Cherry tree

Main characteristics of the cherry tree

The cherry tree is native to the Asian continent but has also been cultivated in Europe for many centuries with excellent results in terms of production. Currently there are numerous spontaneous varieties and as many hybrid or grafted species, created to improve above all the quality and quantity of fruits.The plant has an erect posture and has oval leaves of intense green color. The flowers can be white or pink depending on the species and are gathered in bunches. In our latitudes the fruits begin to ripen from the last week of May and continue until the second week of June. Some are large and have a sweet, firm flesh such as the species called corns, while others have a sour taste and a bland texture.

Varieties and rootstocks

The varieties of cherry tree present in Italy are numerous. Among the most common spontaneous cultivars are the sweet heart and the railway. The first is a late variety present mainly in the central-northern regions while the other mentioned is more characteristic of the south.As regards the graft holders most used for their peculiarities, there are essentially three: the sweet franc, the colt and the magaleppo . While the latter is suitable for planting in warm areas with low rainfall, the sweet franc needs a lot of water and does not survive if planted in limestone soils. The colt graft holder, on the other hand, is not afraid of drought or soils rich in limestone but can be attacked by lice.

How to fertilize

The cherry tree, to grow luxuriantly and give abundant fruiting, needs frequent fertilization. Nitrogen is the chemical element that allows to obtain tasty fruits but, instead of resorting to plant protection products that contain high percentages, it would be better to prefer natural fertilizers such as manure. Sprinkle some organic fertilizer on the ground adjacent to the trunk at the end of February to increase the vegetative restart of the plant and repeat the same operation in September. Cover with good quality fertile soil and water abundantly so that the nutrients penetrate deeply immediately.If you want to get better results in a short time, fertilize the cherry tree even in winter.

Cherry tree: Diseases of the cherry tree

The cherry tree is subject to different types of parasitic attacks. Among the most fearsome are aphids and scale insects that can only be defeated by resorting to the use of special insecticides available in agricultural consortia. Cherry flies affect almost all cultivars. These insects lay their eggs inside the fruits and, at the moment of hatching, the larvae feed on the pulp destroying entire crops.As for fungal diseases, among the most fearful is the chorineum. It shows dark spots on the leaves and necrotizes the affected part, triggering the onset of numerous caterpillars. Rust is also a pathogen that can seriously damage both the plant and the crop.

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