About trees & olive oil
Methods for harvesting olive fruit
There are two methods for harvesting olive fruit. The first method is the so-called 'milking-off'. Workers handpick olives from the tree branches; as a result, the olive fruit yields higher quality olive oil as the fruit has not been damaged.
The second method is pole beating, which requires the placement of collecting nets on the ground around the olive tree so that olives can be collected more easily. Since antiquity, people also used to handpick the olive fruit from the ground.
From these methods, the most efficient one is pole-beating. Nowadays, manual harvesting methods have been replaced to a large extent by mechanized methods and tools such as olive shakers and vibrators. Olive vibrators are high-powered machines adjusted to a farm tractor from which they are powered; they generate vibrations that are transmitted through special arms to the branches or trunk of the olive tree.