Pruning is essential to olive production. If not carried out properly, it can affect the health of the trees and their fruits.
Depending on the time of the year, weather conditions and age of the tree, there are three different types of pruning.
Winter pruning takes place between January and March, when the trees are in a period of vegetative rest, to strengthen them, allow them to produce more fruit and remove any dead branches.
Summer pruning, carried out between April and July, normally aims at perfecting the olive tree, removing branches, new shoots from the base (branches on the trunk or at the foot of the tree) and any fruitless shoots that grow vertically, which have a lighter bark compared to the branches with fruit. In the north of Italy, this period coincides with the regular pruning period.
The third type of pruning is the extraordinary trimming required to remove any diseases that may be affecting the trees.
As mentioned, the best time to prune olive trees depends on geographic and climatic factors.
In the south of Italy, the best time is in winter, between January and March; in the north of Italy, it is safer to postpone pruning until after March, because drops in temperature and late freezing can damage recently pruned trees.
Taking good care of olive trees and their fruits requires knowledge of the multiple factors that affect their balance, health and productivity.
Whether the trees grow in an olive grove or in a garden, they must be properly pruned in order to obtain the best quality of the precious fruits, or simply to have a beautiful-looking olive tree in the garden.