Chapter 9

Pruning and Training Grapevines

(book excerpts)

Profitable grape production requires that grapevines be managed so that a large crop of high-quality fruit is produced each year. Grapevines must be pruned and trained annually to achieve this goal. The term dormant pruning refers to the annual removal of wood during the vine’s dormant period. Grapevines are pruned primarily to regulate the crop but also to maintain a vine conformation consistent with the desired training system. Pruning is used to selectively remove unsuitable or extraneous canes, retaining a small number of good canes. Canes are carefully selected to serve two functions: (1) produce fruitful shoots in the coming season, and (2) produce healthy shoots from which a good fruiting cane can be selected in the next dormant season. Training positions the fruit-bearing wood and other vine parts on a trellis or other support so as to shape the vine. The basic goal of training is to maximize production, facilitate vine management (i.e., spraying, tillage, pruning, harvesting), improve canopy microclimate and to support the mechanical load of the vine.

Click on the following topics for more information on pruning and training grapevines.

Topics Within This Chapter:

  • Glossary of Terms
  • Pruning Grapevines
  • Principles of Grapevine Behavior
  • Time of Pruning
  • Balanced Pruning
  • Overcropping
  • Undercropping
  • Methods in Determining Vine Balance
  • Grapevine Training Systems
  • Head-Trained, Spur-Pruned System
  • Head-Trained, Cane-Pruned System
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Cane Establishment
  • Replacement Spurs
  • Cordon-Pruned System
  • Advantages/Disadvantages
  • Spur Establishment
  • Spur Pruning
  • Mechanical Pruning
  • Selected References