The essentials of cacao tree pruning
Posted on September 14, 2012
The pruning of cacao trees is essential in the management of a cacao field. When done efficiently, pruning helps to increase the tree’s productivity.
Pruning generally takes place twice a year. The first pruning takes place just after the main harvest (from April to July) and just before the rainy season, and the second pruning five months later, during the months of November and December.
The objective of pruning is to give the cacao tree a structure that will help to maximise its production capacity.
Ideally, a cacao tree should be maintained at a height of approximately four metres high in order facilitate management and harvesting.
Pruning is also essential for removing pods affected by diseases such as the monilla
and for the removal of the witch’s broom which grows on the cacao tree, eventually affecting the branches and the pods.
Pruning also facilitates the entrance of sunlight, which is essential for the pollination and fecundation of the flowers and the growth of the pods. Finally, pruning strengthens the formation of new leaves and production areas, which in turn increases the trees’ productivity levels. For each pod to grow healthily, it needs 100 healthy leaves.