I inherited a bunch of grape vines last year. I know nothing about grapes,
but have tried to learn about pruning from the internet.
Our plants have thick wood at the base; I don't know how old they are, but
the trunks are about two inches across; maybe about five inches in diameter.
I tried pruning them yesterday, and discovered that the trucks go a
LOOONNNNG way before sending out canes. Some of the trunks are bent and
curled, often sending out canes as much as three feet from where the trunk
comes out of the ground. All the info I have seen assumes a short trunk
with canes coming out just a few inches above the ground, but on these
plants you have to travel quite a bit to get to new growth. I suspect the
plants were not trained well earlier, and the pruning took place farther and
farther from the base each year.
My question is, is there any way to sort of train these back to getting
growth closer to the base? It seems like there is a lot of wasted space
now, as the trunks go several feet out of the ground before any growth. The
trunks are heavy and lean on the wires. All websites I have looked at give
instructions for pruning based on a plant that has been trained well to grow
from the base. I can't seem to find any info on pruning grapes that have
such long trunks.
Any information or web sites would be greatly appreciated.
il Wed, 2 Mar 2005 10:09:26 -0500, "Ken Anderson" ha scritto:
Wouldn't they be too merry to see the buds? ;-)
I'm not sure you could prune it in one go, but if it is heavily
pruned at the ends, that tends to reduce 'apical dominance' and
encourage buds from lower down to break forth. But it may be too late
for that kind of pruning up north anyway. Basically you leave 2 buds
along last year's growth and prune the rest then in spring/summer
when you've got a bunch of grapes prune about 2 0r 3 leaves past
that. Oh and rub out the ones that insist on growing between leaves
and stem. Those are the pesky ones because they're like triffids.
You could start by pruning any branch that is totally not what you
want. My book talks about having 6 leaders and replacing one a year
and letting a new one grow instead, so slowly but consistently you
could prune it to what you want. I mean you may decide that one year
without grapes is fine. But you wouldn't want to prune it so much it
decided it was easier to die that send out new buds. I guess the rule
of thumb is, the more severe the prune, the longer it takes to get
back to normal. And some plants handle it better than others.
Anyway I found this cheery site that may give you the confidence to
hack at ii: http://mtvernon.wsu.edu/frt_hort/grape_pruning_basics.htm
Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
I've heard that grapes bear only on the canes that are more than a year
old, so even if the plant did survive heavy-handed pruning, you might not
see it fruiting for a couple of years.
How about subjecting just just one trunk to your drastic pruning this year,
and see how it goes? You can hit the others in later years if your trial
seems successful. There is a group sci.agriculture where you might find
people with grape-vine experience.
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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