Pruning Catawba Grapes

Serving Growing Ohios Grape and Wine Industry

Last January, January 6ththe official day of the polar vortex we experienced really damaging temperatures.Anywhere from around twenty below zero to about sixteen below zerowhere it killed the fruiting buds and it killed actual grape vines.And we've never experienced any damage like this before.And we've never we really didn't know the extentof the damage on the vines until April May in that time frame when we didn't see anybuds developing and even some of thetrunks cracked.

But the impact of that was dramaticwe have no crop at all in our vinifera and we grow varieties like Chardonnay, PinotNoir, Cabernet Franc, Rieslingand without any grapes, we were forced to buya lot of grapes. But it's had a huge impactas far as the grape production not to mention the actual wine losswhich is two or three years spanning. Because in some of the vineyardsthat will have to be replaced from the ground up

with new vines we will not get the first crop is three to four years out.So the impact is just dramatic and millions and millions of dollars.Actually in the viticulture program at Ohio Stateone of our focus of the research is cold hardiness of grapes.So really that's one of my expertise in this fieldof learning more about how grapes cope with freezing with cold in general.After this cold event our growers really needed a lot of help in terms of how to not onlyassess

the damage but also how to deal with the vinesthat are damaged. And we conducted a lot of workshops just toshow them how to prune the vines. Our relationship with Ohio State goes wayback in the 1980'sWe've had a long standing relationship with ongoing research in the wineryand in the vineyards. Currently with Imed Damiour research stems lately from the cold winter vortexwhere we've had a lot of the vines killed and damagedfrom the minus twenty degree temperatures.

Current research is kind of involved tothe extent of the damage to determine the actual damage andto have pruning studies done to see what was the best way to prunethese injured vines. We have not had temperatures that coldsince 1994 here and myself and a lot of the grape growershave not experienced this cold damage. So we need research to help uskind of figure out what's the next step and see what our future is in these vineyards.

Pruning Crapemyrtles

Well, spring has finally arrived and it'sa great time for us to consider pruning out crapemyrtles. And it's a great time for tworeasons: one is, we've passed the most severed part of the winter and if there were any winterdieback it would be very visible. The second reason is there are no leaves so it's veryeasy for us to see the branch structure of our plant. Now before we get started, we probably shouldreview some of the common tools we need before pruning our crapemyrtle. First off, you probablyneed a very nice pair of leather gloves. Second, you really need a good pair of handprunersor handshears. I also find it very helpful

in pruning crapemyrtles to have a pair ofloppers. Essentially it's a pair of hand shears with longer lever arms. And it's kind of optional,but I find it very useful to have one of these saws with the teeth kind of exposed. Thistool can work its way into this crown very easily. In contrast to a bow saw, which Ireally can't get into the interior of this plant. So these are some of the common toolsyou'll likely need for this project. We're going to use two pruning techniquesto prune a crapemyrtle. One is Renewal Pruning and the other is Selective Thinning. So, RenewalPruning, what is ité What we do is, we're looking to remove entire branches or stemsall the way down to the ground level. So this

branch, it's more than what we need for thisparticular plant plus it's bowing out from the plant. So all we're going to do is useour loppers, and get it as close as we can to the ground and we'll simply cut. We can also use a saw for Renewal Pruningand again the objective is to simply cut the branch off as close as we can get to the soillevel. The other technique we want to use is SelectiveThinning. And that simply involves removing a lateral branch all the way back to its pointof attachment. So, we're going to follow this branch back to its point of attachment andwe're going to make a very clean pruning cut.

This particular branch is a very good exampleof why we use selective thinning. This branch is starting on one side of the plant and thenit's crossing back through the center. So it's causing lots of conflicts in this plant.So we're going to remove this using Selective Thinning. Using these two techniques of Renewal Pruningand Selective Thinning we're going to go ahead now and prune the rest of this crapemyrtle. Many people find the seed head objectionableon crapemyrtles, so if you feel that way, there's no problem with just snipping thatoff and be done with it.

Well, we're just about done, one more cut.And notice that we've achieved our objective of maintaining the natural habit of the crapemyrtleusing those two techniques, Renewal Pruning and Selective Thinning. Now the majority ofpeople in this state simply quot;topquot; their plants at about four or five feet. They just cutall these branches off. And it really makes the plant look ugly in the winter time. Overall this pruning project took us about5 minutes and we removed about that many branches from this plant. We achieved our objectiveof maintaining the natural habit of this crapemyrtle using those two techniques, Renewal Pruningand Selective Thinning.

To learn more, contact your county extensionagent and follow the links in this section.

Raising chickens 3 supplemental heat

WAYNE MARTIN: So one thing you'll constantlywant to do is to monitor the temperature to make sure that it's comfortable and appropriatefor the chicks. pause You'll want to start them out at about 95degrees for the first week of their life, and then gradually reduce it about 5 degreesper week. And you do that just simply by raising up the heat lamp. The higher up it gets, thecooler it will be at ground level. Well these chicks, are for the most part,resting comfortably. In particular, this group here under the red light, they're rightdirectly underneath the heat, and they're

just fine. This light is putting out moreheat than this light. And so this group is moving away from it. Right here is the center.You can see though that even some of the chicks are just sleeping right underneath it. Well I see them as, they look really good.They're healthy and active and vigorous. They're up and eating and drinking and they'vefound the heat, and they just, they seem like they're going to do alright. So I feel reallygood about this batch of chicks.

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