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Do Grapes Grow on Trees or Vines?

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Grapes are grouped together botanically into the genus Vitis, which comprises 65 species native to woodlands and thickets across temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. They are woody, deciduous vines or climbing shrubs, but often attached themselves to trees.

Features

The stems of grape vines/shrubs develop a flaking bark and clamber over other plants to reach light. Young vines bear tendrils, which are modified stems that wrap around objects for clasping support.

Considerations

Grape vines growing in the wild may grow up the trunk of tall trees and sprawl their foliage and fruits like a canopy over branches of the tree. Older grape vines may have a stem so large at its base that it may look like a narrow tree trunk.

Effects

Vigorous and healthy grape vines can slowly cause the death of a tree. The many stems and leaves block sunlight from the tree on which the grape clambers over. In time, the tree fails to make enough food from photosynthesis and it weakens and dies, leaving the grape there to use the tree's skeleton.

  • Grapes are grouped together botanically into the genus Vitis, which comprises 65 species native to woodlands and thickets across temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The stems of grape vines/shrubs develop a flaking bark and clamber over other plants to reach light.

Grow Grapes & Vines On A Lattice

Select a location for the vines that drains well and receives sunlight. Read the specific sunlight requirements for the variety of grapes or vines you plant for additional help in choosing the planting location. When using bare-root vines from a nursery, plant the grapes in January or February. Secure a lattice screen at the back side of the planting area. Place the roots of the grape or vine plant in the hole. Cover the roots with additional soil. Tie the main stem of the grape vine to the lattice using string to train the vines to grow up and in between the lattice sections. Train the grapes to grow horizontally across the lattice before growing up to maximize the surface area. When the vines are just starting, you don't want them to dry out or they may stop growing, but too much water damages the plants. Once your grape vines are well-established, the deep roots require little watering unless the weather is unusually dry.

  • Select a location for the vines that drains well and receives sunlight.
  • Train the grapes to grow horizontally across the lattice before growing up to maximize the surface area.
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