Do you think the olive tree should be pruned every year?

Hello! This week I also continue to talk to you about the countryside and since during these months fundamental work takes place in the olive trees, I want to ask you a question: Do you think that the olive tree should be pruned every year?

If you don’t have much knowledge about this topic or possibly, if you really do, you would say and think the same as me, that it is essential to prune olive trees every year, but not everyone thinks like that.

The olive tree is a perennial plant

Unlike the vineyard, the olive tree is a perennial plant (if I’m wrong, please correct me) and does not necessarily require pruning every year.

If one year the olive tree is not pruned, apparently nothing happens, while the vineyard does suffer a tremendous decline, both in its production and in its guidelines for future years.

I said apparently, I highlight this because although it seems that the olive tree is fine, if you compare a pruned olive tree with another unpruned one, the differences in both the fruit and the quality of its interior branches are quite important.

The year that the olive tree does not produce, it is not pruned

This is a custom that some people maintain in this area of Montilla-Moriles. The year that the olive tree does not produce it is not pruned.

I think in my humble opinion that it is a quite wrong custom, below I list some inconveniences that the olive tree will have for not being pruned:

#1. Much smaller and poorer quality fruit. It is logical, if it has a large number of branches and foliage, it will have a lot of fruit but, at the same time, it will be small and of poor quality.

#2. Greater difficulty in collecting. It does not matter whether the harvesting is carried out with machines carried by people, by buggies or vibrators attached to tractors, visibility will be reduced because there are many branches and a lot of foliage. The person carrying the machine will have a very difficult time finding the part of the branch to hook it on, and the person carrying the stick will have a very difficult time seeing the olives inside the branches.

#3. The olive tree takes this into account. If the olive tree is heavily loaded with olives one year, it is completely certain that it will hardly produce the next year. It is obvious, since the plant has become too tired to produce any harvest again the following year.

What if the olive tree was pruned every year?

If the olive tree were pruned every year, the above problems would not exist.

#1. The fruit would be larger in diameter and of higher quality.

#2. The collection would be much more comfortable and easier to carry out.

#3. The olive tree would produce the same amount of olives every year.

It may be that what I have stated here is not totally correct, I have let myself be carried away by logic and my own experience over a few years.

If you who are reading this know about this topic, I would like you to contribute your reflection through the comments, whether you are in favor or against. Many times we do not take enough time to think about the reason for a situation and we complain that our fruits are not of quality. Greetings and see you next week!

By Rafael Espejo.

Bodegas La Aurora S.C.A.

Avda. de Europa, 7 Montilla Córdoba 14550

Tél: 957 650 362 

Tél: 957 654 642


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