A striking difference
With the severe weather that's been experienced this summer, it was only a matter of time before a lightning strike was found in a vineyard. In a single row in the vineyard, shoots that were green and vigourous one day were brown with uniformly purple leaves and shrivelled fruit. In some cases, part of the shoot remained green with only the top part of the shoot affected. The distribution was pretty much random down the row. Upon longitudinal sectioning of some the affected shoots, a "laddering" pattern was distinctly visible in the central pith area of the internodes. This is very diagnostic of lightning injury in grapevine as the pith is "cooked". In other nodes, the pith was completely gone. With the frequency of severe weather systems this summer, this is likely to become a more frequent occurrence in any trellised operation (tree fruit, grape or berry) with a preponderance of wire.
Longitudinal sectioning of affected shoots showing the "laddering" pattern distinctly visible in the central pith area of the internodes
Some grape shoots remained green with only the top part of the shoot affected
Grape vines showing lightning strike area in centre
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