Blog 56: Dons pruning tips!

The pruning season is nearly over..

The tools of the trade- the trusty snips

So here is a little snap shot of what pruning entails for us.

 At Oliver’s Taranga we prune our old block of Shiraz using mainly spurs, leaving two buds and occasionally we use a ‘cock rod’ which has five buds left on it. The reason we use the cock rods is to open up the canopy and keep the cropping levels up on a old vine that has a lot of dead arm (This is a disease – Eutypa- that grows in very old vines which results in the the arms dying and they don’t produce any fruit).

This shows a 'cock rod' on the left and a spur on the right

We have 100 hectares of vines to prune each year. With 8 pruners pruning it takes them about 3 months to get over the whole property. Each pruner will prune about 400-500 vines a day! That’s why these days pruners prefer to use electric snips rather than  manual snips especially when pruning old vines with really thick wood as they are really hard to cut through.

We chose to hand prune rather than machine prune (hedging) because it gives us more control over the crop levels when the fruit starts to develop. When you are pruning young vines you don’t really prune for any type of crop level, you prune for shape, getting them the way you want them for years to come.

Don pruning our Old Shiraz block

When pruning white grape varieties we aim for higher crop levels so therefore leave more buds but when pruning premium red grapes we are aiming for 6 tones to the hectare so only leave 2 buds.



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