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Plant Diseases/Burned olive tree orchard


Hi Dr Vann,
Just learned  that my olive tree orchard (  500 trees) caught fire today. Most damage about 50 inches above ground, as I am told. Did not see it yet. I live in the mediterranean region where temp now is in the 70's. Harvest time usually within 3 weeks. Usual pruning time from november to february. Low temp of year about 40 F.
My question: 1. should I go ahead and prune right now? Or should I wait till temp is lower?
2. Level of pruning: just at lowest damaged branch? or ( like the old seasonned farmers tell me) as low as 30 inches above ground?
Thank you for your much needed advice

I would consider waiting a bit to prune.  This will give the trees some time to adjust to the stress of the fire and store some energy before the temp starts to drop.  I would not be too zealous with the pruners (try not to remove too much).  Once you are sure what branches were killed by the fire, then those should be removed properly and removed from the site.

After the pruning activty is completed, I would suggest keeping a close eye on your trees for disease or insect activity.  


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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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