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 a thorny vine in Florida
June 02, 2009 - Area: panhandle of FL Problem: thorny vine with large potato like roots, rapid growing and very invasive. grows in summer time. thanks
view the full question and answer

Hybrid Campsis radicans 'Madame Rosy' from Medina OH
July 07, 2012 - I have a Madame Rosy Campsis that is not blooming. We purchased and planted it last year, mid-summer and it did well for the remainder of the season but this year...nothing but green leaves........wh...
view the full question and answer

Will trumpet vine strangle tulip poplar in Elkview WV?
April 08, 2010 - I have a trumpet vine that I planted to grow up a tulip poplar. I did not find info that it may damage the tree prior to doing this but have recently been told that it will "strangle" the tree. Is...
view the full question and answer

Control of grapevines in trees
June 15, 2007 - Grapevines have overtaken some of the trees on our property in Central Texas. What is the best way to get rid of the grapevines and (hopefully) save the trees?
view the full question and answer

Native vine to replace non-native Ficus pumila creeping fig
April 01, 2012 - What is a good evergreen alternative to ficus pumila to cover a rough-textured concrete wall in Houston TX?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center