Chapter 9

Pruning and Training Grapevines

Mechanical Pruning

Mechanical pruning can significantly reduce costs and improve quality. Mechanical pruning has been done successfully in Italy and Australia for many years (See Figure 9.4). There are two basic types of mechanical pruning with many variations of each. Box or hedge pruning involves hedging back the canopy into a small box. The dimensions of the trellis often determine the size of the box. Large, complicated trellises may need to be removed to prevent the fruiting area from becoming too large. A hand crew follows behind to remove any wood below the cordons or canes the cutters miss. Commonly found in Australia is the “V” or minimally pruned cordon trained system. Once the cordon is established they make a V cut that starts at the cordon and extends upward and outward, leaving any upright growth. Like the box system, a crew follows behind and cleans off any low hanging wood.

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