Cane Pruning - also known as "Arched Cane Pruning" or the Guyot Method - with 8 - 12 eyes on the canes, is commonly used in vineyards, and occasionally is used on grapevines grown along house façades. With this method, vigorous grapevine varieties can be "tamed," gaps in the stem framework bridged and very high fruit yields achieved. Here we illustrate this technique for fully trained vines. If necessary, please peruse first the information under Training in the 1st to 3rd year!
The diagrams illustrate the pruning technique over several years based on a single "side shoot position" arising from the stem. Other side shoot positions have already been established on the stem framework, usually about 40 - 80 cm apart, which may be spur or rod pruned. The new side shoot position shown in the following diagrams is developed from one shoot, which was well-planned during the vine training. When rejuvenating an older vine, the same procedure can be applied to a water shoot which has arisen from the main trunk, to form a new side shoot position.
Cane pruning includes pre-pruning , fruit cane pruning and bending / tying. These steps can be carried out immediately one after the other or in stages over a few days or weeks. For vines growing along the house, we recommend to keep to the following sequence: all side shoot positions of the vine are pre-pruned to remove the bulk of the wood and to get a better overall picture of the vine. This also facilitates the pruning of the fruit canes and counting of the 10 - 20 buds per square metres of wall space.
The diagrams in the column to the left show the side shoot position after leaf fall in winter, and the pre-pruning into the old wood (dark brown). The vine was pruned in summer, otherwise the shoots would be much longer now. Each cane produced an average of 1 - 2 grape bunches in summer. The diagrams in the centre illustrate the fruit cane pruning into previous year's wood (ochre), and the diagrams on the right side show the results. The additional required Bending / Tying is described separately.