Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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38 MAY 15, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER renew the plants, unlike trees growing on trunks. Bors, who heads a small department in which he has teaching and extension duties as well as research, is moving ahead slowly to make commercial pro- duction of his cherries more feasible. He is getting financial support from the Canadian Cherry Producers Association. Ongoing testing Bors is evaluating the six variet- ies, called the Romance series, named Romeo, Juliet, Cupid, Valentine, Crimson Passion, and Carmine Jewel. He wants to know more about their disease resistance. "It's generally pretty dry here, so we don't have much disease pressure," he said. "But we have had five wet seasons in a row. We have been getting brown rot." In Michigan and other humid eastern states, cherry leaf spot is a serious prob- lem in Montmorency, and resistance to that disease is a key element in Iezzoni's breeding program. "Are ours resistant? I really doubt that," Bors said. "They're probably kind of average." The named varieties and some elite selections are also being evaluated for their qualities when used to make dried cherries, sugar-infused cherries, cherry jerky, wine, and when processed into canned, maraschino, and IQF (individually quick frozen) products. Bors is continuing his breeding efforts with what he calls "third-generation" cherry trees. So he is tending new seedlings and evaluating them. He is releasing new varieties. Two, unnamed, may be released soon. New varieties "One of them is upright, and one is bushier," he said. "The upright one has bright red fruit, like Montmorency, but is sweeter. I'm not sure what the niche might be for that one. Might there be a place for a more cold hardy Montmorency-like cherry? Maybe it would thrive in Michigan on sites further away from the lake." Most Michigan cherries are grown close to Lake Mich- igan, which buffers the cold of winter and keeps spring cool longer, protecting the early blossom- ing trees from spring freezes. Most of the cherries are grown close to the lake. "I've heard reports from Ontario that the Romance cherries are ripening earlier than Montmorency," Bors said. "While they fruit in early August in our location, farther south they should be much earlier. That will be something to watch in the Michigan trial as spread- ing out harvest time could be a boon for larger production." Harvest timing Bors is teaching growers how to har- vest the Romance fruit at the proper time. Growers who associate the light redness of Montmorency with ripeness need to learn a new standard, he said. He has developed color charts for each of the six varieties, which are slightly dif- ferent in color from each other and near black when fully ripe (see "Color card for Cupid cherry"). He wants growers to be able to use color to tell when the highest Brix levels have been reached. The last few summers, which were cool and wet, have made the research difficult because the fruit doesn't reach the full sweetness they might achieve—and as they get riper, brown rot has emerged as an issue. The color charts have been published as harvest index cards for growers to use. Each of the six varieties of dwarf sour cherries has its own special characteristics, which may not be fully appreciated by newer growers and consumers, he said. Products & Solutions for Agricultural Safety r Chemical Gloves r Full-Face Respirator r Half-Face Respirator r Chemical Splash Goggles r Chemical Resistant Boots r Disposable and Reusable Suits Available Add a Cooling-Vest on hot days as a heat stress precaution Washington - Idaho - Oregon - Shop Online 1-800 -765- 9055 Safety First: Follow chemical manufacturer's guidelines for decontaminating the spray suite. Do not use suit if there are cuts, holes, tears, missing snaps, or separated seams. Chemical Protective Suit MARCHANT LADDERS, INC. Quality Ladders Since 1978 509-882-1912 Grandview, Washington Heavy Duty Top Bracket Heavy Duty Bottom Step Extra support on longer steps, all steps 3" wide • Buy factory direct • BEST ladder at the BEST price • Available 6 to 16 foot Built of sturdy, lightweight ALUMINUM— Specifically for agriculture "The Standard for the Serious Orchardist" Color card for Cupid cherry This card is designed to show growers at which shade of red the fruit is truly ripe. Date July 21 July 28 August 4 August 11 August 18 August 25 Brix 12.1º 14.3º 14.7º 15.1º 16.6º 18.1º Average 3.1 g 4.2 g 4.9 g 5.3 g 5.1 g 5.0 g berry weight SOURCE: Bob Bors, University of Saskatchewan This card was created for Canadian Cherry Producers, Inc. by the University of Saskatchewan fruit program. Data are based on dates from 2010, which was a cold wet season, and will likely vary each year. Optimum color range

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