Fifteen years ago when the writer made his first study of the fruits of the west coast, nearly all the vineyards of the raisin, wine, and table grapes of the vinifera class were grown on the self-supporting dwarf-tree, like form shown in Fig. 74. At
Fig. 74. - Self-supporting vine.
that time the writer expressed the opinion that the system was faulty, for the reasons that it exposed much of the fruit to the hot sun and that the sap pressure early in the season was too great for the few growing points and that sooner or later it would result in diseased conditions. Visits to the west coast since that time have not changed this opinion. Disease has ruined hundreds of vineyards with this system of short pruning, while those who have practised longer pruning, with wire or stake support, have, so far as known to the writer, grown more perfect fruit, have had less rot, and the vines have retained health and escaped the fungous disease that baffled the scientists as to its identity. In the few cases where grape-growers have adopted the high-arm system of the Chautauqua belt (Fig. 73), the stem and arms have with the vinifera varieties grown large, but the surface for starting new growth is much larger and the side growth on the lower wire has relieved the sap pressure and given more fruit less subject to rot and sun scalding than with the old short-spur stub system.