Cut olive tree - step by step to the perfect shape

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From time to time the olive tree has to be shaped so that the crown is well ventilated. That's not hard. It is important that you use the scissors with care.

Olive tree cutting - tips and instructions

Olive trees grow outside the southern climes mostly in tubs, in very mild areas also in the field. The trees are not very demanding, but it can be an advantage if you cut your tree regularly. This ensures a beautiful shape, good ventilation and also for increased fruit yield. After all, if you plant an olive tree, you also want to see some olives grow.

➜ Pruning - 2 different possibilities

If you want to cut your olive tree, you have two options:

  • preservation section
  • education section

The Conservation section ensures even growth and the parenting session brings the crown into shape. Olive trees are cut tolerant, so you can not go wrong. The hobby gardener often mixes the two cuts. That's no problem at all. The important thing is to remove annoying, badly growing, sick and weak branches. So the crown is well ventilated and the tree can develop.

➜ The optimal time

The right time for both types of cuts is in late winter or early spring, definitely before flowering. You can cut potted plants in winter quarters in January or February, free-range specimens only when they are freezing.

Incidentally, the cut is not necessary every year, here is: less is more! In autumn you can remove disturbing, long water shoots that cost the tree too much power. By way of exception, you can cut off dead or sick branches and remove branches that are affected by wind breakage. Shoots in the root area can be removed all year round.

➜ The tool for pruning

For younger trees, a pair of scissors or pruning shears is enough. Older trees have very hard wood, here is recommended for thicker branches a handsaw.

➜ Cut olive tree - explained step by step

Important at the beginning: You always leave the main drive, it is only slightly shortened if necessary, if the tree is too big otherwise. The lateral shoots should be a little shorter than the main shoot.

" Step 1: Start with the cut from the top. The young and fresh wood is shortened, resulting in a beautiful shape. It is ideal if the side shoots increase in length from top to bottom. Then a triangular shape forms, the treetop looks oval. The goal is a loose, airy crown.

" Step 2: In addition, remove branches that grow inward and / or intersect with other branches. In this case always cut the weaker branch. Pernicious branches must also be cut out.

" Step 3: Finally, remove thin, non-leafy branches at the base of the crown.

If you want to have an olive tree in the typical gnarled, original form, you only remove meager and weak branches and long, thin water shoots.


  • Cutting time in late winter or spring
  • Always leave the main drive, at most slightly shorten it
  • Shorten side shoots moderately from top to bottom
  • Remove branches that cross or grow inward
  • Cut pasty, uncultivated branches and water shoots

Video Board: Olive tree pruning 101.

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