Traditional and innovative summer pruning techniques for vineyard management

A. Palliotti, Stefano Poni

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

3 Citazioni (Scopus)


This review paper highlights physiological and vine performance effects of widely adopted summer pruning operations such as leaf removal, shoot trimming and positioning and cluster thinning. Leaf removal is addressed either under its traditional configuration, i.e. removing in dense canopies some or all leaves around clusters usually pre-veraison to improve fruit microclimate and facilitate spraying and early (pre-flowering) defoliation primarily aimed at inducing looser clusters via a concurrent reduction of fruit-set and berry size. Time consuming and still non mechanisable cluster thinning is evaluated primarily in terms of response variability vs. season and intensity with emphasis on lack of significant reduction of final yield per vine in thinned treatments when large crop compensation occurs. Variability of expected final grape composition improvements in thinned vines is also discussed based on the actual vine balance when the operation is performed. Although fully mechanisable, shoot trimming is still a debated choice in terms of timing and severity. While severe (i.e. fewer than six or seven main leaves retained) and late (i.e. several weeks after bloom) cuts should possibly be avoided, the effects of shoot trimming on final grape composition is discussed as a function of seasonal changes in leaf area development, demography, fraction of lateral leaves from the total and leaf to fruit ratio. It is indicated that, for vertically shoot-positioned trellises, if the support trellising is correctly designed and vine vigour is balanced, timing and severity of trimming are dictated by the vine 'itself' rather than by grower choices. Overall, this review underscores the importance of leading the vineyard to a 'natural' control of vegetative growth, which would minimise the need for an extensive use of summer pruning. In other words, such vineyard operations should be viewed not just as something the growers "have to do", instead as specific tools used to achieve targeted final grape composition.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)151-163
Numero di pagine13
RivistaAdvances in Horticultural Science
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011


  • Cluster thinning
  • Grape composition
  • Leaf removal
  • Shoot hedging
  • Shoot thinning
  • Vegetative growth


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