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How Would You Trim It

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balatonwine

The Verecund Vigneron
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Started managing a neighbor's vineyard. Trimming has been "interesting". Prior management seems to have been, for want of a better word: "minimal".

So I keep coming upon weirdly trimmed vines that were allowed to grow in bizarre shapes. As I will need to run equipment in the rows, I have to deal with some rather aggressively. So thought I would chronicle some of the more interesting ones here. Will post embedded photos of a vine before I trimmed. So you can take a look, examine them and think how you might trim it.

Not to influence your thinking, I will add photos of how I did the final trimming as an attachment. Open the photo attachment below to see what I did.

Feel free to praise or condemn my trimming choices. :)
 

ibglowin

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WoW! Were they trying to head train those by some means? What type of vines are they? Huge canes!
 

balatonwine

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WoW! Were they trying to head train those by some means?
I don't know. The vines are in rows, with posts and what is jokingly called a wire trellis (it is just loose wire -- no tension at all), and I suspect they were low short cordons originally, more recently turned into cane and spur prunning. But some vines are so close together in the row, and are very old, the vineyard may have been head trained at some time in the past. But mostly, I think the twisted shapes are from lazy and greedy trimming. Lazy as the trimmer did not take the time (or have) saws or lopping shears to cut off larger growth, and greedy as some trimmers here refuse to cut back a vine properly if it means even loosing a few grape clusters that year. They also completely over cross canes on close vines. So if any cane gets mis-shappen, rather than correct for it, they just "add to the problem" to keep the maximum number of buds and maintain production (quantity over quality).

What type of vines are they? Huge canes!
This vineyard is very eclectic. I did a walk through last summer to see what was there. I saw 4 varieties I knew and some more I did not know, all randomly placed. The thicker canes are probably a muscat grape vine. Or a local grape called Hárslevelű.
 
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wxtrendsguy

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What about cutting the entire mess off and grafting some new buds to the trunk?
 

jgmillr1

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Started managing a neighbor's vineyard. Trimming has been "interesting". Prior management seems to have been, for want of a better word: "minimal".
You're either a glutton for punishment or have some major karma debt to work off!

Although I trained and watched the couple guys pruning my vineyard last year, they still managed to butcher parts of it. I've decided to name the big problems I ran into as "10-point buck" spur pruning and "Christmas tree light" cordon wrapping. Just me and my kid pruning them this year.

Maybe you could come up with some amusing names for the mess you run into. Passes the time while you are fixing it, at least.
 

balatonwine

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You're either a glutton for punishment or have some major karma debt to work off!
Actually, I like doing pruning. :)

My own vines are pruned with next year's pruning in mind, so are very easy and fast to do. Almost boring. ;) This vineyard is actually kind of fun. Each vine is a new challenge.
 

balatonwine

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balatonwine

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How or when, or at what point are the wires used? What is there purpose?
There is a single bottom wire. It can be used to bind a cane at the cane's tip, but because it is not under tension, the canes then just spring upwards. But it works fine for entwining a cane to form a low cordon. Above that bottom wire are four more wires, in two parallel rows. These just keep the shoots vertical. This is a vertical training system. These wires are also loose, and the vine shoots just grow between them. The wire is so loose, I could not prune at the base and pull hard to snap the dried vine tendril's grip from the wire as I normally would do. The wire just rather simply sagged toward me and the tendrils did not break off. I had to run a sickle along each wire first and cut off the tendrils. That actually worked really well, and then as I pruned, most of the shoots just then fell to the ground.
 

Soughted

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Select a sturdy cane and cut this back 3 to 4 feet, leaving at least a two-bud renewal spur. This cane should be tied to a wire support or trellis. Be sure to remove all other canes. As the vine completes each growing season, you'll cut off the old trunk just below the renewal cane.
 
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