Labor efficiency of three common sweet cherry training systems in Oregon, USA
The cost of harvest is the highest single expenditure incurred by cherry growers in Oregon. In addition, training and pruning costs add significantly to the total cost of production. In the last decade labor shortages during cherry harvest have become a common occurrence in Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Growers are therefore looking for ways of reducing their labor requirements and managing and harvesting fruit more efficiently. Three commonly grown training systems, a multi-leader bush (KGB), a slender spindle (Vogel Central Leader) and a tri-axe (Steep Leader), were evaluated for labor efficiency in establishment, maintenance and harvest. In the second year the Vogel Central Leader took four times longer to train than the KGB but by the fourth year the labor input for all systems was similar. At maturity, the Vogel Central Leader at 840 trees ha-1 was the fastest to prune, while the high density KGB at the same density took as much time to prune as low density (225 trees ha-1) full size Steep Leader trees on 'Mazzard' rootstock. Harvest efficiency was also examined.
Long, L.E., Kaiser, C. and Brewer, L.J. (2017). Labor efficiency of three common sweet cherry training systems in Oregon, USA. Acta Hortic. 1161, 149-152
Prunus avium, harvest, rootstocks, management