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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Grape Vine Killed by Winter Cold

Q. I planted two vines in my backyard  3 year ago and it sprouted and grew very quickly but as you can see this year it has not done anything with the exception of the few countable leaves and the three new shoots.  I do notice some holes in the few leaves.  I live in Montreal Canada.

A. You are a little bit out of my climate zone but I'm going to take a stab at it. I am guessing, from the looks of it, it had some winter cold damage. There is a difference in cold tolerance among grapes. Those with some vinifera genetics in them (most of the European wine grapes are vinifera types) are less cold hardy than some of the American hybrids.

For instance Thompson seedless grape has vinifera in it and is less cold hardy than Concord, an American grape. I don't know where you got your particular grape and whether it was grafted onto a rootstock or not but if it was grown on its own roots than any suckers which could grow from it could be used to replace the dead vine.

Suckers growing from it should be extremely vigorous because of the already larger root system. It could be back up on top easily this growing season if you remove all but the strongest sucker. As it grows longer, tie it to the post. Strip all of the leaves and shoots off of this sucker until it finally gets on top. This way it will grow faster and you will direct the growth.

Give it a little extra water and nitrogen fertilizer and it will grow faster when the temperatures are warm. That's my best guess at it given the information I have and pictures. I saw one strong shoot coming from close to the ground in one of your pictures. You would cut it just above the strongest growth to reestablish it.

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