Reduced grapevine canopy size post-flowering via mechanical trimming alters ripening and yield of 'Pinot noir'
Keywords:source-sink ratio, ripening, fruit synchrony, 'Pinot noir', canopy trimming
AbstractThe degree and time of canopy trimming can alter phenology, rates of increase or decrease in berry components during grape ripening, and may influence yield and its components. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent to which reducing canopy size, by mechanical trimming post-flowering, changed Vitis vinifera L. 'Pinot noir' fruit yield and composition.
Vines were mechanically trimmed to three different canopy heights at fruitset: 1000 mm (100 % canopy height), 600 mm (60 % canopy height relative to the control treatment) and 300 mm (30 % canopy height relative to the control treatment). Total soluble solids concentration and content, titratable acidity, pH and fresh berry mass were measured throughout ripening, and yield and leaf area were measured at harvest.
Reduced canopy size via trimming to 30 and 60 % of the control treatment height slowed total soluble solids accumulation and in some cases increased titratable acidity and increased pH. The total soluble solids-titratable acidity ratio was therefore reduced throughout ripening by these trimming treatments relative to the full canopy height. Trimming to reduce canopy size had two effects on the source-sink ratio; it reduced the source (canopy) but increased fruit yield, an important sink. Therefore, the time of trimming is an important management consideration because it can delay and slow ripening due to reduced source leaves but could potentially accentuate the delay via increasing yield (sink). This technique may represent a way to offset the acceleration of phenology and grape ripening that has been observed to occur as a result of warmer seasons.
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