Im in zone 7b NC piedmont 6.4 acres 1.5 +acres of mixed pine. Oak ,hickory dogwood on the rest. We are clearing much of the pine for a fruit grove/orchard mostly apples. I need advice on two questions today. Can the fruit trees be intermixed with The thinned loblolly and white pines that remain.? The lower quality trees are being chopped and dropped for coarse mulch. They are very dense, so most are 30' or more tall, before any green so the sunlight is filtered rather than direct. or should they be clear cut? Also I have been blessed to find a few mature Muscadine grape vines among the trees where the pines meet the hardwoods The grapes are of good quality. The vines are 30-40' long. Can they be successfully moved? OR Can they be severely pruned back and trellised? will that kill them?, OR leave the long vine intact and woven to an arbor where they now grow? My questions make it clear that I have NO previous vineyard experience, so your help and thoughts are coveted.
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From my limited experience you can cut them way back and you can reweave themwith a vengance,but moving in probably out of the question.
They have serious roots anyway , and these vines have been growing wild for years.
Rather than move it, take the huge amount of trimmings generated from pruning the vines and root them.
I've had my best results from 5 gallon buckets of wet peat moss,covered with opaque plastic bags.
The bags create a humid environment that allows the cuttings to stay hydrated until they can grow new roots.
We use opaque bags to keep from cooking the cuttings.
I've seen sand beds with misters, and rainwater with aeration also get the job done.
A high moisture low nutrient environment seems key.
As for the trees, consider pollarding trees you would otherwise remove.
You will still get plenty of biomass, root dieback underground, less work and more resources in the future.
Thank You William!, So do you think "layering" would work? If I am using the term correctly that would look like weaving the vine through a pot of soil, back out and into the next pot, out and into the next. After a few weeks cut the "umbilical cord" and end up with probably 30 rooted cuttings. I just did this with a friends strawberry plants for the first time and have had amazing success. Never thought it may work with grapes also.
I was fearful of killing the vine with severe pruning, but your success gives me the confidence to cut back to 3-4' and then train any new growth horizontally. I will leave them in place and plant the fruit tress around them. Any idea of the best direction? It seems like the vineyards I've seen orient their trellis' east and west. or does it matter?
As for the pollarding: This works well with several hardwoods, oaks , hickory's and cherry,etc. but not the pines, which in my experience have never survived the severe cut.
Ah, yeah I didn't realize you want rid of the pines.
Pollard them and you get fence posts at best.
I've used layering in black berries to great effect,and I would be surprised if it didn't work on grape vines.
I wonder if breaking or scraping the vine at the point of burial would help encourage rooting?
With the blackberries I just put buried a section in a bucket like you did, or even easier, pinned it to the ground with a brick.
I don't know jack about actual vineyards,but I would orient plantings for maximum sun AND good ventilation.
I literally hacked my vines into producing fruit instead of just leaves, becoming more ruthless over time.
Now if I can just overcome the black rot without spraying, I'll be happy.
The ventilation is apparently important for combating black rot.
Careful with the vigor of grape vines,mine have overgrown bindweed, blackberries,Hardy kiwi, you name it.
Grape vines are fairly robust, but they need full sun.
I have relocated an old grape vine in winter when dormant. The trunk was/is as thick as a forearm, about 15 years or more old. The relocation didn't effect it at all, though take as much rootball as possible, replant at the same height, and water in well.
Both cuttings and air layering work, but it may pay to hedge your bets and do both. I grew up with Italian neighbours who traditionally did the cutting method, and have done it myself, with successful results - the cutting becomes the new trunk, and the most dominant bud adds to that, so at all times the sap is flowing up until the desired height is obtained. Alway rub off unwanted buds otherwise you'll end up with a bramble of low yielding vine.
Trellis and arbor both work well.
Hope that assists.
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