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What is the olive tree windbreak
The most common windbreak olive tree in Italy is represented by the Cipressino cultivar. The use of the olive tree as a windbreak barrier is a very ancient practice, which consists in using rows of this variety to protect a territory generally without barriers, from damage caused by strong winds. The areas most affected are usually the countryside plains, the mountainous areas that cannot use the rock walls as a wall, and the seaside resorts. The cultivation of this type of plant is not carried out for a productive or fruit-bearing function, so dead plants are also used leaning against metal or wooden walls as a support. This composition is positioned sideways to the direction of the wind in order to intercept the gusts. To increase the protective efficacy of the natural structure, shrub plant crops are inserted in the rows.
Windbreak - Evergreen plant">The plants to grow together with the windbreak olive tree
The natural barrier can therefore be erected with live or dead olive trees. Even if the use of dead plants appears to be the most widespread as it does not require care or maintenance, the use of live plants on the other hand has a sure aesthetic impact. In this case, rows of olive trees may not be sufficient to guarantee the impenetrability of the wind, so they are flanked by tall shrub plants. The best in this case are the evergreens, which are also often used for windbreak hedges and have good resistance to cold temperatures. At the time of planting in the ground, the olive trees will be interspersed with evergreen shrub species, leaving the right space between one hole and the other to allow their correct development. At the time of maximum plant growth, the evergreens will reach the base of the olive tree canopy windbreak constituting an effective barrier.
The cypress olive tree
The Cipressino is the most widely used cultivar in Italy as a windbreak barrier. It develops mainly in Sardinia, Sicily and Puglia, areas most exposed to sudden gusts. The Gargano and Salento, for example, are areas where the wind blows constantly and at high speeds throughout the year. The natural barriers generated by the olive tree become a necessary protection for these lands to buffer any damage. Puglia also appears to be the land of origin of the cypress olive tree, cultivated for the first time in 1960 in the municipality of Pietrafitta di Palagiano. The only region that uses the cypress tree expressly for oil production is Sardinia, but given the excellent results that the harvest guarantees every year, Puglia and Sicily are also moving in this direction. This inversion of trend makes the use of cypress as an olive tree out of date and unpopular.
Windbreak olive: Cypress olive tree
The Cipressino olive tree has a thick and vigorous crown, whose branches grow upwards in a very accentuated way. In this cultivar the upward growth is so evident that it resembles a cypress, hence the name of the cypress windbreak olive tree. Furthermore, the foliage develops very quickly and is so compact that the plant soon assumes the function of a windbreak barrier. Its botanical characteristics also make it particularly suitable for mechanical harvesting. The buds, on the other hand, develop downwards and the inflorescence undergoes a percentage between 50 and 60% of abortion. The fruits ripen between November and December but require the use of pollinating cultivars for their fruiting. Like all plants belonging to this species, it is particularly resistant to rigid temperatures but rather delicate with regard to parasites and fungi.