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What you need:
  • Loppers
  • Pruners
  • Gloves
  • Ribbon
Kiwi is a beautiful ornamental vine with delicious fruit. Hardy Actinidia arguta thrive where winter temperatures dip below -30F! The vigorous vines need lots of pruning between mid-December and mid-January. Past mid-February you risk excessive sap bleeding. Expect to remove as much as 70 percent of the previous year's growth.
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First, identify the canes that make up the primary framework. Usually kiwis are trained with 1-3 main trunks from which up to 8 side branches extend. These side branches should be spaced no closer than 8 in. When you've located the main framework, mark it with ribbon.
Click picture to enlarge
First, identify the canes that make up the primary framework. Usually kiwis are trained with 1-3 main trunks from which up to 8 side branches extend. These side branches should be spaced no closer than 8 in. When you've located the main framework, mark it with ribbon.
Click picture to enlarge
Now pruning begins in earnest. Prune out all canes (laterals) growing from the main framework that branched and bore fruit the previous year. Cut them back to just above the new, replacement cane you'll usually find growing near the base.
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Next, thin out unbranched laterals and any other canes by removing those that are closer than 6 in. Cut back those that are left by about 1/3 and secure them to the support.
Click picture to enlarge
Finally, remove canes emerging from and competing with the trunk (called watersprouts) and any other congested growth that may have escaped notice. In the end, you will have a large pile of prunings and a much happier plant!