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Cherry Cultivation: Coccomycosis Control, Cherry Blossom Pollination, Cherry Pruning
Cherry Cultivation: Coccomycosis Control, Cherry Blossom Pollination, Cherry Pruning

Video: Cherry Cultivation: Coccomycosis Control, Cherry Blossom Pollination, Cherry Pruning

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Video: Cherry Pollination 2023, February

With a dream of a cherry orchard. Part 1


Even the Romans knew the so-called "bird" cherry, the predecessor of our today's cherries. And the Roman commander Lucullus brought a cultivated form of cherry from the Black Sea coast to Italy. It was from there that it spread throughout Europe, and thanks to the help of birds, the cherry got to almost all corners of the world suitable for it from the point of view of climatic conditions.

In Russia, cherries have enjoyed great attention since ancient times. Since the 18th century, it has been found in almost all gardens. And until the last moment in terms of the occupied area, the cherry was in second place after the apple tree. The popularity of cherries was due to their rather early ripening and good nutritional qualities of fruits and products of its processing, high productivity in favorable years and the unusual decorativeness of the plant, especially during flowering.

Cherries are good both fresh and processed: in jams, compotes, jam, liqueurs, juices, marmalades, etc.

And more recently, cherry was widespread in our Ural gardens. However, the insidious coccomycosis brought to naught all the efforts of the Ural gardeners to plant and grow such a tasty and healthy crop. And the recent years, too favorable for the progression of the disease, have further exacerbated the situation.

Initially, the disease led to the fact that gardeners were forced to remove unripe cherries in order to have time to collect them before they turn black. There was little pleasant in this, tk. cherries must necessarily ripen on the tree, because only in this case they have their own unusual taste. Further more. The disease affected not only the leaves and fruits, but also the branches, the result was the gradual, but inevitable death of trees.

And today in the Urals you can hardly find cherries. In all likelihood, the picture should be similar in other regions. And this is all the more sad, because the berry assortment in our northern latitudes is small, and cherries have served as a great help. There is no need to talk about its usefulness, because it has long been used for a fairly wide range of diseases, and just as a general tonic.

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Fight against cherry cocomycosis

And yet - to plant or not to plant?


However, let's return to the topic of interest to us, namely the incurable cherry disease - coccomycosis. Considering that, according to all official data, today there are no completely resistant (in the literature, the term "partial resistance in a given climatic zone") to this disease of cherry varieties, and the disease literally leads to lightning-fast death of cherry plantations, it turns out that there is a special meaning planting cherries in the garden is not.

Of course, since 1971, active research has been underway to create new varieties of it resistant to coccomycosis, in particular, at the All-Russian Research Institute for Breeding Fruit Crops. And breeders have certain successes today, but it will take more than a decade before new, more resistant cherry hybrids turn into varieties and become available to ordinary gardeners. Although elite seedlings of cherries, partially resistant to coccomycosis, have already been obtained jointly at the All-Russian Research Institute of Selection of Fruit Crops and Oryol State University.

The degree of defeat by coccomycosis of the obtained selective forms is more than two times lower than that of commonly grown trees. The frost resistance of the obtained elite forms also exceeds the initial frost resistance, for example, of the same Vladimir cherry. Good taste. Probably, there is every reason to believe that varieties suitable for our Urals will nevertheless appear, only, apparently, not yet, but it's a pity. Therefore, for the near future, we will probably have to be content with all the same very relatively resistant varieties.

According to classical guidelines, to combat the disease, multiple (5-6 times per season) spraying of cherries with a Bordeaux mixture is required. There are recommendations for combating coccomycosis to carry out double spraying of cherries with Topaz and weekly sprays with a mixture of Rizoplan bacterial preparation with milk.

I can honestly say that I tried all these options, moreover, for ten years. And completely exhausted by these "savage" spraying (after all, with such a formulation of the question, you will only run around the cherries), by the way, giving a very weak result, she decided to cut down all the cherry bushes. I left only two - I could not go to the felling of the most beloved from childhood Vladimir cherry (many years ago I brought it from my homeland - Yaroslavl), for which I left one of the most disease-resistant Ural varieties as a pollinator.

Just in case, I will explain - in the Urals, the Vladimir cherry, which is ubiquitous in the European part of Russia, is not grown (climatic conditions are too harsh), but in my garden it has been growing for three decades and even with coccomycosis.

After that, at her own peril and risk, she completely changed the approach to curbing the insidious disease. I canceled all classic spraying, except for the first early spring 3% Bordeaux mixture, because it does not cause much trouble, because all the same trees and shrubs have to be processed in early spring with this composition, so that there is more bush - less bush - no difference.

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In early spring, I carried out a radical pruning of cherry bushes, without any pity, cutting out even weakly damaged branches. And, relying on her successful experience of using stimulants on vegetables, she began the struggle from the other side. At the same time, she reasoned as follows: if stimulants are aimed at "improving the mood" of plants (production or introduction of special hormones), and everyone knows very well that with a good mood you can defeat (or almost defeat) any disease, then stimulants should help cherries (well certainly won't hurt).

Spraying was carried out weekly from the moment of active flowering or the beginning of leaf blooming, alternating stimulants "Epin" and "Silk". It was not difficult, because according to exactly the same program, I spray all heat-loving vegetables (nightshade and melons), I just used a little more solution. In parallel with this, I tried to create the most favorable conditions for the cherries in terms of nutrition and growth (more on this below).

And the results were not long in coming. In the same season, cherries for the first time in recent years gave extraordinary growths of strong and beautiful branches (I have not seen such branches on my bushes for a long time). But ahead, as usual, was a rainy August and a wet autumn. And the disease, of course, came, but the damage from it was not so great. True, with full confidence I was able to state this fact only two years later, when the cherries finally bloomed profusely again. And at the same time, both bushes still looked magnificent and beautiful, without numerous branches exposed as a result of the disease. And then I already understood for sure that I had found the only way, adhering to which you can get quite good harvests of this crop.

True, it is not worth saying that the disease now has no power over my cherries. Of course not. And it is worth skipping a couple of sprays, the leaf will begin to turn yellow and fall off, and the berries will turn black. But if you act according to my program, then you can get ahead of the disease, harvesting before the start of its aggression, and ensure the formation of healthy branches on which a sufficient number of flower buds will be laid. And with this approach, cherries can still be grown, although, of course, there can be no talk of cherry orchards - it is too laborious.

It is worth noting that spraying with stimulants has become the main ridge of the fight against the disease. But this is by no means the only necessary measure. Measures to reduce the degree of damage to cherries by coccomycosis:

  • regular and careful pruning of all branches affected by the disease; you do not need to feel sorry for the branches - having saved a few sick, you will deal a serious blow to the rest;
  • early spring spraying of plants with 3% Bordeaux liquid;
  • weekly spraying of plants with growth stimulants ("Epin" and "Silk"), starting from the moment of active flowering or leaf opening and ending with the stage of berry picking; 4-5 times during the growing season spraying with the immunomodulator "Immunocytofit" to increase the immunity of plants;
  • careful care of the bark; timely treatment of the slightest wounds and an increased fight against gum flow, because problems with the bark lead to a significant weakening of plants, which, in turn, automatically leads to their greater susceptibility to any diseases;
  • reinforced feeding, because a "hungry" plant will get sick much faster than a "full" one;
  • timely control of pests, among which cherry aphid is the most widespread among us; at the same time, it must be remembered that such a seemingly harmless aphid can greatly weaken the plant, and this will already be an open road to the active spread of infection;
  • taking all possible measures that would ensure the ripening of the bark on all branches and trunk by autumn, and, consequently, good preparation for an unfavorable winter once again, and this directly depends on the characteristics of cherry nutrition;
  • taking measures to reduce the snow cover (which is usually too large for cherries), in order to prevent the possibility of winter bark and roots heating.

To pollinate the cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms

It's no secret that cherries do not yield good harvests every year. Although at the same time it can bloom perfectly, but for some reason the flowers are not pollinated. In general, there are more than enough problems with pollination of cherries, even if there were no frosts and the necessary pollinating varieties are available.

I remembered that in our garden near Yaroslavl (and cherries there are not the same as in the Urals, and cherry orchards during my childhood were not at all uncommon), the volume of the harvest directly depended on the direction of the wind during cherry blossom. When the wind blew from the west, the whole Vladimir cherry was strewn with fruits, because its best pollinator, Turgenevka, grew on the other side. But in the opposite situation - the wind from the east - there were very few fruits, because the next bushes of the same Vladimir cherry grew from this side.

Therefore, since the appearance of fruit formation stimulants on the market, I, taught by many years of bitter experience, realized that cherry pollination should in no case be left to chance. True, in the recommendations for the drugs available in those years (first the Gibbersib drug, then the Ovary drug) it was not at all said that they can be used for trees and shrubs. But I calmly applied them to cherries, and the result was good.

Cherries were well pollinated, even if the flowering moments of individual bushes did not coincide with each other. Now everything is even simpler - a new drug, "Bud", which gives excellent results in terms of pollination, has appeared.

Separately about pruning cherries

It should be noted that pruning cherries is much more time consuming than pruning an apple tree, for example. On the one hand, this is explained by the peculiarities of the growth and development of its branches, and on the other, by the damage from the same coccomycosis. But with proper pruning of cherries, its yield increases significantly.

The main task of pruning and shaping the crown is to achieve perfectly leafy, healthy and well-lit branches. In other words, you need to firmly say "no" to all sick, bare, thickening and weak cherry branches.

In our Ural conditions, cherries are pruned in most cases in late spring or even early summer, because it is very often impossible to unambiguously distinguish between living and dying branches before bud break, although partial pruning can be done in late autumn or early winter. At this point, you can safely remove obviously weak and thickening branches.

Cherry branches become bare, that is, they stop branching, if only simple flower buds are laid on its annual growths. This phenomenon is observed if the tree begins to give weak annual growth, since usually most cherry varieties have only one apical growth bud on the shoot shorter than 20 cm, and the lateral buds are all floral. Strongly promotes exposure of branches and coccomycosis.

With the onset of strong bare branches, the yield of cherries decreases rapidly, and it begins to bear fruit less regularly. Exposure weakens the growth of the tree, since the path of movement of nutrients is lengthened, and a significant amount of them is spent on maintaining the life of unproductive bare wood. As a result, both the winter hardiness of the tree and its resistance to diseases are reduced.

The only way to protect branches from early and rapid exposure is to maintain a sufficiently strong growth of shoots by leaving and pruning. On strong shoots, in addition to flower buds, there are always growing lateral buds, which means that the tree does not threaten the exposure of the shoots in this case.

What should be the growth rates of a cherry in order for it to bear fruit well?

In order for the cherry tree to retain good yields and branch well for a long period, it is necessary to maintain growth of skeletal branches about 30-40 cm long with care and pruning, so that a large number of flower buds form on their shoots - a guarantee of next year's harvest.

To do this, with age, when the growths at the ends of the branches begin to weaken and branching stops, and the branches become bare, you should make a slight rejuvenation on 2-3-year-old wood. For this, the bare ends of the branches are cut off to the point where branching stops - to the first (counting from the top of the branch) lateral branch.

At the same time, the crown is strongly thinned out. It is imperative to cut out all thickening branches in the inner part of the crown. They are of no value, since flower buds do not form on them in the shade. In the peripheral part of the crown, where the lighting is more favorable, some of the branches are cut out, and the remaining ones are forced to grow in different directions (mainly outward) by pruning above the lateral branches. It is important that after trimming, light can freely penetrate into the inner parts of the crown.

Read the rest of the article: Why are there many exposed branches on a cherry, and how to avoid it?

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