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Grape vine management work nets Cornell doctoral student three awards

Anne Kearney

Doctoral student Anne Kearney earned a trio of awards for research into a vineyard technique to control vine growth and improve grape composition. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

Innovative research on a vineyard technique to control vine growth and improve grape composition earned a Cornell doctoral student three high-profile awards this year.

Anne Kearney, a doctoral student in viticulture in the field of horticulture, studies palissage, an alternative to hedging grape vine shoots in order to control excessive growth. Palissage consists of either wrapping shoots on the top catch wire or tucking shoots back into the catch wires.  The management technique may be beneficial by reducing vegetative growth of the vine and increase the efficiency of pesticide application.

Her research has earned her a 2018–19 American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) Traditional Scholarship, a 2018–­­19 ASEV Eastern scholarship and a 2018 American Wine Society Educational Foundation scholarship.

Working with associate professor Justine Vanden Heuvel in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, Kearney has been looking at the effects of palissage on vine growth and fruit composition, with an emphasis on the physiological mechanisms behind these responses. It has the potential to be used as a canopy management tool in wine grape vineyards given that it reduces extra vine growth in the fruit zone as well as cluster compactness, according to Kearney.

“Palissage is emerging as a new alternative for winegrowers looking to fine-tune their cluster morphology and microclimate, allowing them to further improve fruit quality,” said Vanden Heuvel. “It’s great to see Anne’s research efforts being rewarded with these scholarships.”

The process has showed promise as way to reduce fruit losses to disease, particularly in tight-clustered cultivars.

Anne Kearney


Palissage is a technique of wrapping shoots on the top catch wire or tucking shoots back into the catch wires in order reduce vegetative growth of the vine and increase the efficiency of pesticide application. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

Carl Gortzig, professor of floriculture, dies at 87

By Krishna Ramanujan Cornell Chronicle [2018-06-11]:

Carl Gortzig

Carl Gortzi

Carl Gortzig ’52, professor emeritus and chair of the former Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture, died June 2 at the Oak Hill Manor Nursing Home in Ithaca. He was 87.

Gortzig was also the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director Emeritus of Cornell Botanic Gardens, formerly Cornell Plantations.

His research covered floriculture economics and marketing. He worked closely with the floriculture industry in New York state, and with the faculty in the former Department of Agricultural, Resource and Managerial Economics, including the late Dana Goodrich, distinguished emeritus professor.

“In a period where basic civility is daily being challenged, Carl Gortzig was a true gentleman; he treated all people, regardless of their role, with dignity and respect,” said Don Rakow, M.P.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’87, associate professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. “He was devoted to the field of horticulture, to Cornell and to his beloved wife, Jean.”

After receiving his bachelor’s in floriculture and ornamental horticulture, the Buffalo, New York, native received his M.S. in 1963 and Ph.D. in 1976, both from Michigan State University.

He served in the United States Army as a first lieutenant from 1952 to 1954; taught biology, botany and math at the McKinley Vocational High School in Buffalo from 1954 to 1955; worked as an Erie County associate agricultural agent from 1955 to 1964; and was employed by Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as an admissions counselor from 1957 to 1958. He joined Cornell’s faculty in 1965, earned tenure in 1971 and was promoted to full professor in 1978.

Gortzig chaired the Department of Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulturefrom 1975 to 1988.

“Carl was a true Cornellian and incredibly dedicated to our land-grant mission,” said Joann Gruttadaurio ’73, M.P.S. ‘79, who served as a horticulture extension educator during much of Gortzig’s career. “While he was supportive of our teaching and research roles, what made him unique as a department chair and leader was his enthusiastic backing for faculty involved in extension and outreach. Those efforts resulted in huge impacts on commercial and home horticulture and 4-H youth programs, and earned him the respect of the industries, communities and citizens we served as well as the university administration.”

Gortzig also held a joint appointment at the Cornell Botanic Gardens, where he was acting director from 1989 to 1990 and the Elizabeth Newman Wilds Director from 1993 until his retirement in 1995.

For years after retirement, he continued to teach Introduction to Horticultural Science, and Horticultural Sales and Service Business Management. He also continued to serve on a number of university committees and as a consultant to the Cornell Botanic Gardens Advisory Board.

In 1989, he received the George L. Good Gold Medal of Horticulture, the highest honor of the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association, given annually “to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to horticulture in the state of New York.”

He was a member of the American Society for Horticulture Science, International Society for Horticultural Science, American Horticulture Society, Society of American Florists, New York Florists’ Club, International Plant Propagators Society and an honorary member of the New York State Flower Industries.

He is survived by his wife, Jean.

Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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