En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - July 11, 2011

From: China Grove, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Vines
Title: How to prune wild mustang grape vines.
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Now that my mustang grapes are harvested. When can I trim them out of the tree top and redirect them to an arbor where I can reach them next year? The main vine is at least 3" across. The vines from this reach at least 50' away. What diameter of this vine can I cut that will re sprout with new growth? Thanks !

ANSWER:

Grape vines should be pruned in the dormant season (winter).  Pruning later than February may result in "bleeding" of sap from the cut stems, but this will not be a serious problem.  A good discussion of how to prune is given in this web site.  However, this discussion does not deal with wild vines growing far up into a tree. 

Hopefully, your vines have lateral branches spaced along the main stem.  You want to prune back these laterals so that each has only 2 to 3 sets of buds. It is these that will produce the fruit.  Leaving too many buds will result in smaller fruit.  If the lower section of the main stem is free of lateral branches you had better save a greater length of main stem until you reach the point where laterals and their buds are located.  Attaching the bare main stem to a horizontal arbor will encourage additional lateral branches to come out in the next growing season.

If you can retain suffiicient buds on the lower portion of your vines, it should be safe to prune even a 2-3 inch thick stem.  If that is done, it might be a good idea to paint the cut surface with pruning compound or paint, although many experts say that pruning paint in unnecessary.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

Mustang grape
Vitis mustangensis

More Vines Questions

Identity of milkweed vine with smooth seedpod
November 23, 2012 - I believe the vine I am curious about may be Matelea reticulata. However, most of the pictures I have seen of that vine show bumps on the exterior of the seed pod, and the pod I have is green and smo...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of a small itchy vine in Granbury, Texas
December 24, 2010 - I am clearing an area near some trees that has never been "domesticated". There is a little itchy vine that grows pretty extensively (not very much top growth, but is all over the place). The smal...
view the full question and answer

Identity of night-glowing object in tree in New Hampshire
August 02, 2013 - I know this sounds crazy but last night when my husband stepped outside he noticed a purplish glow in one of the trees. At first he thought some kind of animal but when throwing a rock at it it did no...
view the full question and answer

Control of invasive vine in North Carolina
November 18, 2009 - Hi, I live in Piedmont NC, have vines that twine around my shrubbery and are impossible to pull out of the ground w/o breaking because they are so thin/delicate. The leaves are maple-like (3 lobes), ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling Passionflora Incarnata propagation
March 20, 2012 - Would a cinderblock raised bed, 8 inches in height, be sufficient to contain the roots of passiflora incarnata and keep them from traveling to places where I don't want the vine? Are the roots deepe...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center