The Work Of Pruning





The pruner may take his choice between several styles of hand

pruning-shears with which to do his work. The knife is seldom used

except in summer-pruning, and here, more often, the shoots are broken

out or pinched out. In winter-pruning, the cane is cut an inch or

thereabout beyond the last bud it is desired to leave; otherwise the

bud may die from the drying out of the cane. The canes are usually

allowed to remain tied to the wires until the pruning is done, though

growers who use the Kniffin method of training may cut them loose

before they prune. Two men working together do the work of pruning

best. The more skilled of the two severs the wood from the bearing

vine, leaving just the number of buds desired for the next season's

crop. The less skilled man cuts tendrils and severs the cut canes from

each other so that the prunings may be moved from the vineyard without

trouble by the "stripper."



Not the least of the tasks of pruning is "stripping" the brush and

getting it out of the vineyard. The prunings cling to the trellis with

considerable tenacity and must be pulled loose with a peculiar jerk,

learned by practice, and placed on the ground between the rows.

Stripping is done, usually by cheap labor, at any time after the

pruning until spring, but must not be delayed until growth starts or

the young buds may suffer as the cut wood is torn from the trellis.

The brush is hauled to the end of the row by hand or by horse-power

applied to any one of a dozen devices used in the several grape

regions. One of the best is the device in common use in the Chautauqua

vineyards of western New York. A pole, twelve feet long, four inches

in diameter at the butt and two at the top, is bored with an inch

hole four feet from the butt. A horse is hitched to this pole by a

rope drawn through the hole, and the pole, butt to the ground, is then

pulled between rows, the small end being held in the right hand. The

pole, when skillfully used, collects the brush, which is dumped at the

end of the row by letting the small end fly over towards the horse.

The "go-devil," shown in Fig. 14, is another common device for

collecting prunings.





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