Third season

Continue to extend the cordons, if necessary, by training the strongest shoots down the center wire until they're within about 1 foot of the cordon of adjacent vines. Do not allow them to twist tightly around the wire, which might restrict sap flow later.

Continue to train lateral branches perpendicular to the cordons (Figure 4, page 15). Do not train shoots along the outer wires parallel to the cordon; they would cause too much competition for light.

In the third dormant period, prune so that 15 to 20 well-spaced lateral canes remain on the vine, depending on vigor. Fruit will

Pergola System Training KiwifruitKiwi Fruit Training

Figure 3.—Training a young kiwifruit vine. Pruning cuts are shown by

  • A) Prune to one or two buds at planting.
  • B) Train one shoot as trunk; remove all others (Year 1).
  • C) Head back trunk as shoot growth at terminal loses vigor.
  • D) Continue to remove lateral shoots; let trunk grow beyond wire. Then head to just below wire.
  • E) Choose two shoots to form cordons, one each way on wire. Head back to '/4-inch-diameter wood in dormant season (Year 1).
  • F) Shows shoot growth Year 2. Pruning cuts in dormant season Year 2 are shown.

form on shoots produced on last year's growth (Figure 4). Do not overcrop (allow a young vine to produce too much fruit). Overcropping will lead to high yield, but small fruit size, reduced vegetative growth, and a reduced crop the following year. Reduce crop by leaving fewer buds or 1-year-old fruiting canes. Remove any suckers or side growth on the trunk. Concentrate on developing or finishing the vine's framework. Fruit in the third year may sunburn due to inadequate canopy cover. It may be a good idea to remove some of the fruit early in the season to divert more energy into vegetative growth.

The permanent vine structure should be established by the third or fourth year. Future pruning will renew fruiting canes and maintain the vine framework and crop load. See "Maintaining Your Kiwifruit Vineyard" for diagrams/descriptions of pruning mature vines.

Training of vines to a T-bar and pergola system is similar. In a pergola, the vines are grown as straight, single trunks until they reach the top of the structure. One strong permanent leader (cordon) then is allowed to grow in each direction along the main wire.

To form the canopy of a pergola, develop a system of fruiting canes from the cordons at right angles to the wires. Fruiting canes can be retained longer on pergolas and may be more permanent than on T-bars. Fruiting laterals or shoots develop on the fruiting canes. It takes up to 7 years to develop a full canopy in a pergola.

center wire center wire

Step Step Pruning Kiwi

Figure 4.—Kiwifruit vine in third growing season during fruiting. Leaves not shown on right to simplify drawing.

Maintaining Your Kiwifruit Vineyard

It is essential to maintain your kiwifruit vineyard well for optimum growth and productivity. Pruning probably is the most challenging aspect of vineyard maintenance.

At Oregon State University, we have conducted several experiments on the fruiting and pruning of hardy kiwifruit. Our findings are incorporated into this chapter.

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