Hardy Kiwi - Double Trunks?

I planted a few hardy kiwi this spring and they have really taken off, almost to the wire at 6 feet. Being unsure what I wanted to do, I allowed two vines on each plant to wind together up a single jute string towards the wire. On each plant one vine leads the other by a foot or two. My thinking was that if a single trunk is damaged I could lose both arms; with two trunks only one arm would be lost. Now I wonder if the outer vine might girdle the inner one?

Do any of you experienced hardy kiwi growers have advice on which path I should take?

  1. Allow them to go as described with the vines going in opposite directions once reaching the wire.

  2. Remove the lower vine on each. Then pinch back the remaining vine when it reaches the wire. Allow one arm to grow in each direction.

  3. Unwind the lower vine on each and put it on its own string to prevent the vines from girdling each other in the future.

  4. Something else?

Thanks for your suggestions.

You can unwind them and put them on different strings until they get up to your top wire. But I don’t think that would be necessary. The bark is pretty thin, long before one fine girdles the other their cambiums will probably fuse and they will just become one vine eventually. When they get up to your wire I would have them go in separate directions or different wires.

1 Like

As your vines get bigger you could also have lots of fun grafting other kiwis onto the vines you already have. You can also graft in some male vines for better pollination. It is not difficult. Years ago I watched some videos on YouTube and gave it a try. It is gratifying to watch them grow and when they start fruiting to eat different types of fruit all throughout the year. Here is a good place to buy scions. Ananasnaya Hardy Kiwi | Scionwood |-Burnt Ridge Nursery


I have been using two vines for the same reason. Have not had a problem yet, but better to be safe than waiting again.

1 Like

I always unwind those guys when doing dormant pruning. Two trunks is not a bad idea, they can split in sudden freezes in the spring.

1 Like

Thanks for all of the information and suggestions. I think I’ll drop some more lines down and grow them with two trunks each.

Even though I’ve read that these vines grow fast, I’m still surprised how fast they have grown. They’ll easily reach the ends of the wires this summer, probably by mid summer. Comparatively, last year’s muscadine vines were much slower growers, though they did make it to the wire ends by late summer.

1 Like