Wednesday, May 30, 2012


CC: Recently we took a walk down the beautiful endless hills of Castiglion Fiorentino and we noticed a grapevine growing on a maple tree. The Etruscan practice is called ‘Testucchio’ which was created so that the maple trees would give the grapevines adequate support resulting in the correct physiological response of growing upward. This primitive practice dates back to the Etruscan times and was prevalent until about 50 years ago when it was replaced with a wire and post training system. Although this practice was successful it left room for improvement. A few concerns that I observed as a horticulturist were the two root systems competing for nutrients and sun light, high maintenance in regards to pruning both plants simultaneously, and the time it would take for the maple trees to reach a useful height. This practice is one of the many traces that the Etruscan people left behind that indicated their simple yet advanced civilization. Italian landscapes are breathtaking and full of history. I look forward to expanding my understanding of the past so I am able to compare it to present day horticultural practices.

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