Winter care for olive trees is a calm care, a rest period with a little bit of worry.
Winter is the time of the year when nature takes its rights and during which the only human action is the limitation of the consequences of any excess. The letting go is the attitude of the grower during this season even if nature has surprises that sometimes go against the precious harvest.
Because winter is a decisive time, important for the nature of the future production. Temperatures must be low enough but with no excess. As soon as the first cold comes, the lowering of the temperatures make the sap go down the roots, the olive tree vegetates. Olive trees kept inside, if they don’t benefits from this regenerating cold, lose their leaves because of exhaustion. Even if nothing seems to happen, nature cleans the tree deeply. Cold temperatures kill destructive insects and diseases.
If the Winter is not cold enough, the grower will expect real damages in the Spring. Frost periods, that are all right for olive trees up to -15°C, generate a fine ploughing. Humidity in the soil, make clods explode by freezing. That way, worms and bacteria necessary for the ventilation and water and nutriments circulation can go back to the soil. Water seeps in more easily, roots can go down the soil more easily too. Everything is getting ready for the renewal in Spring.
Some Winters, too long frost periods reach the trees which thus need to be pruned, blocking the production for several years. Late frosts, in Spring, are more worrying because they are less rare. From -3°C, young sprouts and flowers are destroyed by frost and won’t produce any olive. Serenity will be back after the Ice Saints (11, 12 and 13 May) and then you can tell yourself that everything is perfect.