Pruning olive trees is a balance of art, lore and science
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Posted by: Jennifer Olivares
TORRETTA, Sicily (AP) — Watching Giovanni Caruso prune an olive tree is like observing a mountain climber decide how to reach the next hand-grip in a cliff. He chooses his path with deliberation. He even wears a helmet.
With a set of newfangled tools and theories, this 35-year-old Sicilian biologist and self-made pruning expert is working on his first commercial project to introduce the central Italian technique known as the “polyconic vase” into Sicily’s often remote and overgrown olive groves. This method seeks to sculpt a tree into separate cone-shaped sides, thus producing more olives that are easier to pick.
“The cone’s geometric shape allows the most branches to be exposed to the sun,” Caruso said.