There is a tendency for branches to grow close to the trunk base of an olive tree, and several of these close to the soil can become very vigorous.
These branches are called ‘varetas’, and the pruning technique is called ‘desvareto’ (i.e. pruning to remove the varetas).
The number of varetas varies depending on the age of the farming and olives trees and of course depending on the overall pruning activities during the year.
If these sprouts are not removed from the trunk, they will turn into big, vigorous and totally unproductive branches that will steal the sap and weaken the olive tree.
Desvareto is a common farming practice in Andalucía and consists of removing these sprouts.
This type of pruning is traditionally carried out manually, although in some areas it is done chemically.
The season varies from June to August.
At Aceitunas Losada, we begin this pruning practice in June, and we do it manually as per tradition.
Even the traditional desvareto requires a significant effort from our workforce (requiring an average of 70-100 olives trees per worker/day).
This kind of pruning process is so important and needs to be personalised for each olive tree, so for us it still makes sense to do it by hand, by expert workers, taking care of each one of our olive trees.
The removed varetas will be ground down to be integrated into the soil as a natural fertiliser.