Controlling the fruit load of the cherry tree in order to renew its reproductive structures is essential to avoid an excess of fruit and thus a gradual weakening of the trees, which lead to a decrease in the quality of the fruit.
The period of greatest cell division of the fruits, where the growth potential of the cherry fruit is established, occurs 30 to 35 days after full blossom. It is when the roots are just “awakening”, therefore, in this process it is sustained by the reserves accumulated during the previous spring and summer.
To obtain fruit of good caliber, load regulation is essential and pruning is the best alternative for this purpose. Being an efficient and cheaper method.
The prunings that maintain self-supporting woods of their fruit serve to unify the criteria of size and sugar distribution.
Before pruning and defining its intensity, along with the number of fruit spikes that should be left on the tree, it is important to take into account the variety/rootstock combination, the quality of the spikes on the tree, how the load was fruit from the previous season, weather conditions and the accumulation of cold during the period.
“Pruning is an effective method of load regulation where, based on the recognition of the productive potential, in terms of the number of fruit centers per hectare or the number of fruit centers per plant, this number can be regulated to somehow give meaning or manage the productive potential that is wanted each year, what does it mean, what are the procedures for this load regulation pruning?, is to eliminate hanging material, weak material, reduce very long branches so that the branch is self-supporting for its fruit among others ” said Carlos Tapia, Avium director.
The second most appropriate method to regulate the load is bud thinning, which will depend on the fertility and health condition in each case and increase the leaf/fruit ratio before competition with the bud occurs.
Regarding the management of the operation, the thinning of buds is a much more objective task than the thinning of flowers. Above all, if prior to an analysis of bud fertility it is determined what the intensity of this thinning could be.
“If the result of a bud fertility analysis regarding a potential fruit set turns out that, for example, the technical recommendation is “leave three buds per dart”, the supervision and quality control of this work is very objective. On the other hand, with flowers and fruits it is not so simple; for example, it is difficult to define what and how many units corresponds to take out 45% of flowers or fruits. However, pulling excess fruit late is always better than leaving it on the tree, even if harvest is only a few weeks away.” added the expert.
– Carlos Tapia-Personal communication.
– Importance of regularizing the fruit load- Agronomy and Forestry UC-Marlenne Araya-Paula Wedeles.
– Regulation of cherry fruit load: a practice that allows increasing export volumes- Fruiting and diversification-Dolores Raffo-Tadeo Ballivian.