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Cracking susceptibility evaluation of some stone fruit species (Sour cherries – Prunus cerasus L.; Sweet cherries – Prunus avium and European plums – Prunus domestica L.) grown in Hungary
Published April 22, 2014

The rain induced fruit cracking is a big, serious problem especially for sweet cherry growers but in some year growers of other stone fruit species had also problem with fruit cracking caused by too much and heavy rainfalls in the ripening and harvesting season. Cracked stone fruits can be easily infected by different diseases like Monillinia s...p. Cracked and infected fruits can not be transported for long distance and using for preservation, they lost their market value by the destroyed fruit quality. It was decided to make a research work to determine the rain fruit cracking susceptibility of few stone fruit species (sour cherries, sweet cherries and European plums). Fruit cracking tests were occurred under laboratory conditions on the most common cultivars grown in Hungary. Furthermore we tried to find correlation between the fruit cracking and some fruit quality parameters (fruit size; total sugar content, fruit flesh firmness).

Our conclusions are the followings:
Sour cherries: There were found differences in the cracking ratio and the cracking dynamics of the tested sour cherry varieties when they were immersed in distillated water for 24 hours. Based on cracking test results under laboratory condition (immersing in distillated water) we made the grouping by cracking susceptibility of sour cherry varieties. Tested cultivars were divided three groups: very susceptible; susceptible; moderately susceptible (tolerant). Groups with varieties are: Very susceptible - ’Maliga emléke’, ’Piramis’, ’Érdi jubileum’,’Érdi nagygyümölcsû’ and ’Meteor korai; Susceptible (Sensitive) – ’Érdi bôtermô’, ’Pándy’ and Cigány 59. Moderately susceptible (tolerant) – ‘Éva’ and ‘Petri’as new rereleases. The most of tested sour cherry varieties are in agreement with the literature (Apostol, 2003) and four of them (’Maliga emléke’, ’Pándy 279’, ‘Éva’ and ‘Petri’) had higher average fruit weight than was mentioned in the literature (Apostol, 2003). Our fruit cracking results are in agreement with Zelinski’s (1964) and Christensen’s (1975) conclusions that there is no close relationship between fruit size and rain induced fruit cracking tendency. We found significant differences between the sugar content of tested cultivars. In contrast of Verner & Blodget (1931) our results confirm Tucker’s opinion that the sugar content is not correlation with the cracking tendency of cherry fruits (Tucker, 1934). Fruits firmness (elasticity) was measured by destructive method when juice was coming out from fruits. There were found big differences of fruit firmness and skin strength of observed cultivars. Our results are only partly agreement with Christensen’s (1996) opinion that cherry cultivars with firmer fruits are more prone to fruit cracking than softer ones. By this was seemingly we did not found close relationship between the fruit firmness and the cracking tendency of sour cherry fruits. We found that during fruits immersing in distillated water the fruit weight was increasing due to the absorbed water. Our opinion is that there is no close relationship between the scale of fruit cracking and the quantity of absorbed water. By results presented above we our opinion is that no very close relationship between the fruit cracking of sour cherries and the observed parameters (fruit size, fruit firmness, sugar content, amount of absorbed water) maybe other varietal effects and physiological characters (fruit skin structural parameters) play more important role in the fruit cracking mechanism of cherries.

Sweet cherries: Similarly to sour cherries in the case of sweet cherries we also did not find close relationship between observed fruit parameters and cracking index. It was differences in the cracking ratio and the cracking dynamics of the tested sweet cherry cultivars when they were immersed in distillated water for 24 hours. It was found that the cracking ratio of very cracking susceptible sour cherry varieties had the same or higher cracking index than observed sweet cherries. It is in contrast with the general opinion (Chistensen, 1996) that sour cherries are less prone to rain induced fruit cracking than sweet cherries. We found differences between the cracking ration and cracking dynamic of the same cultivar in different years (2006 and 2013). It is in agreement Christensen’s (1996) opinion that the year effect cause big differences in the fruit cracking of cherries.
European plums: We found differences in the cracking ratio and the cracking dynamics of the tested plum varieties when they were immersed in distillated water for 24 hours. A shorter term (6 hours) immersing in water caused three groups by their cracking susceptibility: „Very susceptible”: ’Révfülöpi’ and ’Szarvasi’; „Susceptible”: ’Besztercei’; „Less sensitive”: ’Bluefre’ and ’Cacanska rodna’. A longer term (24 hours) immersing in water resulted only two groups with significant differences: „Susceptible group”: ’Révfülöpi’, ’Szarvasi’ and ’Besztercei’; „Less sensitive”: ’Bluefre’ and ’Cacanska rodna’ Similarly the cherries we did not find correlation between the fruit size and cracking susceptibility of European plum cultivars. It was based on: the big fruit sized ‘Bluefre’ and middle sized ‘Cacanska rodna’ cracked in the lowest scale, during the small sized ’Révfülöpi’, ’Szarvasi’ and ’Besztercei’ cultivars cracked in higher scale We found positive correlations between the cracking susceptibility and total sugar content of tested plum cultivars. Cultivars with significantly lower sugar content (‘Bluefre’ and ‘C. rodna’) showed lower fruit cracking susceptibility than cultivars (’Révfülöpi’, ’Szarvasi’ and ’Besztercei’) with higher sugar content). We found close relationship between the relative (%) absorbed water amount and the fruit cracking susceptibility. Cultivars with higher absorbed water amount (’Szarvasi’-’Révfülöpi’-’Besztercei’) had higher cracking susceptibility.

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Cracking susceptibility of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) in Hungary and relation to calcium application
Published September 19, 2007

The rain induced fruit cracking is a big, serious problem especially for sour cherry growers but in some year sour cherry growers had also problem with fruit cracking caused by too much rainfall in the harvesting season. The cracked sour cherry fruits can be easily infected by different diseases like Monillinia sp. Cracked and infected... fruits can not be transported for long distance and using for preservation because they lost their market value by the pour fruit quality. There are two possibilities to protect fruits against the rain induced fruit cracking. The most effective protection technique is the plastic rain cover over the tree rows. The installation of these equipments is too expensive for the growers. That is the reason why researchers tried to find other less expensive and sufficiently effective ways like sprayings different mineral salts, hormone and other type chemicals against the rain induced fruit cracking. Several calcium formulas calcium chloride (CaC12), calcium hydroxide (Ca (OH),) and calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) can be sprayed in appropriate solution concentration.

The aim of our trial is to determinate the fruit cracking susceptibility of wide grown Hungarian sour cherry varieties and find the most effective calcium formula and its concentration for spraying in orchards to prevent the fruit cracking. In the first trial year (2006) cracking index of tested sour cherry varieties were determined under field and laboratory conditions. Under field conditions were not found differences between cracking tendency of tested cultivars. After results of immersing fruits in distillated water for 24 hours tested sour cherry varieties were divided to three groups by the susceptibility to rain induced fruit cracking: very susceptible (`Maliga emléke', 'Piramis', 'Érdi jubileum', 'Erdi nagygyümölcsű’ and 'Meteor korai'); susceptible ‘Érdi bőtermő, Tandy 279' and Cigány 59.; moderately susceptible/tolerant ("T" and "R" clones). In the second trial year (2007) calcium chloride (CaCl2) and calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) were sprayed in 0,35m/m%; 0,5m/m% and 1,0m/m% solution concentration. One more commercial product "Damisol-Kalcium" was also applied in the advised 1,0m/m% concentration. Like in the trial year before (2006) under field conditions we did not kept differences between the cracking susceptibility of varieties and calcium treatments. As the result of laboratory testing (immersing calcium treated fruits in distillated water) we kept that calcium chloride (CaCl2) seems the most effective against the fruit cracking in 0,5m/in% solution concentration. The other calcium formulas also decreased the cracking ratio but in less scale.

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Fruit Quality of Sweet Cherry Cultivars Grafted on Four Different Rootstocks
Published August 13, 2004

A rootstock trial planted at the Szigetcsep experimental station in 1989 involved the study of two cultivars- `Germersdorfi FL 45' and 'Van' -grafted on four different rootstocks — 'Colt', `MxM 14 — Brokforest', `MxM 97 — Brokgrow' and 'Saint Lucie 64' as a control. The trees were trained to the "Modified Brunner-spindle" system and came ...into bearing in 1993. The yield per tree, fruit weight and fruit diameter have been measured each year since then. The refractivity, the acid content of the fruit juice, fruit cracking after four hours' dipping in water and stone weight ratio have also been measured since 1995. In 1997 and 1998 these parameters as well as fruit cracking after 24 hours' dipping were measured. Fruit firmness and fruit colour were also estimated. In almost every observed parameter significant differences were found between the scion cultivars. Yield efficiency was significantly higher on 'NUM 14' and 'Saint Lucie 64' than on the other two rootstocks. As regards fruit weight, in both cultivars and over an average of six years, it was found that trees on low yielding tree on 'Colt' rootstock had the highest fruit weight values and on heavy producing `MxM 14' the smallest. Soluble solids content was higher on 'Colt' and `MxM 97'. No significant differences between the rootstocks were found in acid content of the fruit juice. There were significant differences between the rootstocks in fruit cracking after 4 and 24 hours' dipping in water. Seemingly with respect to cultivars and rootstocks the year has a considerable effect on fruit cracking.

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Review on rain induced fruit cracking of sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.), its causes and the possibilities of prevention
Published June 20, 2006

The rain induced fruit cracking is a big, serious and costly problem for cherry growers. Cracked fruits lose their value and they are not marketable because of the poor fruit quality. Cracked fruits have different storage diseases and shorter storage and shelf life.

There are many influencing factors of the cherry fruit cracking such as...: water uptake; fruit characteristics (fruit size, fruit firmness; anatomy and strength of the fruit skin, stomata in fruit skin, cuticular properties, osmotic concentration, water capacity of the fruit pulp, growth stage of the fruit,); orchard temperature and other environmental conditions;

The most effective protection technique is the plastic rain cover over the tree rows. The installation of these equipments is too expensive for the cherry growers. That is the reason why researchers tried to find other less expensive and sufficiently effective ways against the Lim induced fruit cracking.

Several calcium formulas: calcium chloride (CaC1,), calcium hydroxide (Ca (OH)2) and calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2 ) can be sprayed in appropriate concentration. Spraying with other mineral salts (aluminium and copper salts, borax) and PBRs (Plant Bioregulators) may be also effective to reduce fruit cracking.

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Impact of boron foliar fertilization on annual fluctuation of B in sweet cherry leaves and fruit quality
Published May 19, 2008

The goal of the study was to examine response of sweet cherries (Prunus avium L.) to boron (B) fertilization. The experiment was conducted during 2005-2007 in West Hungary on mature cv. `Germersdorfi 3' grafted on Prunus mahaleb rootstock.

Sweet cherry trees planted on a calcareous chernozem soil. Tree...s were foliar-fertilized with B. Foliar B sprays were performed: (1) in the spring, at the stage of white bud, beginning of flowering (B1), and (2) repeated 5 weeks after full bloom (B2). In each of spring spray treatments, B was applied at a rate of 0.15 kg ha-I. Trees untreated with B served as a control.

The results showed that B fertilization had effect on B concentration in leaf tissues, mostly after ripening. B was present significantly higher amount in leaf in treated samples after ripening.

Mean fruit weight was slightly increased by B fertilization. Fruit sensitivity to cracking was not influenced by B fertilization. Nevertheless, from our data it can be conclude that the sensitivity of fruit to cracking is improved when the fruit is riper, the fruit density and fruit weight are higher. The soluble solids varied between 15.0 and 15.9% according to the treatments. Our results for the monosaccharides investigated varied between 5.1 and 7.2 as glucose and fructose as well. Galactose and sucrose was detected very small amount in the unprocessed cherries. Applied B treatments increased sugar contents but decreased organic acid contents in sweet cherry fruits.

It is concluded that under conditions of this experiment, B fertilization can be recommended in sweet cherry culture to improve fruit quality and their appearance.

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Comparative study of effects of a complex fertilizer and a biostimulator on macroelement content of leaf and fruit quality on sweet cherry (Prunus avium)
Published September 19, 2007

In this study. we are partly focusing on consumer acceptance of fruit, like fruit cracking, weight and flavours, and maturation, fruit density and content of nutrients which are undelie consumer acceptance, and important equally to the growers and marketers. the results on the dynamics of N-uptake corresponded ti thephenological phases of cherr...y and independent on the applied treatments. Younger leaves contain more N than elder due to the effective N uptake of young leaves. Based on the measurements conducted in June, the P content of leaves was in low P supply category at the control and the Benefit treatment, while was in the lower range of optimal category at Damisol treatment. According to our measurements, the K of cherry leaves decreases continuosly until September, expcept the control at which it increased from the end of June to September. the fruit weight was increased significantly by applying Benefit PZ. the best results for fruit cracing observed at Benefit treatment too. The best result for fruit density was observed at Damisol treatment.

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Water relations of sour cherries (minireview)
Published September 19, 2007

Recently, the sour cherries as food resources become more important for health preservation and so the modernization of growing technology in sour cherry production will be timely. The global warming and inadequate distribution of precipitation result a decrease in the alternancy of sour cherry production, as well. Sour cherries rather adapted survival of drought than sweet cherry trees therefore a few studies performed to explore the water requirement of sour cherry varieties. The rootstocks, the type of soils in plantation and the water balance influence the water management of sour cherries. In orchards, in particular first year plantation, use of various row covering contribute to preservation of the natural water pool of soil and affect on the tree vigor, yield and fruit quality. Wide-spread application of integrated fruit growing technology and climate changes the researches are pointed to develop efficient irrigation technology based on transpiration yield model. The crop model based on use of meteorological data was developed for cherry orchards in order to predict transpiration of trees, dry matter production and fruit yield. The linear relationship between dry matter accumulation and transpiration was verified for sour cherry trees. Other models essay to asses the effects of climate changes on crop production. Importance of economical production and fruit quality such as ingredients of raw materials and food increases in intensive sour cherry orchards used by irrigation techniques. Because of climate changes it should more pay attention to research concerning on the stress physiological response of sour cherry varieties and post-harvest fruit quality.

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Correlation of precipitation distribution and quality sweet cherry production
Published August 16, 2010

Sweet and sour cherry need 550–600 mm yearly precipitation. The critical period is 1–1.5 month after flowering, it is normally between 15.April – 15. June in Hungary. The rain induced fruit cracking is also a critical and costly problem for cherry growers. Fruits grown under arid conditions are less resistant against rainfall during and up to 50–60% crack damage may occur. A computer program was developed to calculate the precipitation related production risks of sweet cherry. Focus of the research was Zala county. Spatial distribution of precipitation was compared in two directions (East and North of Zala county) based on the data of meteorological stations. The first results indicate that the developed method estimates the risks quite well, compared to the farm experiment results. The developed computer program can be parameterised according to the user’s requirements, this allows to take into account the real variety structure of a given orchard.

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The necessity and possibilities of irrigation in fruit growing under conditions of Hungary
Published September 13, 1999

Climatic and soil conditions are highly suitable for most temperate fruit species and promise profitable yields with good quality. An accurate choice of the growing site is, however, decisive because of the wide range agro-climatic variation an soils within the country. One of the most important factors is the annual precipitation which does no...t exceed, in general, 700 mm. The aims of irrigation practices are, succinctly speaking, the improvement of quantity and security of yields and the guarantee of quality. The relative importance of those criteria changes according to the fruit species. In up to date apple, pear and cherry production, micro-irrigation systems are mainly considered. According to recent experiences, the micro-jet type of water distribution should be preferred to the dripping system. In cherries, the choice of the method is motivated by the need to prevent fruit cracking. Most of the peach and apricot plantations are located on the dry and moderately dry regions of the country. Because of the late freezes, the improvement of security is crucial. There the investment of irrigation systems should concentrate to the possibility of anti-freeze sprays. High water requirements of plums are met in Hungary by irrigation where the method should be decided at the plantation and adapted to the harvesting procedure which could be mechanised or (in high density plantations) picked by hand. Sour cherries are perhaps the less dependent on watering under Hungarian conditions. Yields in small fruits: currents, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries could be increased by irrigation to 40-50 % and may improve quality too. In those cultures the system of moving flexible wing tubes are considered to be the best irrigation technique.

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