How to Prune & Cut Grape Vines


Grapevines do not need to be pruned or cut during the first year of life. After this, regularly pruning and cutting will assure larger quantities of grapes. The procedure for the part of grapevine care is relatively simple. January to March is the best pruning time, while your grapevines are dormant.

Step 1

Select the thickest part of the grapevine at its base. Hold your pruning shears at a 45-degree angle. Cut all the limbs and branches from the grapevine 4 to 6 inches up from the base of the vine.

Step 2

Select one branch or limb that contains a minimum of six to eight nodes on it and is thicker around than surrounding limbs. Begin where you stopped pruning. Tie a long strip of cloth around the branch. Repeat the process until you have selected four to six branches per grapevine plant.

Step 3

Select two branches at the top of the plant that contain four to six nodes on them. Tie a long strip of cloth around these two branches.

Step 4

Cut all the branches on the grapevines that you have not marked with the long strips of cloth. Cut the branches completely flush with the trunk of the grapevine plants.

Step 5

Remove all branches and add to your compost pile or run through a wood chipper for coarse, organic mulch.

Step 6

Add a 2-inch layer of organic mulch to the base of each grapevine plant. Water until the ground is thoroughly wet, but not soaked.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never prune a grapevine before it has one year to grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Long strips of cloth
  • Organic coarse mulch
  • Water


  • Grapevine Pruning
  • ISU Viticulture
  • Prune Your Grapevines Heavily in the Winter

Who Can Help

  • Double A Vineyards
Keywords: grapevine pruning, grapevine maintenance, cutting grapevines

About this Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.