Grape Vines

90-Year Old Grape Pruning

Anonymous added on September 7, 2011 | Answered

My husband and I recently bought a house in northeastern Ohio. We were excited to find numerous grape vines in the woods, and were even more delighted when our neighbor told us that her father planted them (over 90 years ago!). However, they probably have never been pruned, and most of the grapes were beautiful, but unreachable, as they are a few hundred feet in the tops of the trees! Is it ok to try to prune some of the vines at the base, even if the bases are as big around as small trees? We pulled one vine down and built a 10-foot arbor to wrap it around, but everything we read implies that we won't get many grapes because of all the old wood. We would love to make more than the 9 jars of jelly we made this year, but we're afraid to kill the whole system since it has been doing so well on its own for the past 90 years! Any advice would be appreciated!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on September 8, 2011

For this year, simply do a cleanup pruning and not worry about whether you get fruit or not this year. Prune back the vine to a manageable size and fruit will come in the following years. You should be able to start pruning now. This article should help:

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