Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to an agrotechnical method for the training
of branch cordon vine and for the mechanizable regulation of its growth and yield.
Background of the Invention
It is known that all work procedures required by vine production have
been successfully mechanized, but for winter pruning - which regulates the yield,
the quality of the crop and the condition of the stem - no adequate machinery, replacing
manual pruning has been constructed until now. The lack of mechanizing in the area
of pruning results in a temporary peak in labour demand.
Crop regulation by pruning is problematic because, as it is well known,
winter pruning forces the vines to exert intense vegetative activity in developing
"long" shoots, canes. As a result of the unnecessary "cane yield", the amount of
crop is by far lower than the biologically possible yield. (The cane yield of the
vine grows at the expense of cluster yield.)
These problems led researchers to conduct more detailed investigations
into possibilities of viticulture without regular pruning. The experiments proved
that the omission of winter pruning is very detrimental - especially in the first
years of transition - for the stems that were formerly regularly pruned and have
long shoots, canes. This, due to the greater yield, often leads to the exhaustion
of stems. Years after the cancellation of pruning the plants reach a state where
they are capable of self-regulation. In the average of many years, their yield is
greater than the yield of the pruned stems. The number of shoots increases, their
length is much shorter than with the pruned vines. The ripening of the shoots customarily
depends on the yield and the amount of shadow cast on them. The densely sprouted
stem sections sooner or later thin themselves, because the shoots become mature
in a shorter length. On the stem sections, however, that are less dense, the X ripening
of the shoots that receive more sunlight improves. Thus, shoot density becomes balanced
on the stem; the shoots "migrate" to the sun.
In the function of the yield, the yield and the average cane length
of the stems fluctuate reversal. In the intermittent year, the number of shoots
is smaller than the average of many years, and they get comparatively longer ripened
by fall. The must degree of the crop is generally high. A growth in the yield may
be expected in the following year. In years with high amount of yield the number
of shoots increases, their productivity improves, but shoot growing capacity and
ripening of canes worsen. The loose clusters are less sweet. A year with high amount
of yield is thus followed by an intermittent year.
Often about 70-95% of the short shoots of vine cultivated regularly
without pruning do not become ripened, do not turn into wood. The parts of the shoots
that did not grow fully ripe break off after defoliating; the vine thus "prunes"
With the knowledge of the mentioned self-regulation of the unpruned
vine, a new method of vine-stock training was developed.
This is the so-called Branch Cordon vine-stock training ("agaskordon",
"Senkrechtes Spalier") which is described in detail in the specification US 4 333
266, granted for the Applicant of the present application.
The above mentioned, comparatively new stock training method requires
a wired support system.
The support system may be single, or double layered. The single layer
support system is in most cases identical with the Single Curtain, the double layer
support system with the G.D.C. (Geneva Double Curtain) stock training's T-shaped
support system. The horizontal wire (or wires) of the support system carries the
cordon arm, and the (full) weight of the vine stock. The poles of the support system
sustain the horizontal wire (wires).
It is preferable to decide on a 160-190 cm height for the trunk. The
horizontal expansion of the stock is controlled by the length of the cordon arm,
and by the number of the shoots which produce canes on the cordon arm. Therefore,
on the cordon arm that was trained as the continuation of the stem, long shoots
(canes) are trained in the first years.
When this is accomplished, the vine is turned to "bearing". In the
spring of the year when it turns to bearing, the canes of the cordon arm are thinned
out about every 10-30-40 cm, and the canes are cut back near the ground. Subsequent
to pruning, the number of shoots on the vine and the cluster load are large. The
shoot, and cane production will be similar to that of the regularly unpruned vine
stock. Through the years, the produced long canes age to producing twigs. The Branch
Cordon stock training method (according to the previously mentioned patent) solved
the crop regulation by the shortening of the canes and produced long canes, also
by cutting them back from the ground at different lengths, and by thinning the clusters
of flower off (applying a chemical agent). In practice, however, the mentioned methods
did not fulfil the expectations. After their application the difference between
the bud, shoot and cluster load of the stocks was significantly different. The producing
twigs shortened, and by the cordon arm shoots developed that ripened on a long section,
that is typical of vine cultivated by pruning. The parts that were cut off near
the ground were not "replaced". The production surface of the vines that were production-controlled
in this manner "withdrew" near the cordon arm, and the stem became bushy there.
The training method had to be abandoned, and the traditional manual pruning reintroduced.
It was also confirmed that the branch cordon trained stems require
growth control along with the reduction of the number of clusters.
With regard to the above detailed problems, the aim of the present
invention is to develop a procedure that makes possible to maintain the stem shape
formed by pruning, the regulation of shoot growing capacity and yield on the branch
cordon cultivated vines.
It is known that on the canes of the vine side buds by the main buds
of the winter light buds can be found. At bud pushing the main buds start swelling,
but the side buds commonly remain dormant. The growth capacity, ripening and fertility
of shoots pushing out of side buds is in general far behind the ones developing
from main buds. It is also known that bud differentiation - fertility - is worse
with the branch cordon vines than with the vines that were production-controlled
by pruning. The growth and yield control method which is the object of the present
invention, is based on the knowledge of these facts. According to the invention,
the task is solved by thinning out of the swelling buds, short shoots (later main
buds) using a specific process.
Summary of the Invention
The solution of the invention is primarily based on the recognition
that sustaining the form of the stem that was created by pruning and the yield amount
and quality control may be achieved by main bud thinning - mainly in the area specified
by the invention.
Therefore, the object of the invention is an agrotechnical method
for Branch Cordon trained vine, for the mechanizable control of its growth, and
yield; where in the branch cordon plantation a cordon arm is used supporting wire
parallel with the direction of the stock row, preferably in 160-190 cm height; preferably
long canes are cultivated every 10-30-40 cm from one another into producing twigs;
characterised by that sprouting, yield and quality are regulated by the amount (rate)
of thinning of the main buds in the upper zone of the foliage wall, thus produces
twigs which are cultivated having short shoots and short canes (which require no
pruning), that expediently reach near the ground, have off-shoots and sometimes
grow higher than the cordon arm.
The growth and yield control method according to the invention fits
well the shooting characteristics of the branch cordon vine.
The pushing out of the branch cordon buds is a process extended in
time. The buds with more advantageous polarity may push out weeks before the other
ones. Consequently the shoots in the stem's upper region - near the cordon arm -
will mature fully and long, while the shoots under them, in the overshadowed area,
will grow ripe on a short section and not well. At bud pushing - after the thinning
out of the early swelling buds near the cordon arm - the habit of the stock changes.
Due to the location with favourable polarity the side buds of the
thinned out main buds push out in two to three weeks. Thus, the growth of these
shoots is delayed. With this, their counterparts that are near the ground lose their
vegetative disadvantage, their shoots grow considerably longer, are more ripe. As
a result of these the growing capacity and ripening on the different sections -
in agreement with our goals - becomes equalised. (The long shoot - cane growth ceases,
or is lessened.) The foliage wall reaches near the ground.
With the thinning out of the swollen main buds the number of growth
poles (shoots) does not decrease, but the growing capacity is lessened at the location
of the treatment. Depending on the measure of main bud thinning, the cluster yield
of the stock decreases, the amount - proportion of the barren shoots increases,
the producing shoots' decreases. As a result of the treatment, the quality of crop
The shoots reaching near the ground overshadow the stock row. The
overshadowed rows of stock are less inclined to becoming weedy. The shoot growth
stops soon. As a result of the short shoots, the number of plant-protection sprayings
may be reduced. The branch cordon plantation cultivated in this way may produce
an annually balanced yield.
Winter pruning is not necessary for maintaining this cultivation method
with vines that already settled in this way. Manual pruning and plant cultivation
are limited to the forming and re-forming of the stem shape. Thus the amount of
crop, must degree and the ripening of the shoots on the plantation's stems are regulated
by the measure of the main bud thinning, by the adjustment of the proportion of
the barren-producing shoots. The swelling main buds are thinned manually (by a hand
tool) or by power machine (like tractor) powered shaking and/or sliding-turning
(rubbing-brushing) and/or high-pressure water or spraying adapter. In this latter
case chemicals destroy a portion of the swelling buds. The proportion of the main
buds thinned off and remaining on the stem is adjusted in the meanwhile.
The crop controlling adapter is expediently powered by a tractor.
The driver, by manipulating the machine can alter the amount - ratio of the main
buds rubbed off. The result of the treatment depends on: phenology phase, variety,
type, number and output of the adapter, its speed and the treated section's width,
the times the bud thinning was repeated, and so on.
Detailed Description of the Invention
The known solutions, and the procedure of the invention are illustrated
- for easier understanding - by the figures, where:
- Fig. 1A shows the basic condition of the branch cordon stem training, the shoot
ripening following a full long cane load, while figures 1B-1C display the effects
of the known solutions and 1D represents the effect of the load solution of the
invention on the shoot length and the shoot ripening on the long cane,
- Fig. 2 demonstrates the method of the invention for several years, for different
The arrangement of the hanging long canes on the construction examples
shown on Fig. 1A-1D depends on the manner of loading, while their number depends
on the measure of loading.
Fig. 1A shows the basic condition of the long cane loading, where
in section a there are long canes typical of pruned vine, in section
b there are short canes, typical of unpruned vine, and in section
c there are unripe shoots. It is foreseeable that the long canes in section
a will result in the stem becoming bushy in a few years.
Fig. 1B and 1C show the solution offered by the patent US 4 333 266.
The cut back, shortened long cane displayed on Fig. 1B has long canes in section
a, short canes in section b, and in section c there are long canes
again. In this case, the producing twigs shorten yearly, and in the line of the
cordon arm long shoots are produced, which as we saw it before, lead to bushiness
of the stems.
Fig. 1C shows the possibility when we carry out flower thinning on
the long cane. In this case, the long canes are found in the a section, the
short canes in the b section, where the flower thinning took place. The figure
shows that the desired effect cannot be achieved this way, since the shoots in the
upper section become just as untreatable as with the basic condition shown in Fig.
1A. Though it must be emphasised that on the thinned portion, the shoots become
mature, and the long cane is not shortened.
Fig. 1C shows the procedure of the invention. Here, short canes may
be found in sections b1 and b2. In the section close to the
ground - b3 - a longer portion of the shoots becomes ripe. Bud thinning
is done in section b1. It can be observed, that in this case, the length
of the shoots will be equally short on the long cane. The appearance of the long
canes that are near the ground is not disturbing, because this provides a chance
for the plant to extend toward the ground if necessary. It has to be mentioned,
that the area of the main bud thinning is the zone where most main buds are wilfully
removed, but-depending on the desired method/measure of the regulation - it is inevitable
that main buds will fall off even in the sections where the treatment is not being
carried out. The emphasis though is always on that the majority of main buds would
be broken off in a certain zone, in this case in the upper part of the foliage wall,
close to the cordon arm.
Fig. 2. shows the 1 ground level, 2 wire, between them the 4 shoot,
5 cane, 6 long cane, 7 producing twig, and the 3 cordon arm and 8 thinning limit.
The training, growth and yield control of the branch cordon stem are
shown in Fig. 2. The 3 cordon arm and on it the training of the 4 long shoots are
displayed in the first year's spring and fall. In the second year we show the place
and the effect of bud thinning - in section b1 - on the 6 long cane,
in the summer and after defoliating, in the winter.
After many years, the 6 long canes become 7 producing twigs. Fig.
2 follows through the different periods of stem development.
It has to be understood that the method of the invention does not
exclude that manual (mechanical) pruning, flower thinning, shortening (cutting back)
of producing twigs, or chemical growth and/or yield control would be accomplished
in the plantation, and further that the stock condition would be controlled by nutrition-water
The procedure according to the invention does not exclude the installation
of additional wire(s) for the supporting of producing twigs beside the wire(s) holding
the cordon arm.