Proper pruning of grapes in spring

Timely procedures for the formation of the bush are the key to the successful growth of grapes, so care for it in spring involves pruning the bush. Before proceeding to the removal of shoots, you should understand all the intricacies of this process.

Did you know? Grapes began to be grown in culture 6 thousand years ago. This is one of the first plants that people began to breed in households.

Advantages and disadvantages of spring pruning

  • Spring pruning of grapes has many advantages, among them the following can be distinguished:
  • Through this procedure, the grower forms a beautiful bush. This is important not only in aesthetic terms, but also gives impetus to the further growth and development of the plant.
  • After pruning, grapes do not spend much effort on maintaining the growth of individual stems and vines. In this case, the plant directs efforts to saturate the forming ovaries with useful substances. Consequently, yields are at least 60% higher compared to uncircumcised shrubs.
  • After getting rid of extra shoots, the grape bush begins to tolerate winter frosts better. This factor is especially important when growing plants in northern latitudes.
  • For the plant, the full supply of sunlight and oxygen saturation are important. In dense thickets of vines, not all parts of the bush can be content with proper lighting and air ventilation. Thanks to the removal of excess shoots, these parameters are significantly improved, which positively affects the condition of the plant as a whole.
  • The process of harvesting from dense plantations of grapes is very time-consuming. After thinning the bush, the process becomes much easier.

  • The procedure also has drawbacks, but they are primarily associated with errors in the trimming process:
  • The stress that grapes receive when removing shoots reduces their resistance to diseases and pests. In order to avoid it, you need to follow the procedure according to all the rules.
  • In the spring, the grapes begin to revive. If you remove the vines too late, when the circulation of internal juices has already begun, fluid may start to stand out from the cuts. This leads to weakening of the bush and its dehydration.

When to start pruning in spring

In order for the removal of shoots to bring the plant only benefit, and not harm, it is necessary to carry out the procedure before the internal juices begin to move along the vines. This is evidenced by awakening kidneys. However, do not prune the grapes when it is still cold. It is advisable to wait for a temperature of + 5 ° C. Thus, in a temperate climate, pruning time falls at the beginning of April. If you hold it later, it is possible the beginning of the so-called grape crying, when juice begins to stand out from the sections on the shoots, which harms the plant.

Cropping Methods

There are 2 main methods of forming a bush - standard and non-standard.


The stem formation of the bush is suitable for frost-resistant varieties that do not need shelter for the period of winter cold. The purpose of this type of pruning is to grow grapes on one main trunk. The first 6 years will be the most time-consuming when forming a bush in this way.

Important! Prolonged release of liquids from the grape stem may cause its weakening and death.

Every year it is necessary to shorten the shoots according to a separate scheme and by the 7th spring the bush will already have a beautiful standard shape:

  1. In the first year of the plant’s life, the task of the grower is to leave the 2 leading shoots on the main trunk. For this, the vine is cut into 2 eyes. The remaining stems need to be removed.
  2. By the 2nd year, both abandoned shoots should grow. Of these, you should choose the strongest and cut by 2-3 eyes. It will serve as the basis for the further formation of the stem. The second, weaker stalk needs to be removed. You can also leave a backup shoot, shortening it to 2 kidneys.
  3. In the 3rd year, the staff is shortened. The required height is determined by the owner. In this case, the so-called "sleeves", that is, the upper stems diverging in different directions, must be left in the amount of 2 pcs., Cutting them into 2 buds. "Sleeves" must be attached to the horizontal wire on which they will be held.
  4. In the spring of the 4th year of life of the grape, crown formation takes place. All stems are trimmed to the level necessary for the winegrower.
  5. In the 5th year, all branches that have grown since last year should be shortened. At the same time, it is necessary to leave the processes on which there should be 2 eyes. The main stems must be left behind.
  6. There comes a period of registration of fruit links. To do this, trim the lower stem for 2-3 eyes.

Video: pruning the grape bush


Spring-free grape pruning is carried out in the spring of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd years. The scheme of shortening the stems during this period allows us to achieve further growth of the bush without a separate stem, that is, not on one main trunk. This type of formation is an excellent option for grape bushes that do not tolerate winter frosts and need shelter.

Did you know? Vine bushes grow on all continents except Antarctica. It belongs to the most common plants in the world.

The stampless form helps bend all the shoots as close to the soil without damage to the vine:

  1. Young stems should be shortened by 2 eyes from the top. At the same time, it is important to look at their number - if only 1 stem has grown, it should be cut into 4 eyes.
  2. In the 2nd year, when pruning, all shoots should be removed again by 2 eyes. Of the new growth, no more than 10% should be left.
  3. During the 3rd spring pruning, care must be taken to form the correct and beautiful “sleeve”. To do this, from the upper part of the bush, which is commonly called the fruit arrow, you need to remove a plot of up to 7-14 buds. The replacement branch, which is called the lower branch, is also trimmed to 2 eyes.

In subsequent years, especially for bushes older than five years, the pruning pattern is the same. For good productivity, it is necessary to leave only branches with fruit ovaries, as well as 2-3 replacement females.

How to crop

There are several general rules for competent and successful pruning.

Among them are the following:

  • tools (pruner, knife or saw) should be sharp;
  • sections should be left smooth;
  • shoots are better not to do longer than 12-14 buds;
  • places of slices should be perpendicular to the vine.
However, pruning bushes of different ages and in different conditions should be carried out according to different schemes.

Important! Dry branches must be removed anyway.

Young bushes

In the first years of the bush’s life, the main task of the vine-grower is to form the crown according to the most convenient type for its subsequent successful growth and fruiting. The owner of the plant, based on the cultivated variety and personal preferences, must choose whether the bush is standard or non-standard. In the first 3-5 years, the grapes should be cut according to the schemes below. If the annual removal of shoots will be made in accordance with all the rules, in the future we can expect a good harvest.


After the final formation of grapes according to the standard or non-standard type, however, do not forget about the following prunings, which are no less important for an adult shrub. For successful pruning of the old bush, leave no more than 3 young stems. They will subsequently be replaced by old vines.

You will be interested to know why the grapes rot and how to save the plant.

Damaged bushes

Particular attention should be paid to bushes that were damaged for one reason or another:

  1. Frozen during a critically low temperature in the winter, the vines acquire a dark color. If at least 20-30% of the kidneys remain viable, more kidneys should be left during pruning than usual. In the case when no more than 20% of the “live” eyes remain, first the unformed and damaged stems are removed, and then the second stage, a maximum of 1.5 weeks before flowering, breaks out excess growth. With the death of new stems and small lesions of the old vine, it is enough to remove all the young damaged shoots, and shorten the old and living shoots to 3 buds. If all the external parts of the plant died, but the rhizome remained viable, you can try to remove the affected vines, remove 0.3 m of soil above the rhizome and cut the underground stem to healthy tissues.
  2. In the case when sudden and sharp frosts became the cause of damage to the shrub, the dead section of the stem should be removed until the first surviving eye. If all the young parts of the bush have died, it is necessary to shorten them to 3 internodes, and cut off the branches with the frozen-out green part to stimulate its new growth.
  3. After hail, some parts of the bush may break. They need to be cut into 2 kidneys.

Care for the vine after pruning

The main task of the viticulturist after trimming is to care for the cuts on the vines. In fact, they are damage to the plant and cause stress to it. As a result, the bush immunity to diseases can weaken. Pathogenic microorganisms are most likely to enter through open sections, and if fungal infections are destroyed with fungicides, bacterial and viral lesions are much more difficult to deal with. In order to avoid negative consequences, it is important to properly care for the grapes after pruning.

Find out why grapes dry and how to deal with it.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Uneven cuts must be cleaned and leveled with a sharp knife.
  2. After removing the stems, you need to leave the grapes for a while, so that the places of the cuts dry out.
  3. It is recommended to apply a garden var to dried cuts, which will help the “wounds” to tighten faster and provide protection against the penetration of various infections.

Newbie Common Mistakes

Thanks to repeated pruning, experienced winegrowers know how to carry out the procedure correctly and are familiar with all the intricacies of the work. Beginners in this field in the early years of growing grapes make some mistakes.

Among the most common of them are the following:

  1. Using an insufficiently sharp cropping tool. Many beginners use blunt secateurs and knives to form a bush, mistakenly believing that there is no difference between them. In fact, the quality of the slices depends on the sharpness of the device, and this, in turn, affects the further growth of branches.
  2. Insufficient trim length. No need to be afraid to remove most of the escape. Some winegrowers cut off only the tops of the stems, to a greater extent removing lifeless vines. In fact, this approach is erroneous. You need to remove the shoots to thin out the bush. Properly pruned grapes receive more lighting and nutrients, which increases yield.
  3. Short pruning of a thick vine. Large diameter stems cannot be cut too far. It is better to be guided by the following rule: the larger the trunk, the longer its length should be.
  4. Lack of pruning of thick vines. Also among inexperienced growers there is a misconception that thick stems are more important for grapes than new shoots. Because of this, they do not touch the thick vines, and thin ones indiscriminately remove. It will be more competent to be guided by specific pruning rules and form a bush based on them.
  5. Late pruning. Removing shoots after budding is fraught with weakening and dehydration of the plant. That is why it is highly recommended not to miss the moment necessary for the procedure.

We recommend that you learn how to water the grapes correctly and how often in the summer.

Spring pruning of the grape bush is an important event, which to a large extent is the key to good fruiting and successful ripening of the crop. If you perform the procedure correctly in compliance with all the rules, the winegrower will definitely receive a healthy bush and a rich harvest.

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