In this project, researchers wanted to determine if root pruning at planting may reduce the potential for J-rooting, without having a negative impact on young vine development.
– Young Pinot noir vines, rootstock SO4 was used in the trial;
– Root pruning of dormant benchgraft roots to 4cm and 15cm were evaluated;
– Two planting methods were also evaluated namely digging a traditional planting hole vs using a planting spade to dig a slot in which the benchgraft was inserted.
– Both trimming of roots to 4cm and spade planting reduced vine growth in the first year;
– Reducing root length, also showed less vine growth in the second year, but planting method has no visible effect by the second year;
– In years three, four and five, there was no significant difference in vine canopy growth (pruning weight) between treatments;
– Despite initial reduced vigor where root pruning was applied, there was no difference in yields during year three, four and five;
– The project started in 2013 so any potential long term effects cannot be commented on;
– Percentage take was not mentioned in this project.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY:
According to the results from this study, root pruning can be used as a method to reduce the incidence of J-rooting, especially where a high risk planting method such as spade planting is used.
Image: Lucinda Heyns (J-root)