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Pruning techniques: fruit trees, citrus trees, vines and olive trees

Have you ever wondered what the most widespread vine pruning techniques are?

We wish to list the main ones, but we know well that many operators and growers have already identified the method that best suits their needs.

In the management of a vineyard, pruning plays an essential role, as it affects the vegetative activity of the plants and their fruit production. The cuts follow the needs of the specific type of vine, soil, climate and winery.

Winter or summer (also called “green”) pruning operations can be carried out in a vineyard, generally cutting the branches or the shoots, to obtain the specific plant shape desired by the winemaker.

The Guyot

This is a technique that does not require a permanent cordon, but it needs a forced mixed pruning. The fruiting shoot grows in a horizontal direction.

The double-arched cane

It is a technique without a permanent cord, but it requires a forced mixed pruning of the fruiting shoots that grow in a descending direction.

The spurred cordon

In this case there is a permanent horizontal cord. A short pruning is therefore carried out and the growth of the vegetation, which develops in an ascending manner, must be followed.

The sylvoz

This is also a permanent horizontal cordon and requires a forced mixed pruning. The fruiting shoots grow in a descending direction.

The ‘casarsa’

This is a permanent horizontal cordon, which requires a free mixed pruning. The vegetation develops partly free and partly forced.

Fruit tree pruning techniques

  • To allow fruiting plants to be healthy and productive, it is important to carry out targeted pruning interventions, always suited to the needs of the specific plant species. Good pruning stimulates and makes the productivity of the plant constant, but it also maximizes the size of the fruits, limits the vegetative development of the foliage and preserves the health of the plant.
  • It is usually not recommended to eliminate more than 30% of the vegetation in each pruning operation, so as not to stress the fruit tree and keep its energy balance intact. If for many plants the period chosen for pruning is between the end of winter and the beginning of spring, other factors must always be evaluated before, such as the climatic condition or the geographical position.
  • All these operations can also be carried out on fruit trees:
  • winter pruning, in the cold season and before flowering;
  • summer or green pruning, in the summer period or at the beginning of autumn.
  • There are various pruning techniques that can be used on a fruit plant, for example:
  • shape pruning, which is carried out in the first years and serves to encourage its entry into production and to give the desired shape to the plant (which can be very different depending on the plant species);
  • spur pruning, which is carried out after the first year, to keep the productive and vegetative development of the plant in balance;
  • regeneration pruning, which gives a new shape to the plant or is chosen to prune a plantt again after a few years without doing it.

Olive tree pruning techniques

Olive tree pruning methods have evolved a lot over the years, following the types of plants, but also the skills and technological choices of the olive growers.

Considering that, also in this case, summer and winter pruning techniques can coexist, one of the main objectives of cutting interventions on olive trees is to shape the breeding method of the plant.

Among the most widespread there is certainly the vase, but there is a large number of alternatives.

The vase

The vase shapes are characterized by the presence of a single trunk with a crown that is open inside as if to form a vase. This is a technique that favors the illumination of the foliage and, consequently, also the fructification of the olive tree.

The types of vases are different and essentially distinguished by the number and inclination of the branches, the height from the ground and other factors. For example, the polyconic vase has a single trunk from which three to six branches originate, each of which has the shape of a cone (hence the term “polyconic”).

The bushy vase

In this form of breeding there is no trunk and the main branches grow from the ground or from an extremely low trunk. The foliage, which always remains low and easily reachable, can be managed with different techniques, always respecting the typical vase shape.

The globe

Also in this case the foliage fits onto a single trunk, but it is not empty and looks like a sphere. This shape is ideal for environments where there is no lack of solar radiation. It concentrates the production of olives on the external part of the plant.

The single cone

The single cone has a tall trunk without branches up to at least one meter from the ground. The branches then grow perpendicularly to the trunk and decrease in length starting from the base and creating the typical “cone” shape. Not widespread, it adapts well to the mechanical harvesting techniques.

The bush

This kind of breeding respects the natural inclination of the olive tree to grow and develop with a bushy shape. There is no trunk and the plant has the shape of a bush. Pruning operations are scarce and only aim at keeping the foliage in balance.

Monocaule with free crown

In this form of breeding there is a single trunk and a crown, which grows freely, according to the typical habitus of the olive tree. This system fits to mechanized pruning and harvesting and lowers labor costs.

Citrus tree pruning techniques

The term “citrus” refers to numerous species, such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, cedar, mandarin and others. Quality, flavor and appearance of these fruits largely depend on the pruning techniques.

Production or shape pruning is generally carried out on citrus trees. The latter aims at giving a shape of the plant. The breeding cultivation methods are few and all essentially create a globe structure. The citrus trees are left to grow freely and naturally, and then the stem is trimmed about 50 cm from the ground, maintaining three or four branches for the foliage.

The globe shape manages to preserve the internal parts of the plant (stem and branches) from excessive sunlight and improves the productivity and quality of the fruit, lowers the probability of pathogenic proliferations and makes harvesting operations easier.

Campagnola tools for pruning

To carry out these pruning techniques profitably and effectively, Campagnola offers the wide range of pneumatic and electric products of the PROFESSIONAL Line and the electric tools of the GREEN Line.

The electric solutions of the PROFESSIONAL Line

Electric tools are perfect for winemakers, olive growers and fruit growers who wish to operate without engine-driven or PTO compressors. The PROFESSIONAL LINE of Campagnola also includes electric tools which, like all the proposals in our range, stand out for their considerable autonomy, power and speed.

The pneumatic tools of the PROFESSIONAL Line

Thanks to the skillful mix between traditional manufacturing processes (such as the production of blades through forging) and technological innovation (such as the use of carbon fibers), Campagnola offers high-performance pneumatic shears and pneumatic chain pruners, which allow you to effectively carry out any type of professional pruning.

The tools with plug-in battery of the GREEN Line

The shears and chain pruners of the GREEN Line are innovative tools for electric pruning and stand out from the tools of the professional line because they are cordless and operated by very lightweight and interchangeable plug-in batteries. The possibility of working without a battery connection cable guarantees extreme freedom of movement for the user, which means less tiring pruning operations.

Are you interested in getting more information or are you looking for valid and innovative tools to improve your pruning operations? Write to or contact us at (+39) 051 75 35 00!

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