Musacchi et al. - Innovation of sweet cherry cultivation

Stefano Musacchi*, Federico Gagliardi e Sara Serra
Dipartimento Colture Arboree, Università di Bologna

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Key words: cultivar, breeding, training systems, rootstock.

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Abstract

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In the last few years, the sweet cherry cultivation (Prunus avium) has had many innovations, both on the management technique and plant breeding. Recently, the breeding improvement of cultivars and rootstocks has achieved important results. Among the varieties, it should be mentioned that many breeding programs around the world obtained best performing varieties in terms of production and quality. Among the breeding programs we can mention the results obtained in Canada and USA. For rootstocks, the spread of semi-dwarfing or dwarfing genotypes, able to reduce the final dimension of the tree, is profoundly modifying the orchard design. In fact, the use of these rootstocks, such as those belonging to the German series GiSelA® allowed to increase the planting density and therefore to realize systems with more than 5,000 trees per hectare. The dwarfing rootstocks, thanks to the reduction of the tree size allow to perform many cultivation operations by ground reducing the use of platforms for harvest and pruning. The high density planting for cherry requires the development of suitable training systems. Among the most important training systems under testing we can mention: spindle, V system, solaxe and super slender axis (SSA). The V system is distinguished by having twowalls- productive plants are inclined alternately towards one or to the other side of the row. Trees grown with the spindle system have a cone shape and are constituted by a central axis on which 3-4 permanent basal branches are inserted. The bearing formations are brought on basal branches or inserted directly on the axis. The super slender axis (SSA) is an extremism. In fact, these plants are constituted by a central axis covered by short branches which are periodically shortened in order to obtain new shoots. The solaxe was developed in France and was initially released for the cultivation of apple. Trees are formed with a central axis in which long side branches fit.

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