It is not known when mankind began to prune vines but vine pruning was certainly known in Ancient egypt and was already a well-established practice by the beginning of the Roman era, described in detail by such writers as pliny and virgil. There are also numerous references to vine pruning in the bible. For example, ‘a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard’ (Lev. 25. 4). Vine pruning also figures in the description of the Last Days (Mic. 4. 3): ‘and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks’.