Concord Grape Vine Transplant & Pruning

kev_boJune 29, 2013

I was hired to fix and replace a deck railing system and remove a grapevine a new homeowner did not want. I'm guessing the vine is at least 10-15 years old.
This vine had grown upward about 12 feet from its main trunk and at the time of cutting, the topmost vines were interwoven into the deck lattice, and producing a lot of fruit.
Upon removal in fall, the main trunk was cut about 4 feet from the ground, which removed all the new, fruiting growth. It was cut with no intention of anyone transplanting it at that time.
Fast forward to this spring, and the 4 foot stump started producing buds and growing, but still needed to be removed at the owners request. I decided I'd like to try to transplant it at my house.
I dug it out saving as much of the root system as possible, stuck the root base in a kiddie pool of water for 2 days, and surprisingly to me, growth continued, so I dug a hole and planted it. It has been in the ground 2 weeks, watered daily, and is continuing to grow and climb up a trellis I made for it. My goal is to have it climb the trellis upward to an arbor roof, and spread out across the canopy, with the main trunk/trellis located in the center of the arbor, and hopefully be able to harvest grapes from it when it is ready.
My questions surrounding this goal are:
1) when and how (if at all) should I trim back / prune any of the existing new growth off this old main trunk? All the new growth appears in about 4 locations along the trunk that I'm guessing at some point had branches coming out of it. They seem sort of knot-like. Some of those areas produced 1 new shoot, some upward of 4.
2) should i train all these new shoots to go straight up vertically toward the eventual arbor roof?

I've done some research online but I'm not sure what pruning 'system' I should do with this arbor idea and I am not completely clear on what 'parts' of the grapevine I'm looking at in this photo with the new growth, considering where it was cut in the old vine.

Thanks for any advice!

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Love the arbor/trellis you built. I grow my concord grapes over a large 'heavy arch'. Even though your trellis is truly charming grape vines and their fruit get heavy. Grapes grow very quickly as you will see. Good luck with your new vine!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:28PM
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home_grower(SoCal Z9 S18)

I have a vine that is about 10 years old. A few years ago I cut it back to about 2' and built a small pergola for it to grow on. It was trained to grow up and over the top. This year I kind let it do it's own thing.

My wife asked me if I could build her a much larger and heavier one that we can put a hammock under. Fine by me.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 4:11AM
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nickl(Z7a NJ)

Re your trellis:

Eventually, you'll have to add heavier verticals to support the structure. Horizontals can be fairly lightweight. The vertical supports have to be very substantial, however. Commercial growers use steel wire for the horizontals, but use heavy anchored posts for the vertical supports. Think along those lines.

There are many. many 'systems' to train a grapevine to a trellis or other structure. One 'system' might work best for a particular variety and another system might work better for a different variety. Grapes are very adaptable, however. As long as the vines are getting enough sun and they are pruned correctly in the spring, you can usually adapt them to just about any structure that is strong enough to support them.

Good luck with your grapes.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Thanks for the advice on the support systems. I put this one together just to give the vine something to start to climb this season. Next year I'm going to build a strong pergola, 4 corner posts, etc, for the vines to climb across the top.

My main question for this growing season, considering so much of the plant was lost, should I clip back any of the shoots this year and only allow 2 climbers to the top or should I just train all of them to the top of this years trellis?

If I should do any clipping, where/when should the shoots be clipped?


    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 1:56PM
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