Skip to main content

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Assessing Bud Injury and Adjusting Pruning

Northern Grape 690


Northern Grapes Project NEWS YOU CAN USE:

Assessing Bud Injury and Adjusting Pruning

By Chrislyn Particka

After the extreme cold temperatures much of the US experienced  this winter, many grape growers are concerned about winter injury to buds and trunks.  Here in the Finger Lakes region of New York, for example, up to 90% of the primary buds on some V. vinifera cultivars have been killed.

Cold-hardy University of Minnesota and Swenson cultivars can withstand much colder temperatures than most other grapes, but it’s still advisable to assess your grapes for winter damage before pruning, and adjust your bud number accordingly.  If more than 20% of the buds are dead, you’ll want to leave more buds to maintain a normal cropping level.

Here are some online resources to explore to learn more about how to assess winter injury and manage winter-damaged vines. 

Assessing Winter Cold Injury to Grape Buds
Cornell University, Pool and Martinson.
Includes photos of live vs. dead buds, information on how many extra buds to leave when pruning, and links to videos that explain how to evaluate bud damage.

Video: Evaluating Bud Injury Prior to Pruning (Part 1&2, two videos, youtube)
Cornell Cooperative Extension, Walter-Peterson

Cold Injury in Grapevines, Chien and Moyer. Includes photos of damaged buds and trunks, as well as links to other good resources.

Evaluating Grape Bud Damage Prior to Winter Pruning
Colorado State University, Caspari and Larsen. This document has photos of the same bud as a series of cuts is being made.  This will help you learn what’s too shallow, what’s just right, and what’s too deep.

Ohio Grape-Wine Electronic Newsletter, Special Issue 17 January 2014
Ohio State University, Dami.
Contains information on how to assess for bud damage, how to adjust pruning, and links to other resources.  Also includes the article “Pruning Grapevines after Winter Injury” that Dr. Imed Dami wrote for “Wines and Vines” trade magazine a few years ago.

Anatomy of Grapevine Winter Injury and Recovery
Cornell University, Goffinet. This is a long, and quite technical paper, but has a lot of good photos and in-depth information, including how vines are constructed, what tissues are susceptible to cold, the process of vine cold acclimation, a description of cold injury in the various organs, and the mechanisms the vine uses to heal (if possible) cold-injured structures.


Leave a Reply