[NAFEX] grape pruning/training question

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Tue Mar 14 20:16:03 EST 2006

I have a canadice grape vine growing over a small ornamental archway  
- sort of a mini-arbor.  It grows up one corner, and I have been  
training a main branch across the top, under the center bar (which is  
a lot higher than the rest).  But I had trouble getting enough growth  
in one year, and the horizontal piece is about three year's of  
growth.  I've been using the upright and the cross-branch as the  
structure, and cutting back most of the rest of the growth each spring.

Last summer, the grape finally took off, and one long cane went all  
the way across the arch.  I would like to remove the horizontal   
structure that I had, and replace it with this stronger cane.  But it  
grew over the center bar.  (I think one reason it grew so well is  
that I didn't discourage its upward impulse.)  This evening I  
disentangled the dry tendrils, and moved the branch under the center  
cross-bar.  In doing so, I tried not to bend it too sharply, but a  
little of the bark "peeled", as it does on older canes.

So, my question is, how much did I damage the cane?  Is it okay to  
cut back the older cross-piece, along with the other annual growth,  
and use this new cane going forward?  Should I leave both and see  
which is stronger?  Gamble and assume something else will grow to  
replace it if this doesn't thrive?

Ginda Fisher
eastern Mass., zone 6
where spring is coming soon

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