Preliminary results of rootstock evaluation for Estonian sweet cherry cultivar ‘Anu’
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Mahaleb cherry (Prunus mahaleb L.) is the most widely used rootstock for sweet cherries in Latvia, however it has several disadvantages - strong vigour of grafted trees and an intolerance to heavy, waterlogged soils. The aim of the study was to test the suitability of rootstocks of different origins for winter-hard sweet cherry cultivar in Latvian climate. The trial was established in the spring of 2014 at the Institute of Horticulture (LatHort) to test four clonal rootstocks: ‘PiKu 1’, PHL-A’, ‘GiSelA 5’, ‘VSL-1’, and generative rootstock P. mahaleb (control) grafted with cultivar ‘Anu’ (Estonian breeding). Cherries were planted at 5×3.5 m in a random block design in three replications with three trees per plot. Tree height, annual growth of shoots, the viability of trees after wintering period and the intensity of flowering and production were evaluated in 2016–2019. Sweet cherry cultivar ‘Anu’ had the best overall winter-hardiness in the combinations with rootstocks ‘GiSelA 5’ and P. mahaleb. The highest intensity of flowering and production were observed in trees grafted on ‘GiSelA 5’. Trees on ‘VSL-1’ had the highest decease rate and the lowest winter hardiness.