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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