Thursday, 7 January 2016
The Sap Is Rising
The meteorological winter began on the 1st of December 2015 and ends on 29 February 2016. With regard to the Crimson Glory Vine, Vitis coignetiae 'Claret Cloak', pruning should be carried out in early to mid-winter when the plants are dormant and before the sap starts to rise so, in theory, pruning now is the correct time of year. However, this winter has been far from usual with last month being the warmest December since records began as well as the wettest throwing nature in to confusion.
An example of this confusion was seen today when Simon and Ali began to prune the vine. Aware that pruning too late will cause 'bleeding' they carefully cut a few low level stems but immediately saw that sap was dripping from the wounds. Choosing higher level stems they cut a few more stems and these wounds remained dry. As the sap had already started to rise they decided to only prune the top two thirds of the plant. The two other vines in the gardens have also been pruned today and a note made to return to the vines in December in the hope that the sap hasn't started to rise early again.