The Influence of Rootstock on the Growth and Fructification of Cherry Cultivars in a High Density Cultivation System
Keywords:rootstock; vegetative growth; fruiting; yield; trunk cross-sectional area
The influence of rootstock on the growth and fruiting of three sweet cherry cultivars (‘Bigarreau Burlat’, ‘Kordia’, ‘Regina’) was studied under the pedoclimatic conditions of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, in 2014-2016. The trees were grafted on Gisela 5 rootstock, trained as Zahn Spindle and the orchard had a density of 1666 trees/ha. Roots were cut twice, at 50 cm distance from the trunk, in an angle of 45° and 30 cm depth, as followed: first time, to the autumn, in fall leaves time, on one side of the row and the second time, in spring, at blooming time, at the other side of the row. The rootstocks influenced height of the trees, the shoot growth, the number of long and fruiting branches, trunk cross sectional area yield and precocity, with differences statistically assured. The longest shoots, in mean values, gave the variant with cultivars grafted on Mahaleb rootstock (111.7 cm). ‘Gisela 5’ rootstock decreases the average length of annual growth (93.3 cm). Trees grafted on Mahaleb formed more long fruiting branches and fewer short fruiting branches than those grafted on ‘Gisela 5’. The biggest average trunks cross sectional area were obtained for the cultivars grafted on Mahaleb (62.1 cm2). Also, rootstocks influenced the height of the trees. The cumulative yield was almost double in variants where the trees were grafted on ‘Gisela 5’ (23.2 kg/tree), compared to the variants where the trees were grafted on Mahaleb (13.1 kg/tree).
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