The professional farmer must apply the different olive tree care to keep the olive grove healthy and productive.
Next, we will show the agricultural work carried out to cultivate the olive: pruning, subscriber, treatments, use of herbicides…
Olive tree care: Pruning
The pruning of the olive tree is an art, achieving enough experience to prune with mastery requires a lot of time and effort.
It is essential that pruning keep the eternally young olive trees , well ventilated, with the maximum volume bearable and facilitate the collection with machinery.
Application of fungicidal treatments
The application of fungicide treatments in autumn and spring is essential to protect olive trees.
How to care for an olive tree?: Fertilizer
The selective olive tree fertilizer is essential for large productions. A well-kept olive tree will have to have a complete diet. Nutritional deficiencies are the first symptom of poor olive tree care.
Add annually to the soil covert fertilizers (NPK + micronutients), replenishes a large part of the nutrients extruded by the olive tree of the soil, allowing to maintain an adequate nutritional level.
Very useful for providing deficit nutrients. These types of subscribers are usually carried out at the same time that fungicidal or pest control treatments are applied (Olive moth, fly, cochinilla…). Deficient nutrients are limiting factors of the productive capacity of the olive grove.
Irrigation of the olive tree
Watering the olive trees favors their growth, allowing for greater precocity in new plantations and high and constant productions in formed olive trees.
On the other hand, the most common irrigation systems are used to fertirriego, very interesting to provide the olive trees with the nutrients they need at all times.
Although many times it will not be possible to provide all the water that the olive tree demands. The olive tree is a very grateful tree and you get good results with the application of deficit irrigation.
Olive tree care: pest control
Olive tree care require pest control, given the impossibility of eradication, it is important to keep different insect populations under control. When the presence of the pest is low, predatory insects are able to keep the ecosystem in balance and control the olive pests.
In these cases, the application of treatments is unnecessary and counterproductive.
Eliminating pruning remains by burning or preferably crushing (provides organic matter to the soil) is essential to prevent the expansion of barrenillo.
Keeping the glass of olive trees well aerated makes it difficult for the olive mealybug to be difficult.
The early harvest of olives reduces populations of olive fly.
Although maintaining the vegetation cover, it is good to favor water infiltration and provide organic matter to the soil. Weeds compete with the olive tree for water and mineral resources. Therefore, their control is essential before they start competing with the olive tree.
The glyphosate with authorization until 2022, is the most used herbicide in Spain for weed control. Other agricultural tasks that are usually carried out for the control of the grass are: use of wheels, plows, choppers and brushcutters.
The vegetable leguminous covers help bring nitrogen to the olive floor in a natural way. It is an interesting way to obtain nitrogen for organic crops. Also helps increase the percentage of organic matter in the soil. It is advisable to remove the vegetation cover before water resources begin to be scarce. The CAP encourages the implementation of vegetable leguminous covers with some grants and subsidies.
Although leguminous cover is preferable other types of covers will also help us improve water infiltration and increase the amount of soil organic matter.
Control of double crochet
The olive tree must have only one well-formed foot, the emission of double crochet is something common in centenary olive groves.. The varetas consume resources of the olive tree that should go to the productive parts of the tree. Therefore, the stitches should be removed, either manually or with the application of specific herbicides. The application of herbicides is more comfortable and prevents the formation of wounds on the trunk of the olive tree.
Care to keep young olive trees
Keeping olive trees young is essential to achieve good productions. Pruning, disease control and proper olive nutrition are necessary care to maintain productivity in ancient trees.
The economic profitability of plantations with young olive trees and care is far from the profitability of an olive groveaged.
The abandonment of olive trees and poor pruning practices age and weaken olive trees by reducing their productivity.
Badly carried, a plantation of olive trees of recent plantation can end up in a short time more aged than a centenary olive grove. To avoid this, it is necessary to properly practice olive care.
How to keep olive trees young?
Perform a pruning that maintains a high leaf /wood ratio that eliminates old branches and favors the appearance of new branches. This pruning will also help us in harvesting, either manual or mechanized (hook vibrators, olive harvesters…).
During pruning, the elimination of weak olive branches or infected with diseases such as tuberculosis.
Apply treatments to control olive pests and diseases.
For example, the copper application for the control of repilo and Colletotrichum sp in olives. In addition to promoting the well-being of the olive tree (less yellow leaves and dry branches), it reduces the lichens of the wood, providing a better appearance to the olive wood.
As in people, stress also ages the olive tree. Therefore, it is essential to remove the grass before it competes with the olive tree.
Olive trees also suffer from stress when there are nutritional deficiencies, a good subscriber will make it easier for us to keep the olive trees young and productive. Once the tree is formed, the care of a young olive tree is not very different from that of a centenary olive tree.
Bad practices that age the olive tree
Exposure of the main branches to the sun: It is common when the pruning done strives to maintain the main branches of the tree. This reduces the leaf / wood ratio and favors the appearance of burns. The generalized presence of pacifiers is usually indicative of imbalances in the tree and of not pruning well.
To make an omelette, you have to break eggs and when an olive tree is loaded with wood, pruning of main branches is necessary. Pruning renewal, whenever possible, should be done in a staggered manner, avoiding excessive imbalance of olive trees.
Time of olive pruning: pruning of main branches should be carried out whenever there is no risk of frost. Otherwise, the olive tree will have difficulty sprouting and the branches will be exposed to the sun.
As we have seen, not protecting the olive tree from diseases, water scarcity and nutritional deficiencies are factors that favor aging of young olive trees.
We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Note that some words may have seen their meaning altered during their translation.