Kiwifruit Guide


Pro Pruners, Inc.

Kiwifruit Basic Guide

Kia ora!

Welcome to Pro Pruners' Basic Guide for the Seasonal Kiwifruit Employee. We hope you will get the basic knowledge required to enable you to gain employment in the kiwifruit industry from the app that you have now acquired!


Sustainability is Key

For New Zealand to compete in the global market of the kiwifruit industry we must produce quality fruit at a sustainable rate. Therefore, quality employees are required to achieve required outcomes.

Why this guide?

Helping Employees and Employers

The Pro Pruners Basic Guide for the Kiwifruit Season has been produced to help both new employees to the industry and employers quickly and easily transition in training to be a skilled and competent worker, both the trainee and employer producing quality results for the grower.

Pruning and Tying Down

The First Process

Pruning and Tying Down Vines

Kiwifruit vines are pruned and tyed down in June, July, and August, the most vital stage of the kiwifruit vines season.

The pruning and tying down of the vine affects the final crop at harvest and the replacement canes for the following season.

Required Outcome

No Cane, No Gain

The required outcome of pruning and tying down is to fill bays with required amounts of buds using the best canes available to produce two things: 1. quality fruit and 2. replacement canes for the following season.

There are different methods of pruning to achieve the outcome required by the grower.

Healthy and Unhealthy Vines

Methods of Pruning and Tying Down

The required methods of pruning and tying down vary from orchard to orchard and varieties of kiwifruit vines.

The health and wellbeing of the vine itself are very important.

Unhealthy vines will not produce quality fruit and replacement canes for seasons to come.

Healthy vines will produce quality and quantities of fruit and replacement cane for the growing season.

Basic Concept of Pruning

How to Prune

The pruner will have to be able to reconise a male from a female vine, which canes to be pruned out, and which canes to leave and tye down.

The basic concept to pruning is to cut out the old cane and leave the new cane.

Orchard Layout

Orchard Layout

Orchard Layout

The kiwifruit orchard is normaly laid out as follows: 

Blocks contain rows, bays, and plants within. They vary in size.

Rows run down the length of the block. One block may have 20 rows

Bays are where vines grow in a row. One row may have 40 bays.

VIne Recognition

Male and Female Vines

Know Your Vines

Before we start pruning we must reconise vines that are male or female. The female vine is the vine to be pruned and tied down. She is our fruit producer. The male is to be left alone until male pruning at a later date.

Different Characteristics

Vine Characteristics

Female and male kiwifruit vines have some different characteristics which can be used to help identify one from the other. Here are some basic characteristics to look for when trying to identify female vines from males. 

The Female Vine

Recognising a Female Vine

Female kiwifruit vines have storks from last year’s fruit at the base of this year’s replacement cane. 

They are also have canes clipped and tied down to the wire.

The Male Vine

Recognising a Male Vine

A male kiwifruit vine has no fruit storks at the base of its cane. 

It is not as large as the female vine, with far less replacement cane growing from its main leader.

Vine Characteristics

Cane Identification

The First Step to Pruning

Choosing Canes

The first step of pruning out the female vine is to reconise canes to keep and to cut out. 

Each plant is different, so vines are pruned out slightly differently from vine to the vine.

Various Types of Canes

Various Canes

There are various types of cane that need to be identified during pruning. 

They all have different names and are used in different ways to achieve the required outcome.

PSA-infected Canes

PSA-infected Canes

These canes have been infected by the disease PSA during the Kiwifruit season



Short cane with bud on very end of the cane.

Secondary Canes

Secondary Canes

Medium to long in length (can be up to more than 2 meters), green canes that grow late in the season

Spent Canes

Spent Canes

Canes that have grown fruit in previous Kiwifruit seasons but now have no more buds to grow fruit

Growing Cane

Growing Cane

Long canes (up to more than 3 meters) with many buds along their entire length

Self-terminating Cane

Self-terminating Cane

Short to medium in length (up to 2 meters) with a bud on the very end of the cane

Bull Cane

Bull Cane

Very large cane that can grow over 4 meters in length with buds found along the entire length of the cane

2 year old + wood or structure

2-Year Old

Last year's fruiting cane with replacement cane growing out into the bay.


Pruning Tools

Tools You'll Need for Pruning

The set of tools required to prune Kiwifruit vines are listed as follows. 

It pays to keep your tools clean and sharp always. 

Clean tools to prevent vine-to-vine infections

Sharp tools to make nice clean cuts and make your job of pruning easier.



Used to make small-to-medium-sized cuts 


-Always keep sharp to give clean cuts 

-Always spray to prevent the spread of PSA between plants.

Spray Bottle

Spray Bottle

To spray tools with methylated spirits or copper solution to prevent the spread of bacterial and fungal infections 

Tip: Spray all tools before and after pruning Kiwifruit vines to prevent the spread of infections from vine to vine

Small Hand Saw

Small Hand Saw

For making large cuts that are too big for loppers to make



Used to make medium to large cuts


-Always keep sharp to give quality clean cuts

-Always spray to prevent the spread of PSA between plants

Paint Bottle

Paint Bottle

Anti-fungal and bacterial paint

Used to paint all cuts to prevent any fungal or bacterial infections infecting the plant

Tip: paint all cuts fully to prevent any infections getting in through exposed cuts



To place and hang all required tools



To clip pruned-out Kiwifruit vines down to support wires

Tip: use clips on wires from previous pruning seasons to speed up your tying down process



To secure pruned-out Kiwifruit vines to structural support wires

Sharpening Tools

Sharpening Tools

To maintain sharp lopper and secuteer cutting edges to ensure clean and precise cuts


-Use quality sharpening steel and stones

-Sharpen tools frequently

Bud Identification

Identifying Buds

Bud Inspection.

Buds are what grow our kiwi fruit for this season and replacement Cannes for the following season they grow on the replacement canes it is important we use healthy and vigorous looking buds to produce a quality crop and healthy replacement Cannes ,sick,small unhealthy looking buds will not give the grower quility fruit this season and also not grow quility replacement cane for the nexted season.