Pruning of Olive Trees

"One of the major causes of premature ageing of Mediterranean olive orchards is to be found in the application of irrational, inappropriate pruning"
(Dr Fausto Luchetti, Executive Director, IOOC, 1989)

The main goal of pruning is to regulate production and tree growth by ensuring the formation and maintenance of a strong, healthy and fairly vigorous tree capable of bearing good crops of high quality fruit from an early age, annually, over a long lifespan.

During the first few years in the orchard, pruning is kept to a minimum. Only those branches which are in the way of others, or growing too near the soil surface are removed. There are different approaches to pruning and training olive trees. The most popular system, three to six main scaffold branches are selected to form a semi-open vase. All upright growth in the center of the tree is removed to improve light interception throughout the tree. A Traditional guideline for pruning, is that you should see light through the tree after pruning, and the tree should have a "lacey" look.