Friday, March 18, 2011


Habitually, I start pruning with those olives that are included within the garden here at Casa Margherita. These trees are grandees, elder statesmen and so require a fair amount of time to prune.

The object generally of pruning of olives is to keep the centre of the tree clear so that all the growth is on the outside of the tree. This makes it easier to pick.

If you pick by hand, as we do, then you will want to keep the height down to something that suits and is safe with a ladder. I am over six foot whilst l'artista is shorter so I decide!

This year's crop of olives will be borne on last year's growth so any older growth can be removed. You will also want to remove any branches that cross each other or any that rub against each other. In addition you need to remove any vertical suckering growth.

You want to try and create an open tree with lots of space so the light can ripen the fruit and the wind can keep fresh the air around the tree.

How long does this take? How much patience have you got? Like most gardening or growing there is a balance you need to strike.

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