Cherry shaping and cutting.
Three different forms of cherry crown are popular in commercial orchards in Europe:
- circular crowns adapted to manual fruit harvesting (trunk height approx 50 cm);
- Lane crowns adapted to manual fruit harvesting (trunk height approx 50 cm);
- circular crowns adapted to mechanical harvesting of fruit by shaking (trunk height 80-100 cm).
Lynx. Natural cherry crown.
The vast majority of cherries in commercial orchards in Poland have a bushy form. It is a very easy form to obtain, but, unfortunately, it is not without its many drawbacks. One-year-old buds planted in the orchard have side branches growing low to the ground. After removal of the lowest side shoots, crowns are formed with a trunk height of approx 20 cm and a few branches raised upwards, forming sharp angles of bifurcations. These acute angles cannot be improved, because the very low setting of the limbs on the trunk prevents them from bending to the horizontal position. Bushy crowns tear very easily, not only under the weight of fruit, but even the leaves themselves. Cracks in bark and wood, arising at forks, are easily infected by pathogens. Tree losses in orchards caused by tearing crowns are particularly high when cultivating the Lutówka variety on an anti-pka rootstock.
Forming circular crowns for manual fruit harvesting.
To avoid the disadvantages of bush crowns, trees should be formed with a raised trunk and horizontal branches embedded on it.. To do this, after planting one-year-old maiden trees, remove all side branches to a height of approx 50 cm from the ground. For most trees, only the guide will remain after such pruning, which should be cut at a height of approx 70 cm. If the trees are very well developed, we can see side shoots on them, higher than 50 cm from the ground and these may remain as the beginning of the lower limbs. They only need to be shortened slightly (Lynx.).
Lynx. Bushy cherries require strong pruning after planting: a - cutting cherries, leaving the upper shoots on the boughs; b - removal of all shoots.
In May or June at the latest, we put wooden clips on the guide, for wide bifurcation angles. It is best to put on the buckles in time, when the side shoots have from 5 do 20 cm in length. Slowly leave the shoot growing from the first eyelet from the top, as it will create an extension of the guide. Put the clips over the next shoots in this way, to make them grow horizontally. You should put 3-5 clamps on each tree. If side shoots appear close to the ground on the trunk, they must be pinched off in the summer, so that they do not compete with the upper shoots, from which the boughs will be formed.
In the spring, in the second year after planting, the guidebook may need to be shortened, if it is longer than 50 cm. We do not shorten the side shoots. If some side shoots do not develop wide angles of forks, we correct them in spring by bending the shoots to an almost horizontal position and tying them in this position with strings to the trunk (Lynx.).
Lynx. In the second year of forming the crown of low-foaming cherry trees, some shoots need to be bent.
In May or June, we put the clips on the guide again in order to obtain the second level of boughs with wide angles of bifurcations.
With proper tree development, the conductor above the last limbs can be removed in the third year in the spring. In this way, low-growing crowns of approx 10 branches (Lynx.).
Lynx. Crown of cherry trees in the third year; guide can be cut.
The total height of the trees will be approx 2 m, which will make it possible to harvest all the fruits directly from the ground.