Home Industry News Economics If Your Vines are Shedding Bark, Don’t be Alarmed

If Your Vines are Shedding Bark, Don’t be Alarmed

One of the conditions observed in vineyards, that may seem alarming, is the shedding and loss of bark on loss on grape vine trunks.

Cursory research shows this is not a condition to be concerned about, unless you are just growing vines for lawn ornaments. The process is a natural succession in the plant’s growth cycle.

The vascular cambium, or simply called cambium is where growth takes place in the stem of the plant. gall the action takes place. This layer includes a single layer of cells which produces xylem cells to the inside and phloem cells to the outside. The xylem generally accommodates water flow while the phloem deals with nutrients, with the phloem being interior to the xylem. Every year, the cambium produces new phloem and xylem and adds to the girth of the grape cane.

Once a year, some cells in the outer layer of the phloem become meristematic and regain the ability to produce new cells and growth. This meristematic growth produces the cork cambium which in turn produces a layer of new cork cells that becomes impregnated with a waxy substance cutting off the water supply to the cork cells and older phloem. The cork, by one definition, is the irregularly shaped thin-walled wax coated cells that make up the peeling bark. It is also called rhytidome.

Cork cells die after they reach full size and then they become impervious to water. When fully formed, the periderm or what we know as the bark seals off the inner dehydrating cells from the once green outer cortex, which then dies and turns brown.

This periderm is made up of the cork cambium, cork phellem and cork-skin phelloderm.

Each year, new meristematic growth that produces the cork cambium (phellogen) adds to the accumulated periderm of previous years and this accumulation is what causes the bark slough off. — Montana Grape & Wine Association

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