Are my vines dead? What next?

Discussion in 'Grape Growing & Vineyard Forum' started by wildhair, Jun 10, 2019.

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  1. Jun 10, 2019 #1

    wildhair

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    I think all the water last fall and this spring may have nearly drowned my grape vine. Excuse my lack of proper grape vine terminology - I am but a humble mostly vegetable gardener with 1 very hardy grape vine that is about 30 years old.

    None of the lateral vines have swelling in any of the buds. Nada, zip, nunca. However - there is about 3 feet of new growth coming from the base - several new vines have sprouted out near the base on old vines, but there is no evidence of growth beyond 18" on either side of the main trunk in any vine from last year or older. Some of the old vines were dripping from the March pruning, and some are still wet, but the dripping seems to have stopped.

    So - what to do? Do I cut off all the old growth and start training the new vines? Do I wait and see if any of the buds start to open?

    Should I remove some of the new sprouts or let a couple them grow out so I can bury them next spring to start new trunks?

    The new vines even have clusters on them - should I clip those off?

    I attached some pics - any help is appreciated.
     

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  2. Jun 10, 2019 #2

    wxtrendsguy

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    Without knowing your location it looks more like typical winter kill. Your new shoots at the base like that are indicative that the buds, canes and likely the trunks have suffered serious damage over the winter or even possibly during a spring frost. At this point in the year you can probably cut the dead wood back quite a bit leaving behind some dead trunks to use as natural stakes to tie off your new shoots to encourage them to grow upward. With some TLC those vines will bounce back...
     
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  3. Jun 10, 2019 #3

    wildhair

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    Sorry - central WI location. Thanks - it's a tough, old plant - I'm sure it will recover. No grape wine this year, tho.

    I think it was all the water - ground was saturated last fall before freeze up, then too much rain this spring. My garden is still too wet to till and the yard is "spongy" yet. Lots of clay in the ground.

    Should I cut off the clusters so it puts it's energy into growing vines? Once there is enough growth (and length) can I bury part of the vine to start a new trunk? I'm thinking later this summer or early fall. Or should I wait until spring to do that?
     
  4. Jun 10, 2019 #4

    sour_grapes

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    Well, there was that spate of -20 something weather we "enjoyed" this winter....
     
  5. Jun 10, 2019 #5

    wildhair

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    That's EVERY winter - we call that February. LOL That old vine has survived some -35 temps in winters past, later frosts and the 2 feet of snow in April last year - it's hardy vine. Yeh - winter is great.
     
  6. Jun 11, 2019 #6

    srcorndog

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    Here is my opinion cut back all the dead wood until you see green wood. Is this plant a graft? If it isn't a graft look at the new growth pick the cane that is minimum pencil size cut the top off to make it divide into two shoots. Cover your plants with wheat straw or bark for the winter but you will need to trim your vines. Remember you are working with vines!
     
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  7. Jun 11, 2019 #7

    wildhair

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    No, not a graft. Thanks - cutting back the wood until I see green makes sense. Pinching the top to make it divide I'm familiar with doing on other plants. This the 3rd time this vine has been "re-born".
     
  8. Jun 11, 2019 #8

    sour_grapes

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    Well, I could be mistaken, but I believe this past winter was "special." Recall, I live in Milwaukee. I don't believe we have had -35 degree temps, well, ever.
     
  9. Jun 11, 2019 #9

    bstnh1

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    Here in the Northeast we had a lot of rain before the ground froze. That along with a lot of water during the winter that simply froze on top of the ground along with some strong winds and little snow cover did a number on all sorts of plants especially mature Rhododendrons, Junipers, Yews. I lost two good size clumps of River Birch that had puddled water (ice) around them. Guess it was a tough winter just about everywhere.
     
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  10. Jun 11, 2019 #10

    wildhair

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    Yes, it was. We're still getting too much rain, but I'm glad to see my old vine is a survivor. Just need to know where to go from here.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2019 #11

    Dennis Griffith

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    My vines have not done well this year either. I attribute this too increased rainfall and cool temperatures (43 this morning when I got up).. There may be other factors at play, but I'm still working those out for myself. I don't like repeat performances.
     
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  12. Jun 13, 2019 #12

    spaniel

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    Well this was a "special" winter in the Midwest. I'm in central Indiana and I have 98 vines. Two days ago I went through my vineyard with a chainsaw. About 30 vines were not cut off 2 inches from the ground. I expect at least half of what I cut off are actually dead in the root, including most of my Marquette. Combination of a few very harsh winter days, piling onto Japanese beetle defoliation while I was on vacation last summer and fungal issues during that same timeframe when I was not home to spray.
     
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  13. Jun 13, 2019 #13

    sour_grapes

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    Wow, sorry to hear that, Spaniel.
     
  14. Jun 13, 2019 #14

    Dennis Griffith

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    Indeed a sad situation. As noted earlier, I am worried about losing vines this year too. Many are struggling to come back and it appears that I've lost 2. I have replacement vines in the pot currently, but you always have to start the maturity cycle again to get grapes. I'm in southwest Ohio, so your conditions are mine as well. I have about the same number as you currently. Has the ground there been persistently soggy? It has here, which I think, more or less, attributed to the condition of the vines.
     
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  15. Jun 13, 2019 #15

    wildhair

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    That's a huge loss, Spaniel - sorry to hear that. I just have the 1 vine - it was very productive some years, but it looks like I'm back to square 1.
    Our ground is till soggy - like walking on a sponge.........full of water. I have not been able to plant my garden, because just inches below the surface - the ground is saturated. And we got a couple inches more yesterday. My brother ha s a farm in Ohio - says his corn is month behind.
     

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