The Process

The first process in cane pruning is really no different than normal. Trained and skilled workers select the canes amongst the canopy that are to be laid down as fruiting wood for next seasons production.

What is different is that once those canes are selected they are topped at a height approximately 300 mm ( one foot ) below the height of the canes to be removed. If the canopy has been grown at a sufficient height the previous summer the topping will occur between the top wire and intermediate post height. This difference between the canes to remove and those to stay is the most essential operation and needs to be carefully checked. It is also important to check that no tendrils or laterals from the keeping canes extend above the topped height.

The old fruiting canes or old wood from last season that are wrapped on the cordon wires are carefully cut into suitable lengths. This is not a lot different from usual practise, however to make removal easier cuts in the old wood should be made at bends or between canes that have grown on either side of the wire. Be careful not to overdo these cuts as canes can tend to fall down in the canopy below the height of the vine stripper wheels.

The Vine Stripper is operated over the row and is set at a height to grip the unwanted canes and hoist them vertically out of the canopy; without pulling on the keeping cane. The wheels need to be revolving at 350 rpm or more with a forward tractor speed of 2.5kms or greater; experience will determine how fast you can travel.

Ideally the Vine Stripper should be operated at a set height, however in some canopies you may need to lift the Vine Stripper over the posts to have sufficient grip on the cane to be removed. This is easily achieved with the joystick control that has all the operation functions incorporated.



Experience has shown that for the Vine Stripper to be trouble free the canopy trellis needs to be well maintained. Although the Vine Stripper has a roller to deflect wires, if they are very loose or broken they can be drawn into the machinery.

A well maintained trellis with good wire tension is essential for trouble free operation. Items to check are:

  • Wire tension
  • Wire joiners - some are not successful and wires will pull out.
  • End strainers are well stayed.
  • Broken wires.

We have also learnt that canopy wires that are held in place with plastic clips, hold the canopy wires better than angled nails.  | Website design by Labyrinth Solutions  | Content Management by Contegro