The Q&A Archives: Pruning Old Grape Vines

Question: The grapevines in my yard are approximately 40 years old. There are 3 plants with large bases (approximately 5 inches). I would like to prune and then tame new shoots to grow higher over a trellis. I am not sure how much I can prune - I do not want to kill the plants. If I do not get grapes this year, this is ok.

Answer: Grapes actually tolerate very severe pruning. In early spring, trim them back to only a few buds, then train the resulting shoots as needed. The plants will direct all of their energy from the established root system into the shoots and regrow quickly.

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