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  • Author or Editor: Thomas M. Todaro x
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‘Cabernet franc’ grapevines (Vitis vinifera) sustained severe winter injuries of all aboveground parts following two consecutive freezing events in 2014 and 2015 in Ohio. To ensure grapevine recovery, adjustment of pruning and training practices must be accomplished. However, optimum training of new shoots for trunk replacement was not known and research-based information on this topic was lacking. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate different training and pruning methods for trunk renewal and recovery of ‘Cabernet franc’ and their impacts on growth, yield, cropload, and fruit composition following severe winter injuries. In 2016, grapevines were manipulated using a combination of training [Fan, vertical shoot positioning (VSP), or both], pruning (cane- or spur-pruned), and trunks (two, four, or more trunks per vine). The Fan system took less time to train than VSP during the growing season; however, the latter took less time to train and prune during the following dormant season. Training and pruning methods with increased buds per vine resulted in increased shoots, leaf area, pruning weight, clusters, and yield per vine but decreased juice total soluble solids (TSS). The exceptions were vines with combined training systems of Fan and VSP, in which leaf areas and pruning weights were reduced despite increased bud count per vine after pruning. In conclusion, each system has advantages and disadvantages; however, the Fan training system with cane pruning and multiple trunks produced the most optimum trunk size, yield, cropload, and fruit composition. Therefore, following trunk freeze injury, we recommend retaining all shoots using the Fan training during the growing season. During the subsequent dormant season, growers should select medium-sized canes for trunk replacement and train four trunks and four canes for the VSP system.

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