When to prune the vine

The purposes of pruning the vine

Pruning is a human intervention on the plant, and it is also the most important and most effective technique that allows the winegrower to intervene and regulate the future production and development of the vine (both in terms of quantity and quality). The main objectives to be achieved by the pruning are three: first, to give a specific shape to the plant and to maintain it over time; second, to make production constant and to preserve its potential in terms of production for as long as possible. Third, to obtain a quality production (good, excellent). It is also a useful practice to balance the development of the branches with that of the roots to avoid abnormal developments in one direction or another. Furthermore, it allows you to organize the vegetation in order to facilitate other vine care interventions,

When to prune the vine

Pruning interventions have different repercussions and effects depending on the period in which they are put into practice by the winemaker. Therefore, it is necessary to decide when to prune the vine according to the specific characteristics of the plant and the goals to be achieved. In general, there are three periods in which it is possible to intervene on the plant: in late spring, immediately after the harvest or in late autumn / early winter. Let’s see now when to prune the vine and why. Pruning in late spring is carried out to delay the germination of the buds, as it causes the loss of various substances. Even the intervention immediately after the harvest delays the formation of buds, because it reduces the accumulation of reserve substances of the vine. These pruning interventions are suitable for vines grown in the northern areas, where late frosts could damage the vineyard. On the contrary, pruning carried out in winter / late autumn anticipates budding: it is particularly recommended for vines grown in southern areas and / or in poor soils, or for late vines and old vines.

The reason for winter pruning

To decide when to prune the vine, it is necessary to remember that until the leaves fall the plant continues to carry out photosynthesis. Furthermore, before the leaves fall from the shoot, many organic and mineral substances contained in the leaves are made to migrate into the shoot and from this into other organs of the vine plant. Therefore, if possible, you should avoid pruning the vines before the leaves fall. Obviously, many days often pass from the harvest to the complete fall of the leaves. Furthermore, the withering of the leaves is linked to the characteristics of the vine and to low night temperatures. In northern environments the height of the plant can also play a fundamental role: in fact, tall plants are less subject to frosts than low ones (since the colder air is always found near the ground); However, it should be noted that if the winter cold is very strong, the plants pruned early can die from frost damage to the stem (cracks etc. are not rare, even on plants not pruned before the advent of frost).

Adapt the pruning to the type of vine

It is good to remember that the plant pruned early is more subject to winter frosts, however there are some varieties that are very resistant to winter frosts (Riesling r., Cabernet Sauvignon, Sylvaner, Traminer, Gamay, Chasselas, etc.) while others are more sensitive ( Pinot nero, Sangiovese, Uva d’Oro, Albana). The same varieties in fresh and fertile soils are even more sensitive; young plants resist less than adults. However, to answer the question when to prune the vine, it must be said that the choice of the time of pruning is, in essence, sufficiently elastic, but it is necessary to carefully evaluate the possible effects on the plant. Even if pruning is carried out after the harvest (but before the winter frosts) it is advisable to carry out the operation in two stages. During the’

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