This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
A NEAR neighbor of mine has a very promising young vineyard, rows ten feet apart and 360 feet long; about midway of the length of the vineyard stands a small chestnut tree 20 feet from the outside row of grapes. On the 26th of June, we had a small thunder shower, this tree was struck by lightning, which came down on two sides of the tree, causing the death of the tree and at least two-thirds of the vines in three rows of the vineyard; the vines in these three rows are trained to wire, the balance of the vineyard is trained to wooden slats and escaped injury; the vines at the extreme ends of these three rows suffered as badly as those near the tree; the row nearest the tree was set this last spring, many of the vines not yet reaching the first wire and are supported by stakes. I notice a number killed in this row, where neither the vine or fruit was touching the wire. The ground where the tree stands is being used for Irish potatoes; they also Buffered, the vines being killed immediately under the tree and three rows on either side to the distance of 75 feet; from this freak I would judge it is not safe to have any trees standing near a vineyard where wire is used, though a similar occurrence might not take place in the next century.
I am of the opinion if wire had been used for the whole of the vineyard the damage would have been much greater, from the fact that the third row from the tree is 40 feet and suffered about as bad as the nearest one.
Bowling Green, Ky. A. D. Webb.