Good Fruit Grower

May 15

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Page 34 of 55 GOOD FRUIT GROWER MAY 15, 2015 35 In Utah, he said, growing conditions can push Brix levels to 20˚, well above the 15˚ more typical in other regions. Since dried cherries and juice are now major products and increasing in volume, grow- ers who can obtain high Brix and good color should be rewarded for that. "We may need a payment system that rewards high soluble solids fruit to drive the shift to high density systems," he said. —Earlier returns. Growers now wait up to six years for the trunks to become large enough for the trunk shakers used in harvesting. Growers could harvest fruit in the second and third leaf in the over-the-row system. —Labor savings. Working with shorter, simpler trees should trim pruning costs. Over-the-row harvesting should be comparable in speed with shaking. —Crop load management. Currently, tart cherry growers do very little to man- age crop load, but crop load is related to quality. Black thinks that in a high-density system they may be able to use pruning and mechanical thinning. —Tree life. Trunk shakers are hard on trees. Challenges In its natural form, the Montmorency tree is moderately sized. The cherry is unusual in that its color is light, bright red and the flesh is clear yellow. "We have no plans to change the cultivar," Black said, since it is clearly the industry standard. It is usually grown on Mahaleb root- stock, but new rootstocks are available that control size and vigor. Black has plantings that include Mahaleb as well as Gisela 3, 5, and 6. "It will be hard to main- tain trees in the space allotted if we have to use Mahaleb," Black said. Dr. Amy Iezzoni, the tart cherry breeder at Michigan State University, has named five new cherry rootstocks that Black also wants to test. Black does not want to see tart cherry growers having to use the techniques high-density apple growers use, such as building trellises or bending and tying limbs. He wants to adapt the spindle approach around a permanent central leader with renewal pruning and stub cuts used to encourage more fruit to grow near the leader. Bevel (or Dutch) cuts, used with apples, don't work well with cherries as the trees don't break new buds. Stub cuts 5 to 10 inches long do break buds and bear fruit, he said. He also thinks that multiple leaders may have a place. He plans to test trees in which single trunks have two or four main leaders trained in a palmette shape to fill the space between trees but not allow limbs to extend into the alleys. The number of leaders could be chosen based on the need to control vigor. The two-leader tree splits off from the main root at about 20 inches above the ground. The four-leader tree has a second set of two branches above the first two, in a candelabra shape. At Michigan State, Ron Perry believes tart cherry grow- ers have been captured by history. A labor crisis in the Bracero program in the 1960s drove them to adopt limb shakers, and then trunk shakers, over a very short period in which other possible choices were not tested. In Poland, he said, the need to replace labor for har- vest developed more gradually, leaving them open to trying other harvest options. They went to over-the-row harvesting. • COURTESY OF BRENT BLACK Brent Black says trees need to be kept VPDOOHQRXJKWR¼WLQWRWKHWKURDWRIDQ existing berry harvester. ® 'ǞǞĔ'6Ĕ%ǟ Ǟ%ĔǞmR6ĔSnĔǞǞǟǞ ĔǞĔ6Ĕ "ǞǞǞĔĔǞǟ ǟĔĔǞĔ Ĕ Delegate ® Insecticide. ǟ ǟǞǟ Ǟ ǟĔǞ Ǟ Ǟǟ ǎ Ĕ ǞǟǟǟǟĔǎĔ Ǟ1ǟ 6Ǟ you can Ĕ Ĕǎ ǟ Ǟ Ĕ ǟ ǎǟJ Q%ĔǟĔ Q Thrips Q Leafroller Q Leafminer QǗ&Ĕ ǟ6ĔĔǟǞ Q%ǎǟ Q Pear psylla , Ǟ Ĕ Ĕ Ĕ Ǟ Ǟǟ ǟĔ" ǞǞǟǞĔ mǟ Ĕ ǞnĔ6Ǟ Ǟ Ĕǎ Ĕ ǟ ǟĔǞ'ĔǞĔǟǟ 6Ǟ ǟ ǟ Ĕ MULTIPLE PESTS LURK. COINCIDENTALLY, DELEGATE ® CONTROLS MULTIPLE PESTS.

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