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Wednesday - November 12, 2014

From: Sand Springs, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Is there a simple way to
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Is there a relatively simple way to "guess" how old wild grapevine is?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has never tried to do this,but wild grape vine is a woody plant, and as such produces annual growth rings in the trunks, canes, and cordons. One can determine the age of the plant by counting the rings in a cross section of the stem which would, of course, entail cutting the stem. I’m not sure why you are interested in knowing the age of the grape vine, but cutting it is probably not what you had in mind.

Foresters are able to determine the age of trees by using a device called an increment borer. I suppose that there is a minimum size branch on which one can use the increment borer. This link to USDA tells about counting the growth rings. Since you are interested in simple, and a guess, all of the above may be to complicated for you.

Do you have other comparable sized wild grape vines that you could perhaps cut, count the rings,  and and compare with the vine in question? Or  could you cut a branch further along the main trunk and count the rings. This could tell you that the vine is “at least this old”.

For help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Tulsa County OSU Extension Service .

 

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