A vineyard trellis is often the single largest cash expense in the establishment of a vineyard. Not only does trellis construction impact on the economics of vineyard establishment but it also can very significantly influence the long term productivity and profitability of a vineyard. A wide range of materials may be used to construct vineyard trellises. Too often little thought is given to the important characteristics of a vineyard trellis. Durability is important. The real cost of a vineyard trellis should be calculated on cost per year of service rather than simply cost per acre. Vineyards that require considerable annual maintenance of trellises and frequent replacement of trellis components are inefficient and unnecessary with today’s technology. The performance of the vine itself is influenced by trellis construction. Does a specific trellis promote good canopy management with well exposed leaves and when desired, well exposed fruit? Does the proposed trellis facilitate efficient performance of vineyard tasks? The trend towards increased mechanization of vineyard tasks and the need for precise vine structure to perform these tasks depends on the vineyard trellis. If vineyard rows aren’t straight, vineyard wires are sagging and vine trunks are crooked, then the ability to precisely manage this vines is jeopardized. Today it is possible to establish a durable, cost efficient trellis in a cool climate vineyard. The following information will help growers achieve that goal.
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