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Grape Vines

Q.Why Did My 1st Year Grapes Wilt And Die After Pruning?

Zone 80302 | jbird401 added on August 10, 2020 | Answered

So I’m confused how I managed to kill my new grapes, when they were doing so well?! I had just completed training the first year vines to about 5 or 6 ft, and proceded to cut a few nodes off the top to allow the 4 shoots I’d allowed to grow start trellising in an outward direction. I sanitized my tiny clippers in bleach then rinsed with copious amounts of water prior to cutting right above the node a few healthy nodes down from the growing tip. The only thing I didnt do was treat the cut area of the healthy vine (but the need hadn’t been there every time I removed an unwanted side shoot?!). Please help me troubleshoot here, as I’ve struggled now with 2 years worth of grape starts. I suppose it’s worth mentioning that i garden in zone 5a, at elevation (8k ft), although the elevation didnt seem to affect the growth of any of my local varieties of grapes through most of the growing season, until pruned for trellising. Please advise! Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 12, 2020

Unfortunately, your photos did not come through. This sounds like a soil born illness, though. There are many, and they can claim grapes, fairly suddenly. Without treating the soil, it will come back and kill any grape that you plant in the area. Likely, your local cultivars are a little hardier to the disease.

Here are some articles that will help:



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Answered on August 15, 2020

Thanks for the speedy response. I didnt include any pics with my initial post, I didnt see how it would be useful as they are just dead, dried vines on a pole at this point. I'm leaving them in to see if they acclimate perhaps over the winter and I get new growth come spring. I still dont understand why any fungal or bacterial disease wouldnt affect any of my vines the entire growing season, pruning side shoots the entire time. They all wilt and die within 3 days of pruning the growing tip towards the end of the season to start promoting outward growth. I leave 4 side shoots, let each vine grow to 5 or 6 feet, count down a few nodes from growing tip and cut. All my vines have matured at different rates (6 total) so this has been witnessed with each, at different points in the growing season. But each vine has produced so many side shoots that I've pruned to promote upward growth, any fungus or disease should be killing off my plants early on, no? Is there any way my growing tip pruning techniques may be the cause? Thanks, I'm certainly not disagreeing with the assessment, I just dont understand how its applicable to my situation.

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