Kiwi pruning and fruiting questions

Bought Hayward and Saanichton female and the fuzzy male from Raintree in 2012 so this is 4th leaf. The male bloomed every yr. Females none so far.

Should the females bloom this yr?

Should I prune and if so how?

The male is in the middle. There are a couple of grape shoots in the foreground.

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4th leaf is a common time for females to start fruiting, but like many fruits they don’t have a firm schedule for starting.

I prune my kiwis like grapes: prune nearly all back and leave relatively few buds. The one thing I do differently is I let them extend “scaffolds” out from my trellis, so there are not just the main trunk on the trellis, there are also some big branches coming out like scaffolds on a tree (except they should come sideways more or less).

Here is a good guide with detailed pruning info: OSU Kiwi Guide. You can see they recommend a T trellis, I use a standard single wire and have these side scaffolds make the “T” out of kiwi wood. At least that is the ideal.

Scott, that is a great guide (and I hadn’t seen it before). I just wish it had addressed how to rejuvenate neglected overgrown vines. I’m thinking I will just be heavily pruning back and hoping to properly train what grows afterwards.

I will keep the forum posted on how it goes.


Like the guide and now have a plan. It will take a couple yrs to straighten things out but it’s all a learning experience.

I’m facing the same issue. The last two years, I meant to do spring pruning, but missed the window, as when I started, the vine leaked like crazy from the first few cuts. This time, I’m doing it much earlier. I did the first vine yesterday and it took about 2.5 hours. It’s not completely done, but I’m going to leave the last few cuts for early summer, as right now I can’t tell which parts are really alive/vigorous, since the area that is left was mostly shaded (the under-story tends to either die or be woody without leaves/buds).

I may still do a few more thins in the winter, just to make sure that things aren’t too crowded in the spring. But I’m going to install new posts first. The 10.5’, 1 5/8" galvanized steel was bending under the weight. Hopefully I can keep the weight from getting so oppressive in the future, but I think a 2 3/8" 8’ post would work better. It also keeps it shorter, which I think is going to be important. If I need to get a ladder to prune the high stuff, it gets put off too long and kiwis need constant pruning.



Sorry about the quality- it gets dark early now…Note that in the after pic you can actually see the 2nd support post and the neighbor’s house. It was completely hidden in the before pic.

The green post to the left was one I used for tomatoes and beans a few years ago, but it was completely overrun by the kiwis (and they went even further to the peach trees on the other side, to the far left).

Hopefully I haven’t over-pruned it and killed it. But, I had to do something, as the vines haven’t been productive for the last two years. This year, I got ~1/4 pint from Issai and 1-3 fruit each from five other vines. They also took a very long time to vine ripen. When I tried them in early/mid October, they were still unripe. I waited all the way until November to pick them and some still weren’t great, though a few were into the 20 brix range.