1. The general rule of thumb, (a green one we hope) is to prune olive trees once a year, though they can be left for two years if there is a shortage of labor. Accomplish this by pruning a number of perpendicular branches. A rule of thumb is that a bird should be able to fly through your olive tree. To the point, with clear pictures and detailed explanations. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Only water when the soil is dry to touch. Prune right in front of the branch bark ridge and the branch collar. Prune off suckers, as they rob the canopy of water and nutrients. Pruning potted olive trees is done mostly to shape the plant and maintain a short height. Olive trees grow slowly and generally require little pruning each year if they are healthy and well-maintained. Fruit only grows on lateral branches, so another reason to prune these vertical branches is to give your tree more energy to put toward fruit-bearing branches. You are ultimately wanting to prune for mechanically harvesting the crop. You can also keep down the height of the tree by pruning out the tallest branches. Avoid operating a chainsaw if you have any health conditions that cause weakness from physical activity or if the saw is too heavy for you to easily maneuver. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. If needed, prune out some branches to keep the tree open in the center so the foliage gets plenty of light and air. If you have a very tall, very old olive tree, you may have to prune it drastically to make it productive again. Adulting 101: Learn How to Raise Your Credit Score. Cut these branches to encourage your tree to grow more fruitful branches. ", https://modernfarmer.com/2015/02/right-cut/, https://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/olive-tree-pruning, http://www.mediterraneangardensociety.org/olives.html#1, https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=138, http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s4716160.htm, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Always start by removing damaged, dead, diseased shoots, followed by weak, lax or rubbing growth. It’s also an opportunity to cut away any dead, diseased or crossing branches to keep the tree healthy. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. If you do not have the space or climate to plant an olive tree in your yard, you can always grow one in a container, indoors or out. Find out how to do it, below. It is best to space the process over three years. Pruning during this period allows you to inspect the branching pattern of the limbs better than when they are covered in foliage. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. As you write that future article, please consider one additional question I have. My 20yr old olive tree is getting yellow/brown leaves? Starting at the base of the trunk, remove any suckering growth. Olive trees grow slowly and overall don’t need a lot of pruning. If I am going to keep these trees alive over the winter in my area, it appears that I will need to either bring them inside the garage under artificial light or into a greenhouse, as you suggested in your reply to my comment. By knowing how to solve these problems, the growth cycle of your trees will become easier and more fun! 15 in (38 cm) hand saws are available at most hardware stores. Thinning cuts involve cutting something out, while heading cuts – also called topping cuts – involve cutting something off. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. In this case, 92% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. To minimize the damage to your olive tree, prune it only once a year in the late spring or early summer. Open-center or vase pruning is very common with olive trees. Pruning is an important part of caring for an olive tree. Experts recommend us pruning an olive tree by clearing the secondary branches to get sunlight to penetrate every corner of the tree, thus improving photosynthesis. When To Prune Tea Olive . This is often important when you are pruning olive trees in containers. Pruning Olive Trees . Fruitless olive trees are grown as an ornamental lawn tree and are prized for their silvery green leaves and dense shade. You can prune in winter if the weather is frost-free and dry. 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