Agronomic Minute: Protecting Pruning Wounds in Vineyards

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Pruning Wounds

Springtime means that many growers will be out pruning vineyards. While a necessary practice, it can leave vines vulnerable to diseases through the pruning wounds for several weeks. Bacteria that live in the vineyard year-round become airborne and freshly pruned vines can become infected with multiple pathogens. UPL Technical Service Manager, Emily Smith said that growers are fighting against several diseases that can have a significant impact on vineyards.

“Some of the most common are bot canker, and there’s a couple types of phomopsis that can be an issue. Then probably the biggest one is eutypa dieback,” said Smith. “Eutypa is a pretty serious disease in that it can kill the whole arm of the vine and eventually your shoots will be stunted and there will be no fruit. So, it does absolutely affect the grower’s pocketbook eventually. They’re all very prevalent diseases and are pretty common. So doing something to protect the wounds is very, very important because they’re all susceptible to it.”

Waiting to prune vineyards until conditions are drier can help limit the potential for infection. Smith explained there are multiple approaches growers can take to mitigate disease levels. Wound sealants with boric acid and essential oil materials can help protect pruning wounds. Applying fungicides to the pruning wounds while the vine is healing can also limit infection. Smith said their product Topsin has been popular with growers and has shown to be quite valuable.

“Topsin is really, really effective on eutypa and bot canker. Then a lot of the times Topsin is used in conjunction with Rally and those two together provide excellent control of eutypa, bot canker, and then a couple different types of phomopsis,” Smith explained. “They also can take care of any powdery mildew that’s out in the field at the time. So, it kind of covers a whole array of diseases.”

Listen to the full episode below.