Most olive trees don’t need pruning all that often. Although, if you’re serious about keeping your tree in optimal condition (and keeping it looking neat and tidy), a trim every now and then is certainly recommended. It becomes even more vital if you’re looking to harvest fruit from your tree.
Ultimately, pruning exposes your tree to more sunshine, allowing it to grow more easily. Any areas of the tree that are in shade simply won’t produce fruit, so by pruning your tree you’ll see a much-improved harvest come the end of the summer.
The question is, how often is pruning required? And what time of year is best? We’re going to answer both of these queries and more in this article!
When to trim your olive tree
The ideal time to prune an olive tree is late spring or early summer. Why? By this point in the year, the temperature has picked up and there’s no chance of frost. Fresh shoots can be damaged by sub-zero temperatures and water-borne diseases are much more prevalent during the colder months, meaning pruning during this time exposes your tree to significant risks.
How often should I prune my tree?
This depends on a variety of different factors, including the age of the tree, whether it’s planted in soil or in a container and whether or not you’re looking to harvest fruit from the tree.
Because olive trees grow quite slowly, younger trees typically don’t require regular pruning. Although those planted in containers tend to grow more quickly (and thus need pruning more often), it’s still not recommended to begin pruning a young tree until it’s around four to five years old.
Beyond that, how often you prune your tree is really down to your own judgement. If you can see significant areas of the tree that are in shade, that’s your indication to trim a little off your tree.