Main characteristics of the olive oil mill
The frantoio olive tree is a particular variety of olive tree of Tuscan origin but which is currently widespread throughout the national territory. It is appreciated for its productivity and for the organoleptic qualities that characterize the oil obtained from its fruits. The oil mill plants have an intermediate size and the foliage is much wider than the other varieties.
The branching is gnarled and quite intricate. It is not a tree that needs a lot of care and it does not even have to be grown following particular cultivation techniques. However it is enough sensitive to low temperatures compared to leccino or other Italian varieties. If in an olive grove there are both frantoio olive trees and other varieties, the oil fly will prefer to infest the other species.
The Frantoio variety differs from the others in many respects. One of these concerns the shape of the inflorescences: they are very elongated and the flowers that form them are voluminous. It produces a considerable amount of fruit but brings them late to ripeness. In fact, the olive harvest must be started no earlier than mid-November otherwise the yield will be very low in percentage terms.
Production begins to be good a few years after the plant was created but after four or five years it is already possible to reach maximum productivity. Harvesting in the largest olive groves is carried out mechanically without damaging the fruit. The olives of the Frantoio variety are also excellent for fresh table consumption.
Ideal terrain and climate
The ideal climate for the olive press is the temperate one it never drops below zero degrees centigrade except for short periods. It can be grown up to a maximum altitude of 600 meters and its water requirements vary according to the climatic conditions.
These plants adapt well to any type of soil even if it much prefers purely calcareous soils. Water stagnation can lead to a rapid deterioration of the plant affected by the problem and it is almost impossible to save it if it is affected by root rot. Olive trees need to be illuminated directly by the sun's rays to produce high quality, oil-rich fruits with a fruity flavor.
Olive mill: Plant
The planting of the frantoio variety can be carried out starting from the beginning of the first cold autumn in those places characterized by high summer temperatures. It is always better to plant young olive trees before their vegetative restart which usually takes place in March, to avoid imbalances during the season. To encourage and stimulate fruit production, start watering the plants immediately as long as it does not rain frequently and late frosts are very unlikely.
If the area is often affected by intense winds, it is good practice to place windbreaks between one row of olive trees and the other that can interrupt the flow of air harmful to pollinations. Every year it will be necessary to carry out regular pruning to prevent the plants from turning into shapeless bushes which are then difficult to manage adequately and also to favor the fruiting of the plants.