Cut olive tree - this is how to raise it properly

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Olive tree - Olea europaea

Private olive gardeners shy away from pruning because it seems too complicated and delicate. A well-formed, densely leafed crown with numerous flowers and rich olive harvest is of course dependent on a professional cut. An olive tree is less complicated than feared in this regard. Therefore, take a heart and cut your Mediterranean jewel according to this guide. Here you can read all information at the right time, the right tool and the optimal cut. This is how to educate your olive tree properly.

Why is a cut useful?

In the olive groves around the Mediterranean, a regular cut guarantees a rich harvest and healthy trees. In this respect, commercial cultivation is a model for the private gardener, because his interest also aims in this direction, complemented by the desire for a neat, authentic appearance. Thus, the following arguments speak in favor of an informed upbringing and professional rendition:
  • Generation of a well-proportioned crown
  • Construction of a harmonious structure of leading and traversing gears
  • Preservation of a light-flooded inner crown structure
  • Removal of dead, sick and pest-infested branches
Thus, both the upbringing and the conservation section pursue the goal of guiding an olive tree to optimal photosynthesis performance. Although north of the Alps crops of olives tend to be less important, regular cuts mean that you can benefit from an ideal silhouette and numerous delicious olives.

The best time

A cut on the olive tree should not disturb the sprouting of its new leaves and flowers. At the same time the appointment wants to be chosen so that the cuts close quickly. At the same time, the weather conditions play a role for a planted tree or winter tree. As long as frosty temperatures prevail, a cut would bring your olive tree to its limits.
Consequently, the best time for a form and maintenance cut is one day at the end of hibernation, shortly before the beginning of the vegetation phase. Specifically, this premise means that your olive tree will respond positively to cutting measures in early spring between late February and early March. In the frost-free winter quarters, you can either grab from the middle / end of January to scissors.
Our recommendation for the optimal cutting time does not contradict that you make minor corrections to the evergreen crown or the removal of Wasserschossern if necessary, in the summer or fall.

The right tool

Significant part of a successful cut on the olive tree takes the tool. Several factors should be met, so that a shape and maintenance cut in the end no more harm than good. The blades should be lightning-clean, so that pathogens do not gain access to the plant's interior via this path. Furthermore, the tool should be sufficiently sharp, because frayed cuts are a welcome attack surface for pests. Last but not least, the choice of device should take into account how thick branches are to be cut. The following are the shortlisted cutting tools:
  • Rose scissors for young trees and thin branches
  • Pruning shears for older trees and stronger shoots
  • Handsaw for all branches where roses and pruning shears are insufficient

Olive tree - Olea europaea

Please clean the blades thoroughly with spirit before using for the first time. If you remove diseased or pests-infected shoots, repeat the cleansing after each cut. With a simple whetstone you keep the blades sufficiently sharp. This not only leaves smooth cuts, but also reduces the effort required.

Guidance for the educational cut

Where the ideal light and temperature conditions prevail at the location, the crown resembles an outgrown haircut after some time. Twigs with unobstructed access to sunlight grow stronger than partially shaded branches. When light is lacking overall due to inclement weather conditions, the olive tree sends out long, narrow shoots in search of more rays of sunshine. With an informed upbringing you bring the olive tree back to the desired shape. Despite its very slow growth, the Mediterranean ornamental trees sometimes burst the available space capacities. In this case, you intervene with a parenting adjustment. How to do it right:

Plan cutting guide

Parenting on the olive tree is more challenging than you know it from native fruit trees. We therefore recommend that you photograph the crown from all sides in advance and print the photos in large format. Plan the exact course of the cut by marking the main drive and the leader.For a shapely crown, the Leittriebe spread in a balanced relationship to the trunk and stay a little longer than the side shoots.

Make a cut

A detailed planning facilitates the actual cutting very much and avoids cutting errors. This is how the educational cut succeeds:
  • According to the planning, first shorten the ladders to the desired length
  • Then cut the side shoots in the correct proportion to their respective Leitast a little shorter
  • Only cut the main shoot in the tip if no further height growth is desired
  • Cut off all inward branches on Astring
  • From intersecting shoots remove the weaker one
In the correct order, you will do the larger cuts first. The fine cut joins behind it. The actual shape of the crown is up to your individual decision. A round crown is as good to your olive tree as a triangular shape. For the first time, bring the Parental Cut to the ornamental wood, using simple cardboard templates as a useful guide.
Align the scope of the educational cut according to the rule of thumb: Less is more. Cutting errors and gaps will not be noticeable until years later due to the slow rate of growth. If there is any doubt about whether it is really necessary and correct, do not cut it.

Olive tree - Olea europaea

Tip: The clippings are too good for a careless disposal. In every non-blooming, half-lignified headstocking, the potential for an imposing olive tree is in full swing. Place the half-looted cuttings in a pot with potting soil so that it can root in the bright, warm window seat.

Instructions for the conservation section

The maintenance cut aims at maintaining the health of your olive tree. In contrast to the educational cut, every year he belongs to the care program for the spring. In this way it remains in small interventions in the growth, from which vitality and flowering benefit the plant. The following cutting guide has proven itself in practice:
  • Cut off dead branches at the base
  • From the trunk below the crown cutting branches
  • Cut back frozen branches to healthy wood
  • Remove shoots with obvious diseased leaves completely
Start at the crown top and work your way down. If a shoot is completely cleared, put the scissors flat without injuring the bark of the trunk or the leading drive. If you cut a branch only partially, there should be a sleeping, outward eye just below the interface. In this way you ensure the further branching.
If you encounter water squirts, they should be cut off promptly. These are wild shoots that sprout from the ground and want to overgrow the crown. These grow much faster than the branches of the grafted crown. Therefore cut off any wild shoot immediately, regardless of the season.
Tip: Are there doubts as to whether a shoot has actually died and is being leaked? Then a vitality test brings clarity. To do this, scrape off some bark with a sharp, clean knife. If green tissue appears underneath, the life in the olive branch still pulsates.

Rejuvenation cut only in an emergency

If an olive tree did not receive any form and maintenance cut over a period of several years, the crown will increasingly lose in height. The same applies if the tree is hibernated incorrectly or its root ball suffers from waterlogging. In the end, only a few shoots carry some leaves at the upper ends. You are hoping in vain for flowers and fruits. If the noble ornamental wood presents itself in this fatal condition, a radical rejuvenation cut can still prevent the disposal. Now that you can not get around a cut in the old wood, a long patience, a loving care and a good dose of luck are required for a successful course.
To rejuvenate an olive tree, all shoots are removed in winter, except for the main shoot and 3 to 4 Leitäste. From the guide branches thrive new side shoots that have the life force to produce fresh leaves and flowers. Thus, you create a new framework to build on this with regular upbringing and maintenance section, a new crown.

Care tips after the cut

For your olive tree every cut goes hand in hand with a high stress load. By way of prudent care, you effectively cushion the strain. Since the trees are in transition from winter rest to the new season at this time, they promote growth with a fertilizer. In the bucket is the gift of liquid fertilizer for olives or Mediterranean plants. Planted olive trees respond well to organic fertilizers such as compost, guano, bark humus or horn shavings.
Between regeneration and maintenance interventions, switch to a regeneration phase by placing an olive tree in the tub for 8 to 10 days in a partially shaded, warm location. An abrupt change from winter quarters to the full sun could cause leaf damage.
An olive tree is cut more compatible, as its primitive shape suggests. Follow the instructions in this manual and have a positive effect on vitality and flowering with regular pruning. The expert education section aims at a harmonic, ideal-typical crown shape, which emphasizes the special charm of the Mediterranean character form. Good planning effectively prevents cutting errors. The conservation cut keeps the tree overall young and healthy, was rewarded with numerous leaves, flowers and olives. For this purpose, the crown is thoroughly illuminated, wrongly aligned or frozen branches removed. The best time is in late February or early March, just before the recent sprouting. Sharp, disinfected tools leave pathogens and pests no chance. Following the cut, the stressed olive tree is allowed to recover for a week in a partially shaded spot, well supplied with the first fertilizer.

Video Board: Pilot Video: Pruning a Medium Density Olive Tree.

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