Cherry is a very popular tree in Polish orchards. What is worth knowing about its cultivation?
Small, maroon and very sweet – such are cherries. Varieties of this tree are divided mainly on the basis of fruiting period. Earlier varieties bear fruit already in June. In Poland the best varieties are those, which bloom late and are hardy.
When choosing cherries for the garden, it is worth buying two trees of the same species or trees, which can pollinate each other. The Regina and Hedelfin varieties can pollinate trees of any other variety.
Early varieties of sweet cherries bear fruit already in June. This allows you to enjoy the taste of these tasty fruits. The most popular early variety is Rivan, which is very frost resistant and can be grown in regions with harsh winters.
Another popular cherry variety is Pale Pink, which is an old very prolific variety. It is resistant to difficult weather conditions
A well-known variety that bears fruit in late June and early July is Sam. This variety has high resistance to frost and fungal diseases. It has also very big and tasty fruits
Late and popular varieties of sweet cherries are Regina and Karina. Both varieties ripen in the middle of July. In July ripens fruits of Kordia variety, which are very juicy and sweet. This variety is recommended for regions with warmer winters because it is very sensitive to frost.
Another July cherry variety is the not very popular Van, which has large and tasty fruits. The characteristic feature of this variety is the slightly flattened fruit. This tree is very resistant to frost, it will survive even a harsh winter.
Little popular, but very tasty varieties of cherries are:
Lapins – a self-pollinating variety bred in Canada. Fruits ripens in the middle of July;
Krupnopłodna – variety bred in Ukraine. It grows very fast;
Valeska – variety bred in Germany. It has got big tasty fruits. Resistant to frost and diseases;
Dönissena Yellow – early variety bred in Germany. It has got small tasty yellow fruits. Resistant to frost
Cherries, like all other fruit trees, can be purchased in three variants: with a bare root, baled or in containers (very rare such specimens). For the garden it is worth to buy ballooned trees or trees in containers – they do not have inhibited vegetation, so they take root faster.
Cherries can be planted in early spring or in autumn.Bare-root cuttingsshould be left for spring planting. However, this should be done very early, before the leaves appear, then there is the best chance that the tree will take hold.
Before planting, dig a hole as deep as the tree grew in the nursery. The spacing between the trees should be 3-4 m. Immediately after planting they should be watered with about 5 l of water. The bare-root cuttings should be put into a container with water 12 hours before planting.
Sweet cherry has very high requirements of the site. It requires fertile soil, rich in nutrients. If it is not so, it should be properly enriched by adding compost or compound fertilizer.
The cherry tree needs a sunny position. Because of the delicacy of the branches the tree should be planted in a quiet place
Sweet cherry is one of the few trees, which do not need special care. It can easily bear fruit without fertilizing, but it needs regular pruning.
The first pruning of sweet cherries should take place right after planting. If the seedling is high and strongly branched, it should be shortened to the height of 80 cm. The side shoots should be shortened by 1/3 of their length. Later, mainly the side shoots are pruned, in order to limit the side growth of the tree.
The best time for cutting cherries is late summer, after the harvest is finished. Then the tree is less exposed to bark diseases.
Most cherry diseases are caused by fungal pathogens. One of the most popular fungal diseases is moniliosis, or brown rot of stone trees. The first symptoms of this disease are visible in spring during the flowering period – flowers begin to brown and dry up, and thus do not give any fruit.
The second very dangerous disease is the blotch disease of stone trees. The characteristic symptom of this fungal disease is the appearance of small but very numerous spots, which are initially green, and with time they become brown. This fungus very quickly attacks the entire tree, thus its fruit is no longer suitable for consumption. The only way to fight it is to cut off infected shoots.
A serious pest of sweet cherries is the insect called cherry borer. Adult insects do not do any damage, but larvae hatch from the eggs they lay on the fruit
Unfortunately, the only ecological way is to remove infected shoots. The most effective protection against fungal disease, is chemical spraying, but it should be done in early spring before flowering. The treatment should be repeated when the fruits start to set on the tree. It is worth choosing environmentally safe preparations.