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The Resistant Vine Question for California

The Resistant Vine Question for California

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Excerpt from The Resistant Vine Question for California: And the California Vine or Anaheim Disease

The most important characteristic and the most consequential in its effect in different ways, which all species of the grape vine have in common, is their extreme and peculiar sensitiveness to temperature conditions of the soil and the atmosphere and generally much more the sensitiveness to such conditions of the former than of the latter. The scope of this sensitiveness of either the root or top varies very much with the different species, varieties and hybrids; in fact there are no two of these which are exactly alike in this respect, but it is always within well-defined boundaries. In comparing this sensitiveness of the root with that of its top of different vines, we find a multiplicity of combinations, which are most remarkable and if it were possible, that they could be well understood in every case, would remove obstacles, which at the present time, appear almost unsurmountable.

My attention was first called to this some years ago when I compared the behavior of certain varieties, planted on soils, presenting different temperature conditions during spring and with a surrounding atmosphere, which also showed a difference in this respect. In one locality which; I, shall call A, the soil is gravelly and somewhat loose, and in the other locality, which I shall call B, the soil is a clay-loam, capable of holding a great amount of water in suspension during spring. But while at B, the temperature of the overlying atmosphere is uniform and generally warm during spring, A is known as having cold and frosty nights at that time, although during the middle of the day the temperature of the two respective atmospheres is about the same. A has a soil which warms up readily during spring, but an atmosphere which is exceedingly cold at times. B has an atmosphere which is uniformly mild. Of the leading table grape varieties the Tokay starts growth first at A and last at B. The Cornichon starts growth first at B and last at A. The Lenoir starts growth exceedingly early during spring at A and makes almost all its seasonal growth within about a month after starting. At B it starts growth later, but still slightly ahead of the Cornichon and then grows steadily all summer. This should prove conclusively that the scope of sensitiveness of root or top of the Lenoir, Tokay and Cornichon is not the same.

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