One of the most important elements when it comes to having olive trees is copper. However, Do you know how copper is used for olive trees? And why should it be used?
Next we want to talk about this element that you can use as a fungicide, but also as a bactericide. You want to know more?
When should copper be applied to olive trees?
The first thing you should know is the ideal time to apply copper to olive trees. And this is not easy to clarify, since there are experts who recommend using it throughout the year, in order to prevent pests or diseases; while others destine it only for the time of greatest appearance of pests or as a treatment for them.
Bearing in mind that excess copper is just as dangerous as not using it, for example because it can jeopardize the quality of the olive oil produced, It is important to control a little the dose and the use of this.
In general, the use of copper for olive trees is highly recommended in the spring, just when it begins to wake up from its lethargy and before it flowers. In this way, it provides extra nutrients together with an element that will help prevent important diseases, such as repilo or olive tuberculosis.
However, that does not mean that it is the only moment in which it should be applied. It should also be done after harvesting. I mean, in the fall. At that time, due to the productivity it has had, the trees will be more vulnerable, weak and it is possible that they lack nutrients and need to regenerate. At that time, a dose of copper can help you get through the winter better and regain the strength you have lost.
What is the recommended dose of copper for olive trees
If right now you are wondering about the appropriate dose for olive trees, this is not something fixed, but rather Depending on the olive tree you are going to apply it to, there will be a greater or lesser quantity.
In general, between 2-3 kg/ha are allocated for every 1000 liters of water. In addition, it is not thrown directly on the ground, but there must be direct contact both by the leaves and by the trunk and branches (since that is where the pests can attack it directly).
However, Do you know that there are different types of copper for olive trees? Depending on the one chosen, it will have a dose prescribed by the manufacturer, and it is the one that we recommend you follow to avoid problems.
What is the best copper for olive trees
When choosing a copper for olive trees, you should know that you can find different types in the market. All of them obtain good results in the care of copper, although it is true that there are some that are usually more recommended than others.
In this sense, one of the best options you have is chelated copper. Among the advantages that this element offers you is the fact that the olive tree can absorb it much faster (and with more nutrients) than different ones. In addition, its effectiveness is quite high using low doses, something that cannot be said of others.
And finally, chelated copper is less toxic (something to take into account if you are not one to control the exposure to copper of your olive trees a lot).
However, it is not the only one you can choose. If you are not quite convinced, you could opt for copper oxychloride. It is also very effective in controlling diseases and pests that can affect olive trees. However, you have to take into account that in this case copper can be more toxic, not only for the tree itself, but also for the soil. And this stops you from being able to plant other trees or plants on or around that land. Also, you have to apply higher doses for it to work well.
Apart from these coppers that we have recommended, you can find other options on the market, such as copper oxychloride, copper hydroxide, sulfate or copper gluconate. In this sense, our recommendation is that, if you have never tried it, do a test with several to see which one best suits the needs of your crops. In general, it will not only depend on the trees, but also on the care you give them.the climate where they are, the substrate used and the use of the olive tree (if it is decorative, producer, etc.).
What happens if the olive tree has an excess
As we have told you before, Applying copper to olive trees is a good way to prevent problems and give it the nutrients it needs. But, as in everything, if you go too far you could cause there to be such an excess that the health of the olive tree is put at risk.
In fact, when copper is present in the olive tree and in high doses, it can be quite toxic. To the point that it begins to lose its leaves and the wood of the trunk deteriorates. It can even be attacked by diseases or pests that should be controlled with copper.
Now, despite sounding too alarmist, You should know that it is difficult for copper toxicity to occur in the olive tree. More if you follow the manufacturers guidelines, or apply a little less than this.
Even so, there are some ways to eliminate copper, or at least decrease the amount of this element. For this, you can use a fungus, the Phanerochaete chrysosporium. This works by oxidizing copper ions and reducing them both in the soil and on other materials. (including leaves and wood from the tree). It is one of the most traditional methods that are still preserved because of how well it works. In fact, it is also used to treat olive wood and make it more digestible for use in biofuels.
As you can see, copper for olive trees is important, but always in adequate doses to avoid more negative problems. Have you ever used it with your crops? Can you give us some tips on this if you know about it?