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Transplant very old vine help!

I found a wonderful greenhouse on gumtree. It has an ancient and massive vine laden with grapes. The vine has a trunk diameter of maybe 20-25cm and its main trunk stretches to around 12 feet with a myriad of smaller branches and grapes all healthily taking over one side of the greenhouse. 

The couple are sending everything to the skip, including the vine, unless taken as they are getting a garden makeover that does not include the greenhouse (they are new owners). 

The vine trunk does not look very healthy as it appears a bit soft down nearer the ground but the rest seems amazingly healthy. 

Is the vine worth trying to save given the dodgy looking trunk?

if so, how do I move it? Everything I’ve read says wait until it is dormant but that is not an option and it is in full flow right now. 

Can I cut the trunk?

Should I strip off all the smaller branches and leaves? Even then the massive trunk may be too big to move and will probably be fragile. 

I know I can take cuttings but would they be successful at this point in the season and that would be losing this ancient vine. 

Thank you for ANY advice. I started taking down the greenhouse today and will be returning tomorrow and perhaps the day after. 

Thank you,


  • This is my daughter standing next to the vine. 
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,672
    What a beauty! Unfortunately I think cuttings are your only chance of keeping a memory of the original and the timing is wrong. I usually take hardwood cuttings when dormant and have never tried softwood cuttings but you have nothing to lose so give it a go, maybe try some semi-ripe wood. The roots will be massive and almost impossible to dig out so I don't think transplanting is going to be feasible.
  • Thank you steephill. That is what I thought too but was hoping for better news. Nothing to lose I suppose so will probably (in the absence of alternative advice) trim it all, keeping plenty for cuttings and have a go at digging out as much of the root as I can manoeuvre along with the massive trunk. If it becomes too much I may cut the trunk down. If the trunk breaks at the soft part I will cut it there and try and grow the stump (it did seem a bit water logged). 
    Thank you again!
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