Cherry Fruit Cultivation Guide:
Introduction of Cherry Fruit:- Botanically, the cherry fruit is a “drupe” (stone fruit), this fruit belongs to many plants of the genus prunus and packed with healthy nutrients and excellent antioxidants. Basically, cherries are native to Europe and Asia regions. Cherries are cultivated all over the world and the top 3 producers of cherry are Turkey, USA and Iran. India occupies as 26 th producer in the list. As this fruit requires cold conditions, north east India is best suited for its cultivation. Due to higher return in cherry fruit cultivation, cherry fruit cultivation is gaining popularity in temperate regions of the country.
Health Benefits of Cherry Fruit:- Below are the some of the health benefits of Cherry Fruit.
- Cherries are a good source of vitamin ‘C’ & fiber
- Cherries help in reducing inflammation.
- Cherries prevent muscle damage.
- Cherries may improve brain function.
- Cherries may ease arthritis pain.
- Cherries may help you sleep better.
- Cherries may slow the aging of skin
- Cherries reduce the risk of heart stroke.
- Cherries may prevent colon cancer.
- Cherries may protect from diabetes.
Cherry Fruit Local Names in India:- Cheree, Cherry (Hindi), Cherry (Telugu), Cherrypazham (Malayalam), சேலாப்பழம் (Tamil).
Major Types/Varieties of Cherry Fruit in India:- There are more than 100 varieties of sweet cherries that are divided into Bigarreau and Heart groups.
- Bigarreau Group: Under this group, cherries are round in shape and generally the fruit colour varies from dark to light red. The promising hybrid varieties in this group are lapins, summit, sue, sam, sunbrust, and stella.
- Heart Group: Under this group, cherry fruits are in heart shape with tender flesh. Fruit colour varied from darkish red to light coloured reddish.
Recommended Varieties in India:
- Himachal Pradesh: White Heart, Stella, Lambert, Pink Early, Napoleon White, Black Tartarian, Van, Early Rivers and Black Republican.
- Jammu and Kashmir: Bigarreau Noir Gross, Guigne Noir Hative, Early Purple Black Heart, Guigne Pour ova Precece, Black Heart, Bigarreau Napoleon and Guigne Pour ova Precece.
- Uttar Pradesh: Governor’s Wood, Bedford Prolific and Black Heart.
Climate Requirement in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- As we all know that cherry grows well in cold climatic conditions, it requires about 1200 hr to 1500 hr chilling period during winter season. Cherry fruits are grown successfully at the height of 2500 meters above sea level. In India, cherry commercial cultivation is carried in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh due to suitable climate. An annual rainfall of 100 to 125 cm is required for its growth. Spring frost should be avoided as the cherry blossom is sensitive to frost.
Soil Requirement for Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- For better growth and high yield if cherries, Proper soil should be selected. The cherry tree requires the deep sandy loam soil with the pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. A well drained fertile soil with moisture holding capacity is best for cherry cultivation. As the cherry trees are sensitive to water stagnation, make sure to have internal well drainage in the soil. Avoid heavy soils in cherry fruit cultivation.
Propagation in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- Propagation in cherry fruit cultivation is done through seeds or by root cuttings. Cherry plants are propagated mainly through grafting method.
Seedling Rootstock in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- In India, seedling of bird cherry, paja, mazzard & mahaleb are used to raise the sweet cherry plants. Usually seeds require chilling treatment for germination, but paja seeds don’t require any chilling treatment. Mazzard and mahaleb seeds require stratification. Generally, seeds of cherry are extracted from fully ripen fruits. These seeds should be dried and stored in a cool place. Seeds of cherries should be soaked in 500 ppm GA3 for about 1day. After this, place the seeds between the sand layers for about 3 to 4 months in case of mahaleb type (for mazzard type, it requires 4 to 5 months) @ 2°C -4°C for stratification. Moisture should be maintained during stratification. As soon as root comes out, this seedling rootstock should be transplanted to the nursery beds. Pits in nursery beds should be 6 cm in deep and 15 cm apart with 25 cm row-to-row distance. The beds in nursery should be mulched with 15 cm thick hay to retain the moisture content in the soil. These beds should be irrigated lightly and remove the mulch once the seedlings attain the height of 6 cm height. Irrigate the beds twice a week and make sure have weed free beds.
Clonal Rootstock in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- Colt and Mazzard F 12/1 clonal rootstocks are commercially preferred for raising the cherry trees In the state of Himachal Pradesh. Colt rootstock is easy-to-root & can be multiplied through cuttings. 40 cm length of hardwood cuttings with pencil thickness should be taken in Feb. Pre treatment of cuttings should be done with IBA (2,550ppm) for 10-12 seconds. These cuttings should be planted in nursery beds for rooting. Rooted cuttings of cherry tree should be lined out in Dec & grafted with scion variety in Mar. Tongue grafting is recommended during Feb-Mar. For grafting, the scion wood should be collected during winter time when the cherry buds are dormant. Scion wood should be packed in moss grass & then should be wrapped in moist gunny bags. Scion wood bundles should be stored at 2°C -4°C till the use of grafting.
Land Preparation and Planting in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- In India, the ideal planting time for cherry is Dec to Jan and this fruit cultivation carried mainly on hilly areas on sloppy lands. Usually contour or terrace system is practiced. However, square system is practiced in valley regions. The spacing of plants depends on the rootstock used. However, a spacing of 6 x 6 meter is preferred for plants raised in seedlings. Land should be given couple of ploughings to make the soil fine tilth and weed free.
Pits size of 1 x 1 x 1m should be dug and filled with a mixture of 45 kg of well rotten farm yard manure (FMY) and 1/2 kg of super phosphate just 4 weeks before planting. Pits should be filled 15 cm above the ground level.
Irrigation in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- In India, cherries are grown under rain-fed conditions. However, in areas where annual rainfall is less and uneven distribution of rain is expected, cherry plants are required to irrigate frequently to maintain the moisture. Especially at the time fruit development, cherry trees need to be irrigated at weekly interval for better fruit quality and size. Irrigation should be carried in hot weather climatic conditions (Apr to May). Drip irrigation can be adopted as best water management practice.
Weed Control in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- In cherry fruit cultivation, the basin should be kept clean by hand weeding or using chemical weedicides. Diuron 4 kg/ha can be applied pre-emergence controller and Paraquat (0.5%) can be applied to control the post-emergence growth of the weeds. It may need multiple applications to control the weed growth for 5 to 6 months. Mulching also effectively controls the weed growth. Any green manuring crops can be grown to improve the soil fertility.
Training & Pruning in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- Generally, cherry tree requires “modified leader system” as training system. in this system, plants should be headed back to 70-80 cm at the time of planting. The central leader should be retained and 3 to 5 branches (wide angled), which are at 25 cm apart are selected for the first pruning. After 3 to 4 years, central leader should be headed back and allowed the lateral branches to grow. Cherry fruit bearing trees require some kind of pruning to keep the center of the tree open. Dead and diseased and intercrossing branches should be removed as part of the pruning.
Manures and Fertilizers in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- Cherry plants require good organic and in organic fertilizers for quality fruit set. The following is the manures and fertilizers schedule for sweet cherry cultivation.
|Tree Age (Years)||FMY (farmyard manure in kg’s)||Calcium ammonium nitrate(grams)||Super phosphate (grams)||Muriate of potash (grams)|
Harvesting in Cherry Fruit Cultivation:- Determining the right harvesting time is crucial in cherry fruit cultivation. The yield and quality of fruits are highly effected by stage of maturity at fruits are harvested. Color and taste is the best method to pick the fruits in right time.
Yield of Cherry Fruit:- Yield depends on the fertility of the soil, rootstock used, plant density and finally on farm management practices. An average of 20 kg cherries per tree can be obtained.
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