News from the Groves!

Spring is now well advanced around ancient Corinth; you can already feel that summer is coming. It is the time when the olive trees have formed buds and may already be in bloom in some places, but also the time when pests become active. An important time to visit the olive groves!

Location “Bogdani” is to be visited first. Last year in July (21.7. to 25.7.) the great “Kechries forest fire” also attacked this area surrounded by pine forests near Alamano, and three groves that were there burned down. With some trees nothing was left; the fire ate to the root. Only a small grove, which lies surrounded by grape vines and open farmland, survived the disaster. It had been planted by Elton, our affiliated producer, the winter before and thus the trees were still low and were spared from the flames.

Small grove in Bogdani that survived the fire of 2020

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In the burnt down groves, spring has begun to transform the land! It is amazing to see saplings emerging from olive trees that have been burned down to the root, leaving only a bit of bark at the edge!

The thyme that grows wild here survived the disaster in several places and will spread again. And otherwise, flowers and herbs cover the burnt land! It was amazing to see life coming back here!

The impressions from the groves were very different. For example, in the grove in the “Dardeza” site, the general condition of the trees and the formation of flower buds was very satisfactory. The grove is on a slope just on the outskirts of the settlement of Alamano and also receives moisture from the air, especially since a stream flows at the end of the slope.

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Branches rich in flower buds

Branches rich in flower buds

In other groves, such as in particular in the “Ekklisia” site, i.e. next to the village church, there were hardly any flower buds to be found. On the other hand, a lot of leaf buds had emerged!

The olive tree, after a year with a lot of fruit, has a tendency to produce little in the following year. And indeed, this grove bore well last year!

In general, the trees were in good condition and seemed to have enough moisture. In some trees, however, there were the first signs of infestation by the insect “Euphyllura olivina” or, based on the Greek slang, simply “(olive tree) louse”. The louse forms colonies on the flower buds and, as a pupa, covers them with their sticky, white excrement, making heavily infested trees look like they are covered with cotton wool. This prevents pollination. In addition, the pupa feeds on the juices of the buds and affects the productivity of the tree. It is an annual phenomenon in April – May, but its extent varies and depends on various conditions, primarily the weather.

Luckily, the louse is easily controlled with a solution of water and hand soap sprayed liberally on the trees!

Otherwise, no diseases or enemies were discovered. The biggest concern, especially now that summer is approaching, is the weather. It is important that it rains a little every now and then and that there is not a heat wave, as happened in May last year, while the trees are still in bloom.

Signs of “cotton infestation”

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