Should You Prune a Grape Arbor?

Should You Prune a Grape Arbor?

Your grape arbor offers shade in the summer together with tasty fruit that you get the satisfaction of growing yourself. Grapevines are rather hardy, but they grow best when pruned once a year, usually in late winter to early spring. Grapes grow on new growth, so pruning helps the plant grow wholesome fruit.

First Year

Pruning during the first year of the grapevine’s life differs than following decades. Plant a grapevine one each side of the arbor for the best results — it’s easier to train two plants up and above the arbor than to depend on one plant to protect the entire construction from top to bottom on both sides. When you plant them in the spring, cut back the stems so that just one — the largest one — comes up in the ground. This will develop into the plant’s back. Cut off most of the offshoots in the back, leaving just three close the top of the trunk, removing the lower ones. This helps guide the plant up so you can train it above the arbor.

Other Years

It takes around three years for many grapevines to develop into older, but also you can start regular pruning in the plant’s second winter. Grapes develop just on new canes, but you want some old development up and above the arbor to assist the plant keep its shape for several years. Allow a couple of chief canes to remain over the arbor, but trim canes that sprout from the key ones down to three or two buds each winter. Together with arbors, you desire the canes on the very best to distribute to the sides and curtain each season, so leave buds that point out rather than up or parallel to the main canes.

Overgrown Vines

In case your grape arbor is no longer producing fruit or looks overgrown, don’t attempt to fix the issue in one pruning. Cut up to old timber — canes that are 3 years old or old — off the vine, leaving one main cane over the top of the arbor. Trim all canes but that one off the primary trunk. The back should sprout new canes through the following growing season. Choose the strongest of those canes and prune off the remainder between January and March, like any piece of the back that goes past the newest cane. Permit this new grin to function as the back, leaving three limbs to train the arbor to reinvigorate the plant.


Several tools assist you prune your grapevine, including standard pruning shears and a handsaw for bigger canes. Cut the shoots off just above the junction where they attach to the cane, leaving an inch or so of the pruned cane to encourage growth during the following season. Although pruning before the end of March is ideal, you can prune into April. This may lead to excess sap leaking out of their cuts, which may stunt the growth of new shoots marginally for that season. However, it’s unlikely to destroy the plant. To help the plants develop the arbor, use garden twine or pipe cleaners to loosely attach the vines into the arbor every 12 inches.

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