Top of Hop Bine droopy?

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Weezknight

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I have my 1st-years in the ground and they are growing really well. I finally got the trellis up this weekend and started training 2 of my cascades. The Goldings need a little more time before training.

Anyway, I noticed on the Cascades that about 11" of the bine is very robust and sturdy, but the top 1" (that initially broke the ground) is droopy and withered looking. I say withered-looking because it's not dry or anything.

Is it just because this was the thinnest/first part to break ground? Or do I need to be worried about a water/soil problem? As I said the rest of the bine looks great!
 
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Weezknight

Weezknight

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Upon further inspection it looks like our local Rabbit citizens must have decided to give the hop a taste when it first started growing. I guess they didn't like it since they've never been back to bother the other hops.

The droopy part did dry up and break off, but you could clearly see where it had been "chewed" a bit. Hopefully it won't stunt the growth of the bine, since it was the 1" at the top.
 

Oaky

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You should get plenty more shoots. Often people cut the first few shoots to help the rhizome develop and get stronger bines coming up. I don't remember whether the bine will split or get another top shoot. Regardless, don't sweat it. First year is all about building up the root system. You may get a few bonus cones.. Next year... Different story.
 
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Weezknight

Weezknight

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The top that was chewed and broke off, has now turned black. It's the longest of the bines, so far, but the same rhizome has now pushed 2 more through the soil. Should I just cut the 12" bine off, and let the plant concentrate of building the 2 new shoots?
 

B-Hoppy

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i'd just leave it alone as most of the sidearms that bear the cones are usually located within the top 2/3 of the plants. the newly emerged shoots will continue to grow and also produce hops. if you cut it down, you'll never know, plus the extra foliage will help produce food to build a healthier root system for next year.
 
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