Pre-pruning grapevines

Asked September 15, 2020, 12:36 AM EDT

Last year I pre-pruned my vineyard to 6-8 inches once all the leaves fell off. It just makes it easier to do the final pruning end of winter. This year I would like to pre-prune as soon as possible because we need to do some landscape work in the vineyard. Will it hurt anything to pre-prune now (September), we just harvested yesterday?

El Dorado County California

3 Responses

Commercial or homeowner?
Downside to early pruning is that it may lead to higher infection of trunk pathogens such as Eutypa dieback. That would be mitigated somewhat if you then do a second pruning say in March. Other than that, if you have well developed periderm (brown canes), the buds are already isolated from the vine's vascular system, essentially a self-contained unit. So there would be no downside.
Kendra Baumgartner, a USDA scientist at UC Davis, has done a lot of work on this (see ref below).

Thank you for your response. I have a home vineyard. So my understanding from your response is that I can pre-prune now leaving 8 inches or so and then do final pruning in March? I live in Northern California and the canes are strong.