Intensive sweet cherry production: potential, "bottlenecks", perspectives

K.S. Koumanov, I.N. Tsareva
Today it is generally agreed that the economical sweet cherry production can be improved solely by its intensification, which means smaller trees, denser orchards, precocious fruiting, higher yields, improved fruit quality and reduced expenditures for labor, water, mineral nutrients, and agrochemicals. The dwarfing and productive rootstocks are essential for intensification. However, the large-scale adoption of these rootstocks is impeded by the widespread opinion that they do not perform well in relatively dry conditions, on poor and light soils: cherry trees tend to overset, become stunted and even die. The objective of the present paper is to examine this opinion. The perusal of the available literature cogently shows that poor horticultural results come after disregarding the extremely high requirements concerning pruning, water regime and mineral nutrition of intensively grown trees. Modern equipment, high and multivalent grower qualifications and strict execution of each operation are imperative. Microirrigation and fertigation are indispensable elements of intensive sweet cherry production. Such technology requires that growers reconsider familiar irrigation and fertilization regimes according to the ecological conditions, the stages of the trees' development, and the scion/rootstock combination. In order to scrutinize all elements of such precise agricultural technology, research should be carried out by large teams of scientists with diverse, complementary expertise.
Koumanov, K.S. and Tsareva, I.N. (2017). Intensive sweet cherry production: potential, "bottlenecks", perspectives. Acta Hortic. 1161, 103-110
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1161.18
dwarfing rootstocks, stunted trees, pruning, microirrigation, fertigation, research imperatives

Acta Horticulturae