Pruning

The aim

Pruning can be considered the most important treatment on the olive trees since it allows to guide the development of the plant from year to year. If pruning is not correctly performed, it can cause significant damage to the plant, even permanent.

It is for this reason that we supervise the pruning of all our olive trees personally.

The purposes of pruning are many:

When to prune?

Olive tree pruning has to be performed after the end of the harvest when the plant is in dormancy, at the end of the winter season and in any case before flowering.

In this way it is not induced an excessive stress in the plant during the coldest period of the year, which the olive tree suffers particularly. On the other hand it is not affected its production potential.

Valle del Belice is characterized by a mild climate even in the winter months. This allows to start the pruning in January. Pruning usually lasts about three months, based on the number of olive trees to be treated.

In the summer season, the vertically developed shoots that subtract nourishment from the other flowering branches are cut.

Pruning techniques

Without proper pruning, the olive tree tends to grow by its nature with a behavior more similar to a bush than a tree.

This is due to the fact that the branches located closer to the trunk have a tendency to grow and develop more than those in the farthest part.

The so-called "breeding" pruning begins with the planting of the olive tree: the shape of the crown is set when the plants are young, in the first 3 or 4 years after planting.

To get the typical polyconic vase shape, expanded in volume and open in the center, the crown must consist of 4-5 main branches with a conical-like shape.

The so-called "production" pruning is annually performed.

Once in front of the Olive tree, it is necessary to make balanced and conscious choices depending on the status of each plant and many other factors. Based on these, a light, medium or intensive pruning is decided to obtain the required percentage of crown removal.

The first step of the process is the cut of the thickest branches in a decisive and clean way. Then the finishing cuts on thin branches are carried out. During this process, the new branches which will have to replace the exhausted, not productive ones are selected.

The vertically developing shoots that arise on the trunk or from other branches, subtracting nourishment from the other flowering branches, are cut.

The vegetative, mixed and fruiting branches are appropriately thinned out to balance the necessary vegetation and the desired production.

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