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Cutting Techniques for Grapevine Pruning

Grapevine pruning is carried out with sharp pruning shears, leaving a stub approx. 1 - 2 cm long beyond the last counted bud on the cane. Usually the cuts are made at a slight angle. Thicker stems are cut back to a small protrusion of about 2 - 5mm.

Cuts made with sharp pruning shears will not bruise the vine and leave a clean, smooth surface without any loose fibres. Otherwise the vine will dry out beneath the cut surface, and nearby buds or the sap flow will suffer damage. 


Depending on the pruning technique, cuts into previous year's wood are made about 1 - 2cm beyond the last eye counted from the base of the cane. The short stub left beyond the last eye prevents the latter from drying out, because to heal over the vine will grow only a cork-like skin or callus over the cut. Leaving stubs longer than 2cm is not recommended either, as they easily become hiding places for all kinds of uninvited pests. Making the cuts at a slight angle ensures that during the "bleeding" the sap will not flow onto the buds below and "drown" them.


Thick parts of the stem framework are cut back to a leave a protrusion of approx. 2 - 5mm long from the main trunk, so that the lignification does not grow too deeply into the trunk's sap flow cross-section. Smaller shoots and water shoots are cut flush with the stem.

Pruning a fruiting cane beyond the bud, leaving an approx. 2cm long stub.
Pruning grapevine
The sap drains better if canes are cut at an angle
New shoot
Grapevine on a house wall with fresh and callused cut surfaces on the stem framework.