Impact of changes in pruning practices on vine growth and yield

A gradual decline in vineyards has been observed over the past twenty years worldwide. This might be explained by the climate change, practices change or the increase of dieback diseases. To increase the longevity of vines, we studied the impact of different pruning strategies in four adult and four young vineyards located in France and Spain. In France, vineyards were planted with Cabernet franc on 3309C while Spanish trials were planted with Tempranillo grafted on 110R. Vegetative expression, yield, quality of berries and wood vessels conductivity were measured. The distribution of vegetative expression, yield and berry composition between primary and secondary vegetation were quantified. Finally, tomography was used to evaluate the implication of the treatments on sap flows. 
First results show that i) the respectful pruning leads to an increase of 30 to 50% more secondary shoots than the aggressive pruning in France and between 15 and 20% in Spain, ii) there is no major effect on the yield over the first two years following the implementation of the new pruning practices, although the proportion of clusters from suckers is higher on the respectful pruning method. On young vines, the development of the trunk according to a respectful pruning leads to a loss of harvest 2 years after planting. This is due to the removal, on the future trunk, of the green suckers which carrying bunches. This operation carried out in spring rather than during winter pruning, would promote a better leaf / fruit balance when the plant comes into production, and could lead to better hydraulic conduction in the vessels of the trunk. Maintaining these trials for several years will provide more robust data to assess the impact of these practices on the vines over the long term.

Authors: Coralie Dewasme1, Nazareth Torres2, Anne Janoueix1, Daniel Vergnes4, Ana Villa-Llop2, Julián Palacios3, Luis Gonzaga Santestebanand Jean-Philippe Roby1

1EGFV, Univ. Bordeaux, Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRAE, ISVV, Villenave d’Ornon, France
2Dpto de Agronomía, Biotecnología y Alimentación, Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA), Pamplona, Spain
3Viticultura Viva S.L., Olite, Spain
4Chambre d’Agriculture des Pyrénées Atlantique, Pau , France


Keywords: pruning practices, dieback, yield, sap flow

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