If you have muscadine grapes, then you know it's mandatory to prune them heavily each year. I know people that don't ever prune, and they're plants would be healthier, and also produce more fruit if they did so. It's really easy to do, and doesn't take alot of time, either. The best time to prune in my zone is February, although some people prune during the warm months. However, doing this in warm weather presents an opportunity for diseases to invade - which we certainly don't want. Anyway, I pruned mine the other day, and decided to shoot some photos of everything. I have 1 muscadine vine that is about 15-20 feet long, and also 2 scuppernong vines that are about 10 ft.
Photo below - shoots that come off of the top of the main vine like this one are ideal, but you'll get only a few that actually grow this way. You wanna prune to about 3 buds, as new growth will emerge and produce a full canopy later. Boy, these things fill out pretty quick!
Photo below - while at it, any girdling caused by tendrils wrapping themselves around the shoots should be addressed also. Man, those little dudes can sure do some damage! I try my best to remove them during the growing season, too - but always miss a couple. Here's one that I missed....
Photo below - It's quite normal for new cuts to "bleed" afterward, and shouldn't concern you at all. This "bleeding" will continue for a couple of weeks, after pruning.
Photo below - here's a section of one vine that has been finished. Looks kinda "nekkid", don't it? Well....this is what it's supposed to look like afterward.
With all of that said, all of the fruit trees were pruned too, but required much less work and time. If the weather cooperates, we should be covered up with fruit this year. In reality, it needs to stay cold for at least another 2-3 weeks, then everything can be allowed to bloom. The plums will be first, and already show signs of breaking dormancy. If you'll remember, a freak warm spell in January of 2009 caused them to bloom too early, and there were no plums later. :-( I sure hope this year is different! I want plum jelly! All I need is some favorable weather and a visit from my bee friends, and it'll happen. Gosh, i'd love to have my own hive like stefaneener does!
Take care, and happy gardening!