After the very long hours of harvest and milling, we pruned our trees – all 1,400! Fortunately we have a crew to help that is knowledgeable and works very hard. Mark and I just follow behind and pick up the trimmings. We plop them into the trailer and then to the compost pile. The truck only got stuck once in the deep grass. Marvin said it was like wet spinach, spoken like a true chef. Our little mule pulled the trailer out with its four-wheel drive. Pruning is so important to the trees’ health and production. The beautiful Italian saying is that a swallow should be able to fly through the olive tree without touching its wings.
Our trees will be about 12 to 15 feet high so we can harvest without using tall ladders or, as Mark says, without using helicopters. Olive trees can grow to be very old and very large. Old like hundreds and hundreds of years old and still producing. Large as in 40-50 feet tall, too tall to harvest safely. We have seen pictures of trees during harvest of huge trees with 10 ladders and 20 people surrounding the tree.