It is pruning time and here in rural Italy, pulses quicken at the thought of the annual Campionato Nazionale di Potatura dell’Olivo. The prize? The famous “forbici d’oro” – the golden secateurs. The final kicks off just after dawn in an olive grove on the north west coast of Sardinia. Regional champions from all over Italy come primed to prune 3 trees in 30 minutes, which are then judged on a series of arcane measures: the equilibration of the primary branches, the number and deposition of the secondary branches and the balance between vegetative growth and production.
This year saw some particularly tough competition but we are very proud to report that this year’s Prince of Pruners was our very own Tiziano Aleandri of the Aleandri grove. Adoptive parents and Aleandri olive trees: hold your perfectly coiffed heads high – the judges have decreed yours the best hairdos in Italy (and that’s saying something).
We’re reaching the end of the pruning season, with just 214 trees left to do in our Rosalio grove. Have a look at the animation below to see how Antonio prunes our trees; the key is to maximise the light getting to all the vegetative branches and lose any excess wood – which wastes the tree’s energy. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.