Lateral Shoot

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

lateral shoot, sometimes called simply a lateral, secondary shoot that grows from the axil of a leaf on the main shoot. Its origin on grapevines is linked with the complex development of the bud. At most nodes, especially on weak vines, the lateral shoot is short (less than 20 mm/0.8 in), fails to become woody, and drops off in autumn leaving a prominent scar at the side of the bud. But on more vigorous shoots, especially at the middle nodes or at the end where vigorous shoots have been topped or trimmed, the lateral shoot grows in the same way as a primary shoot producing hardened permanent wood. Sometimes, lateral shoots are fruitful (see second crop). Laterals that develop on secondary shoots are called tertiaries; quaternaries have even been seen on extremely vigorous vines.