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Sweet cherry cultivar testing in Slovenia

Usenik, V., Fatj, N.
Acta horticulturae 2019 no.1235 pp. 265-270
Drosophila suzukii, Prunus avium, climate change, crop production, cultivars, fruit quality, fruits, harvest date, pests, ripening, rootstocks, spring, tree growth, vegetative growth, weather, Slovenia
Vegetative growth, productivity and fruit quality of eleven sweet cherry cultivars (‘Early Bigi’, ‘Summertime’, ‘Sweet Early’, ‘Merchant’, ‘Vigred’, ‘Grace Star’, ‘Techlovan’, ‘Black Star’, ‘Staccato’ with ‘Biggareau Burlat’ [‘Burlat’] and ‘Kordia’ as standards) were evaluated. Trees on ‘Gisela 5’ rootstock were planted in spring 2008 in Bilje, Slovenia (Europe). The productivity of the cultivars, which ripen from the 1st to 7th week of the harvest season, was assessed for 6 production years. Tree growth after eight years of investigation was most vigorous in ‘Grace Star’ and ‘Black Star’ and weakest in ‘Summertime’. Cumulative yield and yield efficiency were significantly highest in ‘Grace Star’ and ‘Black Star’ (midseason cultivars) and lowest in the very late ‘Staccato’. The productivity of early cultivars was reduced in some years due to unfavourable weather conditions in the period before or during ripening. Reduced yields of late cultivars were primarily due to damage caused by Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura). ‘Sweet Early’ was more productive than ‘Burlat’. ‘Burlat’ had the lowest average fruit weight. The cultivars will be discussed in relation to the less favourable conditions for sweet cherry production in Slovenia due to climatic change, new pests and the suitability of rootstock ‘Gisela 5’.