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

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 sp. 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.

Sex expression of flowers in cultivated sweet and sour cherries

During the period of 1968-1972 nine sweet cherry varieties were investigated by the author on mazzard seedling rootstock, more­over cv. Germersdorfi óriás and cv. Münchebergi korai sweet cherry cultivars grafted on mahaleb, cv. Korponai and cv. Sukorói cherries were observed on rootstocks of cv. Cigánymeggy sour cherry seedling, too.

Yet, there are other relations between the different parts of sweet cherry flowers too, which perhaps indicate the effect of rootstocks in Cerasus scions. The flower structure shows feminine character on mahaleb, the effect is intermediate on mazzard, however, the sour cherry rootstock strengthens the male character.

Four sour cherry varieties as cv. Cigánymeggy C. 404. cv. Érdi nagygyümölcsű, cv. Meteor korai and cv. Pándy C. 101 were studied on three rootstocks: mazzard, mahaleb and Cigánymeggy C. 215 seedling rootstocks between 1976 and 1980.

The pistil length, stamen number and relative stamen number diverged significantly on different rootstocks. The results revealed a close negative correlation between the pistil length and stamen number, furthermore noticing that, in the self-fertile cv. Meteor korai and cv. Újfehértói fürtös presented increasing of the relative stamen number, so the fertility decreased, while in the case of self-sterile varieties the change was favourable.

Summing up the results, it is obvious, that the fertility of flowers can be modified by rootstocks and the ecological factors cause sex reversions on different combinations.

Bud-, flower- and fruit-density in stone fruits

In 164 varieties of five stone fruit species, counts of flower buds, flowers and fruits set have been performed, regularly, between 1982 and 2002. The critical number and sample size has been determined for the purpose to estimate the yielding potential of peach plantations. For a rapid test, 10 shoots per variety are recommended. In sour cherry and peach varieties, the number and ratio of leaf and flower buds has been assessed on bearing shoots of different length.

The typical flower bud density of 129 peach varieties varies, as a rule, between 0.13 and 1.10 bud/cm. Three groups of flower-bud-densities could be distinguished: low (0-0.40 bud/cm), intermediate (0.41-0.60 bud/cm), high (more than 0.60 bud/cm). About 62% of varieties belong to the intermediate group. Negative correlation has been found between flower density and relative fruit set, whereas positive correlation between flower density and fruit yield.

The results are utilised in the description and choice of varieties, moreover, in choosing of optimal pruning policies. Varieties of high flower bud densities are recommended to be preferred for growing sites with frequent late frosts. Abundantly yielding varieties of low vegetative vigour are to be pruned more severely than those characterised by low yields, vigorous growth and low flower density. Sour cherry varieties, which are inclined to grow "whips" ought to be stimulated to grow longer shoots (40-50 cm per year), than varieties woid of that tendency (30-40 cm).

The morphology of stigmata in stone fruit species

The morphology of the stigma has been studied in 50 varieties belonging to 6 stone fruit species. The majority of samples had elliptical stigmata with some exceptions with circular form (Duane, Tuleu gras). The surface of the stigma is papillary, flattened in side view (sweet cherry) or bulging (apricot, peach). The suture of the stigma is clearly visible as a depression and the varieties may differ in this respect.

The size of the stigma depends highly from the season, although the varietal differences are maintained. The dimension of stigmatic surface is characteristic for the species expressed in square millimetres: sweet cherry 0.92 to 2.91; sour cherry 1.64 to 2.48; plum 0.83 to 1.80; oriental plum 0.53 to 1.15; apricot 0.57 to 1.69 mm2.

The size and morphology of the stigma changes according to varieties too, and it may used in description and identification of varieties. No correlation has been found between the size of stigma and the fertility relations (self-fertility or self-incompatibility) of the respective varieties.


Rootstocks for Cherries from the Department of Fruit Science Budapest

Cherry rootstock breeding started at the Department of Fruit Science, SSU Budapest by the late 50-s and the activity can be divided into three main groups. In the first stage the activity was focused on collection of native mahaleb cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.) varieties lead by L. Sebők. After evaluation in the nursery and orchard tests there are four promising rootstock cultivars selected from this material: 'Korponay' used as self fertile seed tree, its seedlings are recommended for sour cherries. The mahaleb varieties 'Bogdány' (vigorous), 'Egervár' and 'Magyar' (medium vigour) are propagated by cuttings. The next project has started in 1979 with the aim to select self fertile mahaleb seed trees producing homogeneous seedling populations with reduced vigour. Inbred populations from isolated flowering self fertile trees were produced and planted out in 1980. The inbreeding of 'Korponay' self fertile P. mahaleb variety resulted in specimens with different fruit colour (yellow, red, black), fruit shape and size. From among them self fertile trees were selected with various growth characteristics. Seedlings of that self fertile mother trees (S2 population) were tested in seedbed, they showed homogeneous phenotype characteristics as liners in the nursery. As rootstock of 'Érdi bőtermő' sour cherry in the orchard most of the S2 lines proved to be less vigorous in comparison to SI popuplations. 'Érdi bőtermő' trees budded on certain S2 lines in the orchard are more productive than those on S1 ('Korponay' seedling). Characteristics of the S2 generation as seed tree were studied as well. We expect to get morphologically homogeneous seedling populations with different growth vigour and good productivity in the later inbred generations. In the last couple of decades the research activity concerning ground-cherry and its hybrids resulted in dwarfing rootstocks. Prunus fruticosa Pall. hybrids from the natural flora of Hungary were collected and artificial hybrids were created between P. fruticosa and mahaleb cherry. Most of them are in the initial tests, only one of them is before registration, named 'Prob', which is a dwarf rootstock for sweet cherry. By the screening of new hybrids medium vigorous or semi dwarfing and precocious rootstocks seem to be promising for the cherry industry.

Organoleptic evaluation of sweet cherry varieties

The extraordinary abundance of precipitation in 2010 (somewhere around 1000 mm) influenced highly the development of taste and flavour in cherry fruits. As stated, only a few varieties out of 27 were acceptable as for commercial quality. Under the given climatic conditions, actually ‘Bigarreau Burlat’ earned 965.11 points and proved to be the best in the early ripening group. In the mid season group, three varieties earned more than 1000 points (‘Giant Red’, ‘Carmen’ and ‘Vera’ grown at Nagykutas and Pallag), whereas in the late ripening group ‘Germesdorfi’ sent from Csenger (1084), ‘Linda’ (1070.07) and ‘Lapins’ (1052) received recognition. Correlation has been tested on the basis of 27 varieties between the individual properties. We sated that the most important attributes, which influenced the general impression of decision makers are the following: form and size of the fruit (r=0.835 and 0.797), furthermore juiciness (r=0.776), taste (r=0.876) and sweetness (0.875). Crispness was considered to be typical to cherry (r=0.743). Relation between acidity and sweetness was also essential to determine the acceptance of the cherry character.

Water relations of sour cherries (minireview)

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 to 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.

Comparative analysis of sweet cherry cultivars on their ecological and biological indicators

Sweet cherries are slightly more demanding than sour cherries. It is grown in warmer areas around the world. The relative ecological values obtained for the varieties obtained by extensive data collection differ slightly from the leading descriptions. Warm and demanding. The woody parts tolerate the cool of the winter quite well, the flower buds are damaged by the spring frosts. Its water demand is medium, in the case of 550 mm of annual rainfall, it adorns well on loose soils with good nutrient supply. Airy ground, neutral soil (pH 5.5-7.5) is optimal, but not suitable for areas with strongly calcareous, stagnant, stagnant groundwater. From the start of ripening, sudden rainfall, stormy winds and birds can cause great damage. Highlighting the world’s leading varieties in the study (Bing, Rainier, Chelan, Van and Burlat) (Iezzoni et al., 1991, Faust & Surányi, 1997) - according to relative ecological and biological values, the most popular cherries are mainly they differed from the other varieties based on TB and KB. Open pollination and with it, the productivity of the varieties exceeded the overall variety average precisely because of the breeding objectives. Certainly, the analysis of historical varieties, the oldest landscape and local varieties based on relative ecological and biological values can help further pomological-ecological research.

Growth and yield of sweet cherry trees on different roostocks

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 were 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.

Pollen morphology of fruit species

Size and surface morphology of pollen has been studied in 87 twit varieties of 10 fruit species during the period of 1990-1995. No preceding work of that type came to our knowledge, yet.

The samples comprised a wide variety of cultivars included male sterile, self-incompatible, partially self-fertile stone fruits, diploid and hexaploid plums, diploid and triploid apples.

The large number of species and varieties facilitated the comparison of items within and between the respective species.

It was stated that the size, shape and surface morphology of pollen is genetically determined and those data, combined with other variety characters, are suitable for the classification and distinction of varieties.

In assessment of pollen size and shape, their moisture content is crucial. The major diameter of the swollen pollen as well as the length and width of the dry grains are characteristic to species and/or to variety.

The width and shape changes largely with moisture content. Large grains are proper to quince, apricot, peach and almond, medium sizes are found in apple, sweet cherry, sour cherry, European plum, whereas small size is typical to Japanese plums.

The low number of varieties studied does not allow conclusions concerning differences within pears, quinces and almonds as species. In the rest of species, valid differences have been registered as between varieties.

Within species, as apple and plum, the effect of ploidy (i.e. number of chromosomes) was expressed in the size of their pollen. In stone fruit species, the correlation between size. of anthers and size of pollen grains was positive.

Genetic relations between the self-fertile sour cherry varieties of the Pándy type (Debreceni bőtermő, Kántorjánosi, Újfehértói fürtös) as well as the self-incompatible apricots of "giant" fruit size are supposed to be analysed by pollen studies but there did not turn out any decisive conclusion, yet. Other characters also should be considered.

The assembly of pollen characters is decisive in the determination of the variety. The ratio of empty pollen grains, the grain size and the density as well as the size of the pits on the surface are best suited to distinguish pollen lots.


Comparative study of cherry varieties used in intense culture

Research in sweet cherry production is intensely stimulated worldwide. The programs started also in Hungary to develop technologies and to find suitable varieties for the purpose of intense cultivation. It means that dimension of crowns should be smaller, with higher number of plants per hectare. Understocks, which let grow the trees slower, are scarce in this species. On the one hand, the braking effect of the respective stocks is insufficient, they get old pretty soon, loose ramification, yield too small fruits and do not comply with the aims of intense cultivation. Experiences prove the necessity of stocks for intense culture, which are vital, growing, easily regenerating, and freely branching. Mahaleb (Prunus mahaleb), a strong growing stock, is still suitable. Further improvement is expected from the contribution of technological elements and the choice of variety. In the present paper, a 9-year old plantation is shown with trees trained to (slender) spindle, and the yield and fruit quality of the year 2009 has been analysed with 6 varieties involved.

Detemination of the time of pruning regarding the ability of developing flower buds and their frost tolerance in sweet cherry varieties

In sweet cherry growing, intense technology is introduced as the up to date development. Among the elements of the technology are the choice of variety, planting design and pruning are the main elements. The methods, intensity and the timing of pruning are largely dependent from the growing habits of the varieties, the light demand of the parts of different age and their tendency of getting bald on the aging zones. One of the main limiting factors of production, the frost damages are outstanding. In choosing the site of plantation, we must avoid the places, where spring frosts used to occur, the next moment is the role of the variety and the technology applied. In Hungary, the late or spring frosts are considered, however, the winter frosts may also cause heavy losses, which depend also on the health and nutritional condition of the trees when being exposed to temperature minima. Our present study is based on a 9-year-old plantation trained to slender spindle as well as to free spindle crown. We observed the development of fruiting structures and their frost damage also in relation with the timing of the pruning operations during the winter or summer, and compared also the varieties with each other.

Association of varieties in stone fruit plantations

In the majority of Hungarian orchards of stone fruits, the planting distance is 6-7 m x 4-5 m. As many of the current varieties are self-incompatible, planting designs are applied to provide for adequate pollinisers. As long as differences in blooming time are small, i.e. 3-5 days at most, overlaps of blooming of the associated varieties are sufficient for fruit set.

In sour cherry, one leading variety, Pándy, is self-incompatible and requires two polliniser varieties at least (Ciganyneggy or some sweet cherry varieties). Pándy is, moreover, cross-incompatible with the varieties Debreceni bőtermő, Kántorjánosi and Újfehértói fürtös being all of them self-fertile as most of new varieties recommended, by the way, for being planted to monovarietal blocks.

Among European plums there are varieties registered as male sterile, self-incompatible, parially self-fertile and self-fertile, respectively. For the purpose of cross pollination, the choice of two varieties, at least, to be associated to any variety belonging to the first three groups, is recommended. The number of rows in blocks planted to self incompatible or male-sterile varieties should not be higher than 2-(4). Inter-incompatibility has been observed within the currently recommended assortment, between the varieties Cacanska najbolja and Stanley, only. Chinese-Japanese plums are scarcely represented in Hungarian plantations. Variation of blooming time in varieties is somewhat more pronounced, i.e. 5-8 days. There is but a weak tendency to self-fertility, thus practically, all varieties are considered as self-incompatible, thus the planting of two-row blocks for each of three varieties, at least, are recommended to be associated.

Self-incompatibility and partially self-fertile apricot varieties are recommended to be combined with two polliniser varieties, at least, each planted to two-row blocks. The varieties Ceglédi óriás, Ligeti óriás, Nagykőrösi óriás and Szegedi Mammut are mutually inter-incompatible. Most of the peach varieties grown in Hungary are self-fertile, thus they are planted to large blocks, each. On sites threatened by late spring frost, it is recommended to plant (monovarietal) blocks of 4-6 rows at most. Cross-pollination may increase fruit set even in self-fertile varieties.


Blooming phenology and fertility of sour cherry cultivars selected in Hungary

Experiments were conducted during the period between 1972 and 2002 at three sites in Hungary. At Érd 97, Helvetia 10, and Újfehértó, 3 cultivars were studied in variety collections. Observations were made on the blooming phenology (start, main time, end and length of the bloom period), on the blooming dynamics (the rate of the open flowers counted every day), on the receptivity of sexual organs, on the fruit set following self- and open-pollination and on the effect of association of varieties in the orchards (choice, rate and placement of pollinisers).

Based on the results the rate of the overlap of the blooming times were calculated and varieties were assigned into five bloom time groups according to their main bloom. Self-fertility conditioned by natural self pollination was studied and good pollinisers were chosen (sweet, sour and duke cherry varieties) for the self-sterile and partially self-fertile varieties.

The necessity of bee pollination was proved by different pollination methods: natural self-pollination, artificial self-pollination, open pollination. Summary: Experiments were conducted during the period between 1972 and 2002 at three sites in Hungary. At Érd 97, Helvetia 10, and Újfehértó, 3 cultivars were studied in variety collections. Observations were made on the flowering phenology (start, main time, end and length of the bloom period), on the flowering dynamics (the rate of the open flowers counted every day), on the receptivity of sexual organs, on the fruit set following self- and open-pollination and on the effect of association of varieties in the orchards (choice, rate and placement of pollinisers).

Evaluation of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) and European plum (Prunus domestica L.) varieties for making dried fruits

The aim of our drying trials was to determine the drying suitability of stone fruits. The tested species were sour and sweet cherries and European plums too. Data and results of sweet cherry drying were published earlier (Klincsek et. al. 2005, 2006).This article containing results of twenty sour cherry and six European plum varieties. Laboratory tests, drying processes and sensory testing were done at Fruit Quality Testing Laboratory of Fruit Science Department of Corvinus University of Budapest. The sensory tests and their valuations were done by the instruction of National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control. In the case of sour cherries by one year data in 2004 we divided fruits to five categories by suitability for making dried fruit. Varieties in the first two groups are the followings: most suggested for making dried, fruits: 'Meteor korai' and `Érdi jubileum'; suggested: 'IV-3-48' and `Piramis'.In the case of European plums three varieties can be suggested for making dried fruits from the six tested cultivars: ‘Révfülöpi’, Althann gage' and `Besztercei'.

Dried fruit quality judging on different sweet cherry varieties grown in Hungary

The modern consumer's habit needs new material to enrich biological complete human foods. The mueslis contain more and more part of dried fruit. The organic nutrition prefers fruit, grown in that area, where they will be consumed. Therefore we thought on cherries, because earlier, almost all kind of fruit, including cherries, were dried. First of all we collect all sweet cherry varieties grown in Hungary (by the National List), (Harsányi &. Mády, 2005) than they were dried similar way to the dried plum. After a short storage the samples were judged, by different consumers. The aim was to know, which variety gives the best result, i.e. which variety is the most suitable to gather round for dried fruit. At the judging we used the methods, worked out by the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control in Hungary. Our work shows orders, which varieties were the best, from different point of view. (e.g. colour, size; firmness of flesh, flavour, and total score). The best varieties by total score will be shown and characterised shortly (Apostol, 1996; Beschreihende Sortenliste Steinobst 1997; Brózik & Kállay, 2000; Tóth, 1997; Harsányi & Mády, 2005; Horváth, 2004; Tomcsányi, 1979).

Training and maintaining spindle crowns in cherry production

In cherry production all over the world, intensification of the technology is the main objective of research. Small crowns and high planting densities are aimed to attain high yields per hectare and easier harvesting. Rootstocks of reduced vigour for cherries are more difficult to find than in other fruit species, and the rejuvenation of fruiting structures by pruning is aggravated by the reduced vigour. Intensity of the technology ought to be achieved by a thoughtful application of the technological elements (timing of pruning by various intensity) moreover, by finding different policies for individual varieties. Sweet cherry varieties dominating the assortment proved to be very variable regarding their growing habits. In our experiment, we dealt with the slender spindle and free spindle forms, and how to train the trees to develop and to maintain the desirable form depending on the respective variety in order to achieve the right load of flower buds and yields repeatedly. In this paper, we examine the most important practical issues with the training and maintaining of the crowns of cherries with circular projection and central axis grafted on Prunus mahaleb rootstocks

New sweet cherry cultivars in intensive plantings

The study took place in the largest sweet cherry plantation in West Hungary. The purpose has been the identification of those varieties, which will be suitable for intense cultivation, early fruiting and excellent fruit quality, moreover, the selection of the optimal phytotechnical procedures. At the same time, scion-rootstock combinations have been tested also from the point of view of growing intensity and fruiting in high-density plantation. The dense planting is induced to start fruiting early and yield regularly by special methods.Yielding was stimulated by maintaining the balance of vegetative-generative growth by binding the shoots, by summer pruning, by cuts on the trunk and root pruning. Best experiences have been found in yield and quality in the following varieties: Canada Giant, Carmen, Firm Red, Giant Red, Katalin, Kordia, Regina. Dense planting has been feasible also on vigorous rootstock, like P. mahaleb. Dwarfing rootstocks like P-HL-A, Gisela 6, accelerate the formation of flower buds and yielding earlier with fruits of adequate size. ‘Firm Red’ and ‘Giant Red’ excelled with their large fruit (>27 mm diameter) in all combinations, thus being promising under Hungarian conditions.

A study of processes active in regeneration of different sweet cherry varieties

Cherries belong to the group of fruit trees, which require little attention in pruning. The process of getting bald branches is less accentuated, which is associated with the light requirement of organs changing along with the aging process. The growing habits of the varieties (length and number of growing shoots, etc.) is closely related with the productivity of fruiting parts. The ability of regeneration and the functional effectiveness of fruiting structures are expressed by the distribution according to their age. The differences registered justify the necessity to develop pruning policies for each particular type of variety. For that purpose, we have to examine the age dependency of the processes related to regeneration, which may serve as starting point of a pruning strategy. Growth of some parts should be stimulated in order to develop or regenerate fruiting parts. Some branches need to be rejuvenated, partially, as an antidote to progressive senescence. Every intervention is aimed to strengthen the development of the most productive constructions. Reactions induced by rejuvenation should be expressed in fruiting intensity. A pruning program adapted to the particular variety as well as to the actual phase of a rotating pruning system should anticipate results.

Spring frost effects on 30 sweet cherries varieties grown in North Italy

After a spring frost occurred in second half of March 2008, with temperatures below 0°C for 8 days consecutively and an absolute minimum of -5.5°C, a lot of observations have been made on the sweet cherry flowers damages. In three different orchards “Italian palmetta” trained on grassing ground soil, the percentage of the flowers killed by frost, was detected and recorded considering the different genotypes and flowers height from the ground. Furthermore, in one orchard only it was possible to find relationship between flowering stage and frost damage. The results clearly confirm our previous works about the highest mortality of the flower in the upper part ( > 1.50 m) of the canopy and in the full bloom open flowers. So, in this area, the easiness of agronomic operations, like pruning and, especially, fruit harvest, due to the crown proximity to the ground, is cancelled by the frequency of spring frost.

Possibilities and limits of use plastic constructions in fruit growing technologies

On the Experimental Station Pallag of Debrecen University different combinations of fruit species and rootstocks have been raised under and without plastic foil cover in 2002. The growth and productivity of the grafts was our objective of comparison. Results revealed substantial differences in fruit set and yield depending on species and varieties. Sweet and sour cherry varieties grew much shorter under the plastic cover, whereas apricots, peaches and plums set fruit much more eagerly compared with the trees outside the plastic cover. Outside the plastic cover, the trees were much more developed at the beginning of their fruiting period. In spite of that, the growing processes were more intense under the foil. The differences are allegedly due to the repeated summer pruning necessary under the restricted space of the foil, on the other hand, due to the root concurrence because of the dense planting. Regarding the inner properties of the fruits, soluble solids, sugar and acids were higher outside, whereas macro- and mezzo-elements (P, K, Ca, Mg) were more abundant in fruits grown under the foil cover. Further efforts to explore those relations with other varieties and rootstocks are justified.