Definition - What does Pruning mean?

Pruning is important to grapevine management, as it can control the health, growth and yields of the vine. The main type of pruning is dormant pruning, which can be done during the winter season after the harvest. There are many different pruning strategies that can be implemented depending on type of vine, climate, growth cycles and overall requirements for optimal vine health.

WineFrog explains Pruning

Dormant pruning is done by cutting the vines back when they have stopped growing at the end of the annual growth cycle. For grapevines, annual pruning during the dormant season actually helps the vine grow healthier and more rigorously the next spring. A crucial key to pruning is vine balance, meaning not over pruning or under pruning, which can cause undesirable effects. Pruning should also remove older, rotting or diseased canes which can be harmful to healthy fruiting canes the next year. The timing of the pruning is also critical, as cutting canes too close to the winter can leave the vine exposed to harsh winter conditions. Cutting vines too close to the spring season may not give them enough to time to fully grow during the spring.

Some vineyards use pruning formulas, but most of the time, farmers simply observe the vine and the previous year’s performance before deciding on how to trim their vines. Grapes grow best on one-year-old canes, older canes do not produce as many grapes, so vineyard managers must be aware of the age of all of their vines.

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