Grapevine Pruning Fundamentals

Pruning is the removal of portions of the vine. Training is the arrangement of the vine parts both immediately after pruning and as the vine grows. The trellis is the physical structure upon which the vine grows. All three of the above elements are used to optimize the vine’s performance. The goal is to balance the photosynthesis capability of the vine with the amount of fruit produced by the vine. A vine that has such balance will optimize its production capacity. It is not enough to ensure that we have enough solar panels (leaves) producing energy to bring the fruit to maturity. We must also ensure that the leaves are arranged such that they permit sufficient fruit exposure. Exposing the fruit facilitates three very important benefits: a) Sun exposure to help ripen the grapes b) Wind exposure to dry the clusters after rain or dew c) Pesticides exposure to protect the clusters from insect and disease threats To help make this discussion easier to understand, let’s begin with a review of a relevant pruning vocabulary: Trunk – Permanent, above ground