In 2004, shortly after painting Henbogle house, we built a twig
arbor for the old concord grapevine planted on the southwestern foundation, at which time we gave it a severe pruning. In 2006, it grew enormous, threatening to overrun the house and collapsing the twig arbor. In April 2007, we built a sturdy new arbor that would withstand the vigorous growth,
and it has performed admirably, allowing a view out the large picture window in the living room, supporting the vine, providing bird perches, and providing cooling shade for the summer. It has perhaps provided a bit too much shade, making the living room a bit cave like, so it was time to get serious about pruning.
We read quite a bit, and chatted with a gardener nearby who has a large grape arbor about how to tackle the vine. Because we want to manage our vine for both shade and grapes, it has been difficult to determine exactly how to prune them. The one thing all sources agreed upon was that whatever we did it would be difficult to harm such a vigorous, well established vine. Most sources said to prune the vine down to three or four leaders, making sure to mark them for pruning the next year.
The weather today was AMAZING, with temps in the mid 50s, skies clear as a bell, with just a light breeze, so today, Dan tackled the job. We got out the big 8′ stepladder, and Dan began. He carefully pruned away all the dead branches and selected 4 vigorous-looking leaders stretching along the trellis. It took about 3 hours start to finish, including clean-up, and was his hand tired even using my sharp Felco pruners. The difference is amazing and I am extremely curious about how it will look, and how productive the vine will be this year. I hope we have a good grape year!
More photos of the pruning action below.
It was a gorgeous day today, a perfect day to tackle this task.