Quantcast

2nd year Pruning Hybrids

Wine Making Talk

Help Support Wine Making Talk:

justinb

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
11
I'm on my 2nd year for Marquette, Petite Pearl, and Ithaca. Everything grew well thanks to all the advice on this site. I live in Northern Illinois, and am wondering if its time to start pruning??

During the 1st year, I tied the vines to a stake and kept them in grow tubes until August. At that time, I removed the tubes and let them fall over on the ground. I also put in posts, but did not install wires for trellis. I will be installing a TWC system soon.

I think its best to have 2 trunks in my cold area climate. Do I simply cut the vine down to where its as thick as a pencil and wait for growth? Do I need to count buds? Thanks
 

Masbustelo

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
572
Reaction score
139
Location
Northern Illinois 5b
How many vines do you have? And how long are some of the pencil thickness growth from last year. If they grew long enough to reach your top wire (where it will be), you could run your wires, attach the vines, and prune at the top wire heighth. Otherwise I think wiser people would advise pruning to three buds near the ground level and letting the vine do what it wants this year. But... this year you need to mount your wires soon and tie this years growth in an orderly fashion to achieve your long term trellis goals.
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
Assuming they didn’t grow long enough to reach your wire height, I agree to cutting them back. You can prune anytime but better before bud break as they get fragile.

Prune to 2-4 good buds as low down as you can, above the graft if grafted. The lower the buds, the better the redundancy of two trunks. As these grow select two as your new trunks and train them up a stake. I use 4 ft bamboo, but I’m only going to a cordon at 33 inches. I’ve seen some trained to a twine tied from the top cordon wire to the stake. If you left more than two buds, pinch the extra off once you are sure the chosen will make it.

@Masbustelo is right, this is the year to get the trellis in. Buds are real fragile from leaf until they are about 10 cm or so, 4 inches. So I’d suggest avoiding running wires then to avoid breaking one of them off.

Post a picture, we love pictures.
 

BigH

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
299
Reaction score
145
You have to decide between

  1. Pruning back to pencil thick wood on one or two good canes and training them into trunks
  2. Pruning almost back to the ground, retaining a few buds
Option 1 puts you in position to have some crop next year. Many people feel that option 2 is better for the long term. When I was going into my second year, I made my choice on a vine by vine basis. If a plant gave me a nice candidate for being a trunk, then I pruned back to pencil thick wood and resumed growth from there. Vines that were bushy with no clear trunk candidates got chopped back to the ground. When I was done, about half the vines got each treatment. IMO, option 2 should be your default option. A vine has to really impress you to get option 1. Now that I am going into year 5, I can't really tell which vines received which option.

Advice for option 1
  • Be aggressive with the pruners. Resist the urge to keep weak, thin wood
  • Don't keep bull canes (super think canes with long internode distances). They make poor trunks
  • You might want 2 trunks long term, but you don't have to grow them in the same season. You can grow the second trunk next year if a vine isn't cooperating
  • Shoots will emerge all up and down the cane. Rub off all the shoots below the top 2-4 early in the season.

Advice for option 2
  • It was OK to let the vine be a bush last year, but those days are over. You wan to train one or two good shoots up to the trellis wire. You may need to thin weaker shoots that pop in the spring
  • You may want to use grow tubes if you have deer pressure, or you are still working to get weeds under control.
H
 

jgmillr1

owner, winemaker
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
583
Reaction score
350
Advice for option 2
  • You may want to use grow tubes if you have deer pressure, or you are still working to get weeds under control
Also, if you have rabbits in the area, I would advise using grow tubes. They will bite off your new shoots if they can reach them.
 

justinb

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
58
Reaction score
11
Thanks guys...I have 50 vines that range from 2'-4' in height. Most of them already have 2 trunks forming. Ill try to post some pics. My finger is for size reference. Good idea with the grow tubes. I have a lot of deer and rabbits.20180317_150208.jpg
 

BigH

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
299
Reaction score
145
In the first picture, the top cane might be worth keeping as a trunk. The cane on the right looks scraggly. I would lean towards pruning the vine in the second pic back to a few buds from last years growth. Keep two to four nodes from a cane with smooth bark.

It looks like there are some weeds around your vines. If you didn't control weeds last year, then you may have hurt your root development a bit. You may need to repeat year 1 treatment on some of your vines to continue building up your root base. IMO, that would consist of pruning way back and letting the thing be a bush again this year. You would skip summertime training of your trunks on those vines.

H
 

KevinL

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
222
Reaction score
135
Location
Warrenville IL
I pruned all of my newly planted Pearl and Itasca back to 3 buds. I've got the posts in for them and I anticipate they'll be getting to the wire for TWC this year. I'm in Northern Illinois as well. I've got all but 20 of my 150 ready to go for this season.
 
Top