The pruning is the most important care of the olive tree. It is the shaping of the tree that brings balance in the germination and fruition for a big olive oil production.
The type of the pruning depends on the time of the year, the age and the variety of the tree. The type of the pruning also depends on other cultivating ways, as the fertilization, the water supply and the way of the harvesting of the olives, so the harvesting becomes easier and less expensive. The pruning should also be simple, fast and lasting.
The olives grow on the last year’s branches. With the pruning, the branches that are going to give fruit the next year, get eliminated, and the branches that stay, are growing better and stronger.
Results are when the pruning is done carefully, the production is bigger and better, otherwise results in confusion to the tree and the production becomes small.
The most productive branches of an olive tree, are the ones that are getting plenty of sun light.
The pruning should be done in the winter, after the harvesting of the olives and before the starting of the germination. The cold should be gone, because can cause major damage and prevent the healing of the wounds. It also can be done in the spring. Then the elimination of the suckers and the greedy sprouts is in order.
There are two kinds of pruning. The pruning of the growth and the pruning of the fruition.
The pruning of the growth is the formation of the shape and height of the tree. It starts when the tree is in the nursery and continues until the beginning of the production.
The tree that is planned in the olive orchard, needs to get nourished to grow. Good nourishment of the olive tree, is very important from the early years of its growth. The pruning of the growth should depend on the climate of where the olive tree is cultivated, its vigorous, its height and shape and the ways of cultivation, that are going to be used.
The pruning for the fruition of the olive tree is done for the maintenance of a good quality production. It starts from when it is in the nursery and continues until it is old.
With the pruning of the olive tree a number of young shoots gets eliminated, but the tree produces another significant number of young shoots and roots and gives a big production.
Excessive germination results in a smaller production, because the young shoots are greedy. A balance for the maintenance of the flowery shoots is necessary.
When the tree is growing and has some production, the pruning should be light with the elimination of the young shoots that don’t help in the maintenance of its shape.
In a vigorous fruition, the tree has the tendency to minimize the production of branches, in favor of the fruition. With the elimination of the weak shoots, a balanced germination and fruition is maintained for the assurance of better and stronger shoots for the next year’s production of an excellent quality of olive oil, extra virgin olive oil.
It is very important not to weaken the trees with pruning. For the weakening of the very vigorous trees, or for the strengthening of the weak trees, we should shorten or thin out the branches. We should maintain the shape of the olive trees by getting rid of the weak, dry and crooked branches.
The ways of cultivation and the climate can change the balance of the olive tree, which can be secured with pruning. A good pruning is not necessary every year. Its best just to do a good cleaning by cutting off the unnecessary branches. There are machines that help in the pruning, but its best to finish it off by hand.