Thursday, 21 April 2016

Pruning The Olive Trees

Large Sprawling Olive Tree

In front of the Gloucester House building there are three olive trees in the gravel garden that have not been pruned for several years and have become very large and sprawling in habit.

Instructions In Hand

Before pruning guidance was sort through the internet and pruning books as the olives were young, small trees when they last received any attention. With instructions in hand Simon, Kieron and Ali began the prune with lopppers, secatuers and a very sharp saw. (According to the guidance, 'Any major pruning should be undertaken in the spring').

Reducing The Canopy

In order to reach the top of the canopy a tripod ladder had to be used. The large, upright branches were removed to create a better shape and a more sensible height for future maintenance. The branches in the centre were thinned out to allow in more light and all the dead, diseased and damaged branches were also removed. All the removed wood was taken to the chipping pile.

Thinning Out The Centre

The olive trees will receive a prune annually from now on, but will be revisited in the summer to reduce any regrowth caused by this major prune.


Gravel Garden


  1. Really cool that they are flourishing like that! Are they producing any olives?

    1. Hi Nic. These trees do produce a small number of olives. According to the RHS 'Fruit is produced at the tips of the previous year’s growth, so excessive pruning will also prevent fruiting' so don't think we will get many this year. Thank you for your comment, Best Regards Ali, Worcester College Gradener.

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