Instruments and secrets of the land pruning
Why choosing land pruning?
The answers arrived from Professor Franco Famiani during the pruning class we organizzed last month. We have now decided to talk again about this topic in order to share new practical advices about the gears to choose.
The equipment, unlike the traditional manual pruning (scissors, saw and ladder) brings some value and safety benefits. The traditional pruning, as a result of the high handmade quality it requires, influences for the 15-30% the total cost of the olive plantation. Also, it is a very laborious and risky practice for the workers. To overcome these obstacles the solution consists in the introduction of new intstruments and machines reducing the time necessary for the practice and cutting off the risks for the workers.
The essential tools of the land pruning are: loppings and telescopic poles. On the pole extremity there is a cut organ for cutting to a distance from 6 metres to the land, sometimes without ladder; it is anyway suggested to use these equipment only between 4 and 5 high metres.
There are two different kinds of loppings according to how they are set in motion:
+ by cord: the blade is in action when the cord is tense;
+by indicator, the strip in the pole activates the blade.
The pruners permit to follow the cuts until 3-3,5cm ø. The work is less hard thank to the olive cutter.
The saws with pole allow to cut from land until 10-15cm ø.
If the work is done at a certain distance it is advisable to use curved blade with a sharp knife near the handle and a hook terminal: in the case of telescopic rods it is appropriate to use those which have locking systems interlocking male / female, to prevent sliding problems. In case of thick branches, it can also be useful to have poles with blade without hook and narrow at the tip.
The poles, both of pruners and of saws, are realized with strong and light materials, as aluminum and fiberglass. However it’s important to choose the right equipment for cutting the trees.
In particular, during the training day, the equipment used by the Professor Famiani was: a saw with telescopic rods 2-3,3 or 2,3-3,9 metres long and one’s with a pole 2,35- 4,90 mt.44 long.
[Thanks to Professor Franco Famiani and his book “ La potatura dell’olivo”, essential source of information]