CHRONOLOGICAL CYCLE

CHRONOLOGICAL CYCLE OF THE OLIVE TREE

The chronology of the olive tree follows an annual calendar that has been repeated for millennia and involves all the olive agro-industry around the world. Day after day, every period entails many tasks concerning the olive trees. To make it easy for you, the Internet browser, lets begin the olive trees year with the harvest.

November harvest begins in some plantations of the more southerly zones of Europe. The trees are laden with olives that are at their greenest, most replete with chlorophyll, most bitter and spicy.

December - harvest takes place in the whole Mediterranean basin. The trees have a predominance of green olives rather than mature ones. The goal of the cultivator is to prevent the mature olives from falling and losing part of their properties due to contact with the soil. By the end of the month, there is no field without a harvest in progress.

January the time when the harvest is coming to a close in the smaller plantations. It is also the moment when these olive trees are at rest.

February in the large plantations, it is the month when the last olives are gathered. It is also the time for pruning before the season changes, before the onset of higher temperatures.

March after the harvest and the pruning, it is time to vitaminize the olive trees. Besides the work of aerating the soil to maintain the humidity, the XX century manuals recommended that there be annual alternation between chemical and organic fertilizer applications. Fertilization of the olive tree takes place with greater rigour and volume with nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Of course, every field has its specific deficiencies and is constantly analyzed to seek the necessary fertilization corrections. At these times, correction of the soil constantly involves the elements boron and magnesium. Therefore, combined in different forms, these elements are the most recommended nutrients.

April the month when constant vigilance of the soil begins and the olive tree is reinvigorated.

May the leaves already cover the whole tree, and it is highly susceptible to parasites, other pests and epidemics. The cultivator begins to take measures to prevent and eliminate the threats. The types of disease are diverse: in spring and autumn, the tree may suffer attack from the fungus, olho de pavão (peacock eye), and during February, caruncho (dry rot). Attack may come from traças, insects that feed on leaves, or those that eat the stamen and pollen, or still others that seek the stone of the fruit. One of the most harmful pests is the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae), which lays its eggs in the olive in mid- September, when it changes color from dark green to light green, the moment the fruit is at its softest. There is also the olive traça (Prays oleae), the cochinilha (Saissetia oleae), and the gafa (mange), which emerges when the temperature is around 25 C and the relative humidity is high. The Margaronia Unialis is a caterpillar that also assails the olive tree, and, finally, there is the Euzophera Pinguis, an insect that creates veritable galleries in the trunk.

June the month when the olive tree is in full bloom. At all costs, the fall of this blossom is avoided, as every single flower may mean an olive.

July at this time, it is usual to turn over the upper layers of soil around the tree, this being quite a natural process to eliminate weeds that absorb the fertilizers and also to keep the moisture in the soil.

August at the height of summer, watering may be necessary, concentrating just on the roots and taking care to avoid the trunk.

September this is the month the olives take over the tree, and their shade of green changes from light to dark.

October the process of formation of olive oil in the fruit is accentuated. The greater the moisture, the better the quality and quantity of olive oil. Harvesting table olives commences.