Effect of root trimming and planting method on early vine development

by | Aug 29, 2018 | South Africa Wine Scan

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.


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)

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