G.H. Neilsen, D. Neilsen, F. Kappel, P. Toivonen
'Lapins' sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) on Gisela 5 rootstock was planted in April 1998 at a spacing of 4 m (within row) x 4.5 m (between rows). Commencing the year of planting, eight irrigation/nutrition treatments were established with 6 replicates in a randomized complete block design. Treatments included three rates (42, 84 and 168 mg/L) of fertigated N applied 8 weeks post full bloom as Ca(NO3)2; 84 mg/L of fertigated N plus P fertigated in early spring or with K fertigated in June; 75 kg/ha of N broadcast in early spring; 75 kg/ha of N broadcast in early spring followed with 84 mg/L of fertigated N applied postharvest in August , or 84 mg/L of N drip-fertigated 8 weeks post-full bloom. Except for the final (drip-fertigated) treatment, irrigation was applied via sprinkler and scheduled to meet evaporative demand based on an electronic atmometer. In the first 3 growing seasons, annual measurements were made of tree vigor and leaf nutrient concentration, plus fruit yield and quality after fruiting commenced.
The 1999 crop consisted of a few fruit on most trees, while the 2000 crop was small, ranging from 1.7 to 3.6 kg/tree (0.9 to 2.0 mt/ha) for the various treatments. By 2000, drip-fertigated trees were smaller than sprinkler-fertigated trees. Over the season, water applications through drip-emitters was less than 25% of volumes applied via sprinkler, resulting in a laterally restricted wetted soil volume in mid-summer. Leaf N concentration generally increased linearly with rate of fertigated N. Lowest leaf N concentration was observed for drip-fertigated trees by the third season, although fruit yield was good for this treatment. Leaf P and K concentration was affected more by N-fertigation rate than via fertigation of the respective nutrients. In general, fruit quality, including the number of rain- induced cracks, has been affected little by nutritional treatments. Fruit size has been large, averaging about 12 g for all treatments in 2000.
Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., Kappel, F. and Toivonen, P. (2005). NUTRIENT AND WATER MANAGEMENT OF HIGH DENSITY SWEET CHERRY. Acta Hortic. 667, 337-344
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.667.48
Prunus avium, drip-irrigation, sprinklers, Gisela 5, leaf nutrition, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, fertigation, vigor, yield

Acta Horticulturae