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Performance of 'Gisela' cherry rootstocks in the northeastern United States

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Authors: T.L. Robinson, R.L. Andersen, S.A. Hoying
Issue: 99V-1 (101-111)
Topic: Plant Production
Keywords: Cherry, Prunus avium, rootstock, yield, fruit size, fruit soluble solids, dwarfing

Five high density cherry training systems on three rootstocks were compared with the traditional low density central leader system in a large replicated field trial at Geneva, New York State, United States. After the first 4 years trees on 'Gisela 6' and 'Gisela 12' rootstocks have had 7 to 11 times greater production than trees on a standard rootstock MxM.2 when averaged over all 6 training systems. Fruit from trees on 'Gisela 12' was smaller and had lower soluble solids than the other 2 stocks indicating that trees on this rootstock over-cropped in 2002. Yields among systems largely reflected planting density. The Zahn system had the highest tree density and the highest yield per hectare while the traditional Central Leader system had the lowest yield and the lowest tree density. The Zahn system had the smallest fruit size and the lowest fruit soluble solids indicating that trees trained to Zahn over-cropped in 2002. The Vogel system had the second highest yield but had the best fruit size and soluble solids indicating, that it was not over-cropped. Although results are preliminary, it appears that high density planting systems combined with new precocious rootstocks, can give much higher yields of excellent quality fruit in the first 4 years than the traditional Central Leader system.

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