What is olive pruning and why is it done?

Hello! In this week’s article I explain what olive tree pruning is and why it is done. I suppose the title will sound a little familiar to you, since it is almost identical to the one I used not long ago to tell you, what vineyard pruning is and why it is done. With this entry I return to work done on the olive tree, which is still being harvested at this time.

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What is olive pruning and why is it done?

I have not changed the title because the work is very similar to what is done in the vineyard, but different at the same time. Although there are still unpruned vines, the deadline to carry out this work is approaching. In the olive tree the topic changes a little, since it is normal to see olive trees pruned in months like March or April. This is because the olives are harvested on these dates, caused by circumstances such as weather conditions or a large amount of harvest.

Pruning the olive tree consists of cutting off the branches that are considered unnecessary or that bother others and cleaning the remaining ones so that better flowering occurs. The latter is not considered pruning itself, but it is usually done very often or almost always together with it.

As in the vineyard, pruning or rather, felling or cutting as this work is called here, is intended for the olive tree to produce an amount of olives appropriate to its size. By this I mean that an olive tree with a large diameter (these are olive trees with large branches that extend far out from the center of the olive tree) should and can produce more olives than an olive tree with a small diameter (these are olive trees that have smaller and shorter branches). This is generally due to the type of soil.

Pruning the olive tree is an essential task, apart from the fact that it directly affects the quality of the olives it produces, it will also lead to better harvesting of the same. This occurs by limiting the number of branches, those that remain are more accessible by the machines due to the greater distance between them.

Different forms of collection that define the type of pruning

As in the vineyard, different types of pruning are also done on the olive tree, this fundamentally depends on the way in which the olive tree is harvested. By this I mean that the same pruning cannot be done to an olive tree that is harvested with a manual vibrator carried by a person, as to another that is harvested with a vibrator attached to a tractor or buggy.

In olive trees that are harvested with the manual vibrator, the branches are usually left closest to the ground, something obvious because the vibrators are carried by people who are limited to reaching branches that are high from the ground.

Just the opposite happens in olive trees that are harvested with vibrators attached to tractors or buggies. In these olive trees, a free distance must be left from the ground to the branch, so that the machine can freely and easily grab the trunk of the olive tree. .

As you see, we complicate things again, when we are going to carry out work in the field, we must take into account the future tasks that will depend on it. Therefore, it is not easy or simple to plan the different tasks that must be done in it. I hope this article has revealed some doubts to you and I look forward to seeing you in the next article. Greetings!

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