Research Report: High-Density Planting Systems And Rootstocks For Sweet Cherries In The Northeast.

PROJECT LEADER: TERENCE ROBINSON

Published on: April 15

Terence Robinson                                                                                          
635 W. North Street                                                                                    
Dept. of Horticulture                                                                                
Cornell AgriTech, Cornell University                                                    
Geneva, NY 14456

Introduction

Dwarfing cherry rootstocks have allowed new possibilities for developing high-density sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) orchards with smaller trees that are more precocious and productive and can either be covered with rain exclusion shelters or high tunnels to prevent rain cracking (Lang, 2005; Robinson et al., 2004). Several high-density training systems have been developed for sweet cherries, giving fruit growers many options for choosing a planting density, rootstock and training protocol. The objective of this project was to compare high-density production systems on both standard and dwarfing rootstocks for both self-fertile and self-infertile sweet cherries and determine the effect of training system and rootstock on yield, fruit size, fruit quality and crop value.

2002 Cherry Systems and Rootstock Trial (Lapins, Regina):

A field trial was planted in May 2002, at Geneva, New York with ‘Lapins’ and ‘Regina’ on Gi.5, Gi.6, Gi.12 and Mazzard seedling rootstocks. Each variety/rootstock combination was planted in four training systems: Quad Axis-598 trees/ha, Spanish Bush-748 trees/ha, Slender Spindle-748 trees/ha, and Vertical Axis-997 trees/ha.

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