During 2000 and 2007, rootstocks of different vigor have been tested in a high density sweet cherry orchard with 'Vera '® and 'Axel'® cultivars at 4 x 2 meter row and plant distance. Trees are trained to Hungarian Spindle with permanent basal branches; in the alley way naturally grown grass is managed by mowing. The first considerable fruitin...g was in 2004. Every year we measured trunk and canopy parameters of the trees, productivity and fruit size. Our conclusion is that the rootstocks considerably affected the growth, precocity, as well as tree and orchard productivity, fruit weight of sweet cherry cultivars, but these rootstock effects are modified by cultivars, except for growth vigor. According to our results Cema, SL 64, and Bogdany are vigorous rootstocks, moderate vigorous are MaxMa 97, Pi-Ku I , and Tabel® Edabriz, Gisela® 5 and Prob are dwarfing rootstocks. Besides the precocious Gisela® 5 also mahaleb rootstocks CEMA, Bogdany and SL 64 showed considerable precocity, which can be explained by the larger bearing surface to the time of turning to bearing, and a similar or relative large density of burse shoots on fruiting branches. Cumulative yield of 'Axel'® was the highest on Bogdany and on Cerna, contrary to Gisela® 5, which produced only 50% of the previous ones. Cumulative yield of 'Vera'® was the highest on SL 64, and no significant difference was found, compared to trees on rootstocks Cema, Bogdany and Pi-Ku I . Cumulative yield production of trees was smaller on Gisela® 5, Prob, Max Ma 97 and Tabel® Edabriz rootstocks. Corresponding to the literature data of yield efficiency calculated on TCSA basis was highest on Gisela® 5 rootstock. but the efficiency calculated on canopy volume of 'Axel•® trees was similarly high on CEMA and Bogdany, and that of 'Vera'® trees relatively high on CEMA, Bogdany, SL 64 and PiKu I rootstocks. When calculating orchard efficiency al spacing 4 x 2 meters (1250 tree/ha), we received highest yield values on Bogdany, CEMA, SL 64, and PiKu I rootstocks, with large fruit weight. Rootstocks also affect fruit weight. We measured the largest fruit weight on trees on Bogdany.
The first nine years' results of sweet cherry rootstock trial from Hungary are presented with the aim to select efficient rootstocks for the local ecological conditions. The trials were established in 1989 with 'Van' and 'Germersdorfi óriás' cultivars on the following rootstocks: mahaleb Sainte Lucie 64, Colt, MxM 14, MxM 97. All the trees we...re headed at 80 cm and trained to a modified Brunner-spindle system. Tree size and yield was measured every year, and the cumulative yield efficiency was calculated.
Based upon the results, mahaleb cherry SL 64 is a vigorous rootstock with good compatibility and productivity. In comparison to SL 64. the trunk cross-sectional area and canopy spread of the 'Van' trees decreased by 10-15% on rootstock Colt, while the trees of 'Germersdorfi orias' on Colt roostock grew even larger than on SL 64. Considerable 30-40 % reduction of tree size was achieved on trees grafted on M x M hybrids. Trees of `Germersdorfi óriás' showed a similar tendency without significant differences. The cumulative yield efficiency of `Van' trees after nine years was highest on rootstock MxM 14, followed by Sainte Lucie 64. Trees on Colt and MxM 97 rootstocks showed low productivity. `Germersdorfi óriás' produced the highest cumulative yield efficiency on SL 64, followed by MxM 14 and Colt and last MxM 97. Biennial bearing index of heavy cropping 'Van' trees was smaller than that of `Germersdorfi óriás'. The trees of 'Van' on MxM 97 showed higher biennial bearing index, while 'Germersdorfi orias' on different rootstocks showed similar tendency, but without significant differences.
MxM 14 and MxM 97 rootstocks reduced the crotch angle of the shoots on both sweet cherry varieties which is disadvantegous to spindle training. Slight suckering (1-3/year) of the rootstocks Colt, MxM 14 and MxM 97 were observed during the first few years.