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moving old grape vines

Posted by martienne17 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 19:55

We live in my husband's grandmother's house and the grape arbor is falling down, so we're intending to pull it out. The grapes are planted in a location with poor sun, so I'd like to move the plants. The problem is that they are very old, probably older than 60 years old, and were planted by my husband's great-grandfather. Understandably, he'd like to keep the same physical plants. I'm not real sure it's possible though.

So, questions:

1. If it were you, would you attempt to move the plants?

2. If I were to instead root a section of vine, what would be the best way to go about it?

3. The place with the best sun is along a chain-link fence. Would this be a good place to anchor the vines or is it better to build an arbor?

Thanks for any help you can give me!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: moving old grape vines

Hi Martienne17,

It's great that you are trying to salvage these old beauties. Vines like these aren't just plants but are a part of your heritage!

Do you know what type grapes these are?
If not, any idea where they came from?
Brought over from Italy in someone's suitcase, etc,,,
In what style are they now trellised?
Are they producing fruit...if so, how much?

Without knowing this I'll give you my best answer.

If these are 60 yr old vines, attempting to re-treellis them would be very difficult. As vines get older, their growth rate slows. And without the proper growth rate, you'll not be able to train them. Also, these vines have adapted to this location so they might now tolerate a move.
But this depends on what type grape...for some 60yrs isn't old at all. So factor that in to my answer:)

An option would be to leave them where they are and cut them back and let them grow naturally - like a bush. They will look look little Bonsai trees. Since they are aren't getting enough energy from the sun, reducing their size will help them produce more fruit. If you are cutting them from a trellis, the pruning must be precise so please connect with some local growers for instruction.

Grape vines are generally not grown from rooted section of the original vine. The are grafted onto "root stock." When you grow from the root of an existing vine, you essentially create an incestuous situation that can leave you with a vine-ling that has lots of problems. So I wouldn't attempt to do this.

If you do decide to move them, chain link fence will work fine.
for vines.

Feel free to reply with more info and any more questions.

Best of luck!

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