Pruning Old Vines
I have some Muscat grape vines 30 years old. Can I chop off most of the
old wood with a hatchet and thereby bring them back to proper bearing?
Not with a hatchet. If the vines are worth keeping at all, they are
worth careful cutting with a saw and a painting of all cuts in large old
wood. If the vines have been neglected, you can saw away surplus prongs
or spurs, reserving four or five of the best placed and most vigorous,
and cut back the canes of last summer's growth to one, two or three
buds, according to the strength of the canes - the thicker the canes,
the more buds to be kept. It is not desirable to cut away an old vine to
get a new start from the ground, unless you wish to graft. Shape the top
of the vine as well as you can by saving the best of the old growth.
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