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Olive tree pruning: experience, knowledge and a lot of love for the trees

More than 1,000 organic olive trees are to be nurtured and cared for every year in order to develop well and bring a rich harvest. In good years, that’s about 1,200 litres of organic olive oil. Maintaining care may not be so complicated in a conventual way, but purely biologically it is a real challenge after the annual climate. Cutting the trees is the same for everyone.

The cut for agriculture is very different from the cut as an ornamental plant and is much more difficult and needs more experience. The point is that at the end of the year, the tree produces many ripe fruits that are of uniform quality. Ideally, the olive tree is grown in such a way that it does not become too high to be able to harvest the olives better, i.e. about 2 to 3 meters. Then you should make sure that the olive tree forms about 5 even side branches that should grow expansively. Because it must necessarily get a lot of light into the interior of the crown. The main shoot is cut. The five main branches are halved to build up the crown. As a result, they continue to branch out.

Olive tree before and after circumcision

Olive tree pruning before and after

As soon as the olive tree gets the desired shape, it is important to preserve the crown as translucent as possible and to ensure a regular re-shoot. Olive trees only carry on one-year-old wood – i.e. on shoots that were created in the previous year. Therefore, once a year the old shoots, which do not carry much, as well as of course the dead wood must be removed. And the branches of the crown are trimmed, which prevent enough light from falling to the lower branches.

Ubaldo prunes an olive treeIn order for the olive tree to develop new shoots, “the branches should trim a little each year and remove all the shoots that have worn in the previous year. In addition, you have to remove all new shoots that grow into the inside of the crown. Thus, an olive tree can expel new every year and produce many fruits. For us as organic farmers, the care of the trees is also particularly complex, because we never work with substances that do not come directly from nature. This is our lot – but we love our work above all pruning the olive tree.


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