvesting over the years, so as to optimize the operation: if, for example, too many suckers appear from one year to another, this means that the previous pruning was excessive, or that the plant has received too much water .
Prune olive: Olive: when to prune
Once you have ascertained what to do, you must accurately assess when to perform cutting operations. Pruning is an indispensable operation for fruit plants and therefore patience and precision are essential to ensure an impeccable job. Normally these trees are pruned between the end of winter and the beginning of flowering (weeks ranging from the end of March to the entire month of May). Since the olive is a plant resistant in arid environments, but extremely sensitive to cold and climatic changes, in more northern cultivations it will be advisable to postpone the transitions to avoid vegetable traumas. Two more important tips: during this work remember to disinfect the blades occasionally with bleach, and to always cut downwards and outwards.