We have, during the past year, made some comments respecting the advantage of root pruning grapevines, much as pears are done, with a view to check redundancy of growth. We hope some of our readers will try it.

Root-Pruning Grapevines #1

We practice root pruning of the pear, apple, etc., for the purpose of checking redundancy of growth, and believe the same practice may be useful in the cultivation of our native grapevines. In many soils such varieties as the Isabella, Clinton, Concord, etc., are disposed to form so much length of vine as to tax well the patience and skill of the most intelligent viticulturist. They often go elongated, and exhaust thereby the shoots, that few are left with strong buds fitted for fruit-bearing another year. The practice of annual winter pruning, cutting back severely, is only an inducement to creation of a great amount of new wood, for all the root is left, and its supplies must find vent in foliage at the proper season. If at the same time we prune the vine, say in this month of November, we also, by use of a long, sharp spade, go around the vine and cut off the roots, may we not reasonably look for a reduced tendency of the vine to elongate its wood branches, and a greater probable prospect of the fruit being supplied in a greater degree, by reason of the lessened action in the whole system ? We hope some one or more vignerons, and especially those who are troubled with excess of vine and foliage, will try root this autumn, and report to us another season the result.

Surface Drainage is all-essential to young vineyards or plantations of dwarf pears. We have known young vineyards on underdrained grounds almost entirely killed out by leaving the vines to pass the winter without care relative to surface draining, but depending exclusively on the under-drains to relieve the roots at all times from superabundant moisture. A slight strain of thought, sufficient to bring to memory the many days we often have during winter months, when the surface is free from frost two, three, and four inches deep, but all below locked in impenetrable rock by frost, should convince any reasonable person of the advantage, if not necessity, of giving winter surface drainage to all plants whose main dependence on life is from the surface roots.