When do you prune olive trees and why is pruning important for a good harvest? We explain this in this article, where we also give some tips and suggestions for pruning olive trees correctly. Choosing the correct time to prune olive trees is crucial to maintaining a healthy and productive plant. So here are four tips on the correct time to prune plants. Many olive growers throughout Italy are already grappling with the olive harvest, and many are wondering if, since they are already in the field, they can get their hands on scissors and hacksaw to do the pruning as well. The answer is no. In fact, pruning is a fundamental practice in plant management that must be done at specific times.
Olive tree pruning is an operation that should not be taken lightly, and to become an expert pruner requires years of practice in the field. Indeed, pruning must be balanced, and, above all, it must be done at the right time to allow for a productive and healthy plant and easily accessible drupes. In this article we have described how pruning should be done, while in the present we will focus on when to prune.
What is the best time to prune the olive tree?
During the plant's vegetative rest, so in late winter. Yes to spring. The ideal time to prune an olive tree is between late winter and early spring. It is generally said that it is good to make cuts between March and April. This is not always true; in general, pruning should be done when you are certain that no more frosts (i.e., temperatures below 2-3°C) will occur.
“Succhioni” e “Polloni”, best in summer.
If production pruning must be done between winter and spring, green pruning can also be done in summer. Indeed, in July and August it is possible (and indeed desirable) to get your hand on the saw to remove Succhioni and Polloni. Polloni are those branches that grow from the foot of the olive tree and tend to give it a bushy appearance. Succhioni, on the other hand, are those branches that grow perpendicular to the ground directly from the back of the branches.
Now let's go over our three small but essential tricks for pruning olive trees:
- Safeguard the younger, thinner but often more productive branches;
- Lighting: having areas of the canopy in shade means having areas that are not productive but absorb nutrients to the plant. Therefore, it is important to encourage adequate light and sunlight penetration to allow flowers and thus fruit formation.
- Eliminate "Polloni" that grow numerous at the base of the trunk.
How to carry out the cutting of olive trees?
Cuts should be clean and made with surgical precision. Above all, it is important that the bark of the olive tree is not damaged, to prevent the cut from becoming the access point for plant diseases and mushrooms.