Renewing Fruiting Wood

There are two ways of renewing the fruiting wood on a grape-vine, by

canes and from spurs. The manner of renewing refers to pruning and not

to training, for either can be used in any method of training.

Cane renewals.

Renewal by canes is made each year by taking one or more canes, cut to

the desired number of buds, to supply bearing shoots. By this method

the most of the bearing wood is removed each year, new canes taking

the place of the old. These renewal canes may be taken either from the

head of the vine or from the ground, though the latter is little used

except where vines must be laid down for winter protection. Canes may

be renewed indefinitely, if care is exercised in keeping the stubs

short, without enlarging the head from which the canes are taken out

of proportion to the size of the trunk. Renewing by canes is a more

common method than renewal by spurs, as will be found in the

discussion of methods of training.

arms; d, canes; s, shoots; b, spurs. The faint lines near the

bases of the canes indicate the points where they should be pruned off

in the winter, leaving spurs for the production of shoots the

following season.]

Spur renewal.

In renewing by spurs, a permanent arm is established to right and left

on the canes. Shoots on this arm are not permitted to remain as canes

but are cut back to spurs in the dormant pruning. Two buds are left at

this pruning, both of which will produce bearing shoots; the lower

one, however, is not suffered to do so but is kept to furnish the spur

for the next season. The shoot from the upper bud is cut away

entirely. When this process is carried on from year to year, the spurs

become longer and longer until they become unwieldy. Occasionally,

however, happy chance permits the selection of a shoot on the old wood

for a new spur. Failing in this, a new arm must be laid down and the

spurring goes on as before. The objections to renewing by spurs are:

it is often difficult to replace spurs with new wood, and the bearing

portion of the vine gets farther and farther from the trunk. For these

reasons, spur-renewing is generally in disfavor with commercial

grape-growers, though it is still used in one or two prominent

methods of training, as will be discovered in this discussion. Figure

13 shows a vine ready for pruning.

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