Tall slender, it seems that they almost touch the sky with their leaves. Walking through my olive grove, it seems that my olive trees have been drained of all their precious leaves. What happened to them?
Nothing, we’re just trying to change their culture form to one that more respects their natural growth. I know, the first year, they are not much to see, but after, with the birth of the new spontaneous branches, they improve.
What’s the name of this type of pruning that makes the shape of the olive trees so unusual?
It is called a “Polyconic vase.”
This method brings numerous advantages to the plant, such as:
- Respect for the natural shape of the plant
- Achievement of a vegetative-productive balance
- Processing speed
- Reduction of the woody part, improving the transport of nutrients
- Reduction of significant cuts on the plant.
To understand what it is, let’s start from the basics.
How is an olive tree composed?
In nature, olive trees are composed of several trunks that merge, almost forming a single one; the branches that grow from the logs form the crown of the olive tree with its classic umbrella shape.
The foliage is made up of fronds, which is the olive tree’s waning part.
The fronds play the role of producing the olives; the tops mainly control the plant’s growth. They also have olives but in less quantity.
Having ascertained this, we can proceed with the polyconic vase pruning method.
The olive tree grown in a polyconic vase is composed of the trunk from which 3-4 primary branches start at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees equidistant from the axis and empty internally. The height must not exceed 4-4.5 meters.
Each main branch must have a natural conclusion. It must have a top to perform its functions:
- Stimulate plants to photosynthesis and production, as they are the first leaves to perceive sunlight.
- Vegetative control. It communicates to the plant through hormones and enzymes that it is not necessary to develop the upper part.
These were just some guiding rules, but, like all natural practices, they must be calibrated according to the plant. Many factors determine pruning, including variety, vigor, posture, and crown density.
If you want to learn more about the Polyconic Vase I ivite you to take a look at this website Scuola di Potatura Olivo – Giorgio Panelli.