Aftermath of the frost event on 18 May 2023
By: Imed Dami and Maria Smith, HCS-OSU
Freeze advisories were issued the week of May 15 and temperature dropped below freezing on May 18. The lowest temperatures ranged between 28 oF and 31 oF. These freeze events were thankfully not widespread and occurred mainly in northeast Ohio (see map below). Note that this was the latest freeze since 26 May 2013 for Wooster and the second latest freeze on record since 1997.
At the time of freeze occurrence, stages of development in grapevines ranged between 3” and 12” shoot growth. Expected killing temperatures at those stages vary between 29 oF and 30 oF. Therefore, shoot injury was sustained in some vineyards. Overall, damage was sporadic and reported in only few vineyards that have less than ideal site locations or have varieties that budded out very early. Those who have wind machines turned them on in northeast Ohio. At our research vineyard in Wooster, budbreak took place mid- to late April; however, temperature dropped to only 35 ºF on May 18. Several growers reported minimum injury to Dr. Smith. For those who experienced damage, they may refer to a previous article posted by Dr. Smith that discusses how to deal with injured vines.
We assume that we’re done with cold events between winter and spring for now, and we hope not to worry about it until next year.