Three Simple Words that Make all the Difference
Pruning was also an essential part of first-century viticultural practice, as it is today. The first pruning occurred in spring when vines were in the flowering stage. This involved four operations: (1) the removal of the growing tips of vigorous shoots so that they would not grow too rapidly; (2) cutting off one or two feet from the end of growing shoots to prevent entire shoots being snapped off by the wind; (3) the removal of some flower or grape clusters so that those left could produce more and better-quality fruit; and (4) the removal of suckers that arose from below the ground or from the trunk and main branches so that the strength of the vine was not tapped by the suckers. Spring pruning did not involve the removal of wooden branches or their subsequent burning.