Short bush cherries - a godsend for a gardener who is tired of struggling with stone fruit diseases.
Of them boil jars and compotes that are incomparable to taste, make sweet liqueurs.
Cherry steppe (Prunus fruticosa, synonym for Cerasus fruticosa) is a low (up to one and a half meters high) shrub with a spreading spherical crown and abundant root growth.
The leaves fall off early, long before the onset of extreme cold, the shoots mature well and overwinter successfully.
In central Russia blooms in May for 7-10 days. Most varieties are partly self-fertile and self-fertile and need pollinators.
Fruits - spherical, yellow, red in different shades or burgundy, with a shiny skin, sweet and sour (more acidic than ordinary cherry), sometimes slightly tart, ripen in early July.
Steppe cherry comes into fruiting on the 3-5th year after planting. The life of a bush under favorable conditions is about 20 years, but it is updated at the expense of the root growth. Breeds mainly vegetatively - root suckers.
Care for steppe cherry is minimal. The soil under the bushes is periodically loosened to a shallow depth in order to provide oxygen access to the roots. Top dressings promote good growth and development of plants. For the formation of the crown requires regular pruning in early spring. When carrying it out, it must be borne in mind that this cherry bears fruit only on the shoots of last year.
On thickened bushes, fruits are formed only on peripheral branches, respectively, the yield of cherries is markedly reduced.
The steppe cherry can serve as a stock for ordinary cherry, and the varieties vaccinated on it turn out to be shorter. The disadvantage of this stock is the abundance of overgrown.
Varieties of steppe cherry
Cherry steppe has quite a few varieties bred for different climatic zones - in the Leningrad region, Tatarstan, in the Urals, Altai and in the south of Western Siberia. Therefore, it is very important to choose a variety with regard to growing conditions.
For planting in the north of Russia, a winter-hardy Morel variety is suitable - undersized with bright red fruits.
In the middle lane, the Early Steppe and Ruby varieties do well.
Large selection in the online store of seeds and seedlings:
The Ashinskaya variety is immune to the complex of diseases, but the Kurchatov variety is considered the most resistant to coccomycosis.
By yield, the following varieties are distinguished: Bolotovskaya, Stepnaya Beauty, Generous, Ural Ruby (in the photo below), Maksimovskaya, Zhelannaya, Sverdlovchanka.
The old self-fertile variety Fertile Michurina readily adapts to different growing conditions.
There are also decorative forms of steppe cherries: Pendula - with drooping branches and Variegata - with spotty yellow-green leaves
Description of the bush
Steppe cherry grows in the form of a shrub and reaches a height of no more than 2 m. On straight or slightly descended branches of green or brown color, small green leaves of elongated shape, up to 8 cm long, are located on short petioles 1.5 cm each. the ball is flattened, its diameter is about 1 m.
The root system is well developed, the roots are long, 1.5 m deep, and 8 m wide, about 0.5 m located on the surface.
Fruits the tree generously edible fruits from pink to dark red, no more than 3 cm in diameter. Fruits are spherical, sometimes slightly elongated, covered with a non-rigid skin, weigh about 3 g each, grow on thin stalks. The flesh of the fruit is juicy, the taste is sour-sweet, inside there is a light rounded bone about 5 mm in size. From the fruit is boiled jam, jam, compote, eaten fresh.
The shrub calmly tolerates frost down to -50 ° C. Although its root system may suffer during severe frosts, it recovers quickly. Survive frosts and swollen buds are able to cherry.
The most popular varieties of steppe cherries
The most popular varieties of steppe cherries are:
- "Bolotovskaya" - fruits ripen late, large, have a dark color. Suitable for arid and frosty zones, lush crown. Young bushes bear fruit from the 3rd year of life. Do not need cross pollination.
- "Desired" - fruits are red, medium size, ripen in mid-summer, blooms early, leaves have sharp tips, lowered branches, tolerates frost and drought well.
- "Generous"- tall bush, well fructifies for 32 years, dark-colored fruits, medium-sized, sweet, ripen at the end of summer, resistant to frost and drought.
- "Altai Swallow" - srednerosly bush, needs annual pruning, resistant to severe frosts, needs cross-pollination, the fruits are sweet, ripen in mid-summer, stored poorly.
- "Ashinskaya" - high, with large fruits and a rich harvest, after planting begins to bear fruit from 4 years, suitable for arid zones and regions with medium frosts, almost not affected by fungi.
- "Maksimovskaya" - large red fruits ripen in mid-summer, slightly oval, triangular crown, few trunks, resistant to frost and drought.
- "Irtysh" - it has a special winter hardiness, but it does not tolerate drought badly, needs cross-pollination, the fruit is tasteless, more suitable for preservation than for fresh consumption.
- "Subbotinsky" - tall bush up to 2.5 m in height with a dense crown, often affected by fungus and needs regular pruning, gives large sweet fruits, resistance to drought and frost is medium.
In order to steppe cherry well and long fruit, you need to choose the right place for its planting. It must be well lit, without drafts, not lowland, so that water does not stand there.
The bush is not too picky about the ground, but it will be better if you plant it in a non-acidic, loose, sand-rich soil.
Given that most varieties need cross-pollination, take care of the presence of a few more cherries.
Optimum time and recommended landing patternThe best time to plant a steppe cherry is the beginning of April, when the snow had already melted. The soil is first dug up to a depth of 20 cm and fertilized with compost, manure, phosphate or potash fertilizers.
2 weeks before planting, dig holes in the size corresponding to the volume of the roots in the straightened state, taking into account a drainage layer of 10 cm. The distance between them should not be less than 1.5 m. Sand and peat are poured at the bottom of the hole. After planting, seedlings are watered abundantly and powdered with ashes.
Highlights in the care
Steppe cherry is not demanding to care, but without it, the harvest will not be so rich, and the life of the bush can be reduced.
To prevent the roots from rotting, they water adult cherries 3 times:
- When it blooms.
- When the fruit is tied.
- When the fruits ripen.
Fertilize shrubs better in spring and autumn, when it is at rest. However, some gardeners recommend fertilizing after flowering. Organic, humus, ash, phosphate, potash, and nitrogen fertilizers are suitable for fertilizing.
The land around the shrub should be regularly loosened, free from weeds, not allowing them to take away the nutrients.
To keep the soil friable longer, and the weeds to grow worse, it is recommended to mulch with natural materials - dry leaves, sawdust, mowed grass, etc.
Pruning and shrub formationThe correct pruning of the crown is a guarantee of a good harvest, because there will be no harvest on the affected branches and young shoots. Pruning is carried out annually, starting with the first year of the bush life.
The basic rules for pruning and forming a bush:
- In autumn and early spring, dried and affected shoots should be cut.
- To ensure the growth of side branches, cut off the tip of the bush.
- From the bottom they leave 5 thick branches, located not less than 3 cm apart.
- Small branches that form a dense crown, need to thin out, otherwise they will cast a shadow and will not allow to get a good harvest.
- Old branches are removed no earlier than 8 years.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantages of growing steppe cherries:
- Resistance to frost and drought.
- No need for careful care of shrubs.
- A bountiful harvest.
- Delicious fruits.
- Long term life.
- Ease of breeding and reproduction.
- Ability to use for decorating the site.
Negative aspects of growing plants:
- Fruits ripen late and poorly stored.
- The shrub begins to give fruit no earlier than 4 years after planting.
- The crown should be regularly cut.
- Can not stand the shadow.
- Needs cross pollination.
- Affected by pests, coccomycosis and nodules.
Thus, having planted a steppe cherry on a plot, you not only ennoble it, but you can regularly receive a rich harvest. An important advantage is undemanding plants and the possibility of growing in frosty and arid regions. However, do not forget to prune the shrub and treat it from pests and diseases.
Cherry steppe photos and description
This type of cherry grows in the form of a dense bush from 0.5 to 2 meters in height. Crohn flat and round or spherical, branches drooping or erect. Leaves with short petioles, oval, leathery and small.
Flowering begins in late spring. Flowers with a rim and white unclosed petals, gathered in umbrellas of 3-4 pieces. The plant is self-productive, needs cross pollination. Therefore, it is recommended to plant at least three varieties of cherries for cross-pollination.
The mass of berries ranges from 1 to 3 g, the shape is round, the color is pink or dark red, the taste is sour or sour-sweet, the bones are small. Maturation falls at the end of July - beginning of August. The plant, grown from seedlings, bears fruit for 4-6 years, and grafted and rooted own ones - by 3-4.
The root system grows horizontally about 20–60 cm from the surface, 5–8 meters long and vertically to a depth of one and a half meters, thanks to which the bush is resistant to droughts and high humidity. Bushes are surrounded by uneven-aged shoots. The placement of the roots and processes should be considered when processing and fertilizing the soil.
Shrub cherry: planting and care features
For steppe cherry important is the landing site. Shadowing of the site and improper care can cause poor yield and frequent diseases.
A sunny, elevated place is suitable for planting, where in winter the snow cover will not exceed 90 cm, which will allow avoiding the root heating when the snow melts.
In early spring, after melting snow and the establishment of warm weather, you can plant cherries. To increase and speed up the yield, planting humus (4–5 kg per square meter), potash (20–25 grams) and phosphate (40–50 grams) fertilizers, previously dissolved in 15–20 liters, is pitted at the bottom of the fossa. water.
During the period of intensive growth, it is necessary to fertilize with superphosphates, to make wood ash and other mineral additives, which will contribute to intensive growth and fecundity. In the summer you need to loosen the soil and get rid of weeds.
It is enough to moisturize the bush 2-3 times a season, using 30-50 liters of water. Watering the first is carried out after flowering, the second - during the formation of the fruit, the third - when they ripen. After harvesting, it is not recommended to flood the plant in order not to provoke rotting during the period of autumn and winter.
Shrub Cherry Pruning Rules
An important point in the care of the spray cherry is pruning, which is carried out in the autumn and spring months. Thanks to it, it is possible to form a crown correctly, which will facilitate harvesting and increase access when caring for a plant.
Pruning bush cherries, you need to know that the berries appear only on last year's shoots. Flowers, grouped into inflorescences, appear along the entire length of an annual twig of buds.
One year after disembarking, it is recommended to hold an annual sanitation (dried and weak branches are removed with shears) and formative pruning (the desired shape is given to the bush). Regular and timely removal of unwanted processes will strengthen the plant, extend the fruiting time and positively reflect on the size and quality of berries.
Pruning steppe cherries:
- In spring and autumn, be sure to prune dried and affected branches.
- To rejuvenate the shrub and when creating a form, shorten the branches. For the climate of Russia, a bush or low-stocktape crown is advisable. Therefore, the top of the plant is trimmed to cause the formation of new shoots at the bottom of the bush. In the lower part of the arrangement of branches should be at a distance of from 3 to 8 centimeters, the rest of the shoots are cut off.
- For the formation of a sprawling and multi-layered crown, leave at least five branches. Then simply thin out the internal shoots, not allowing the thickening of the shrub.
- Approximately seven years later, when the shrubs begin to age and the length of the growths becomes less, rejuvenation is produced by cutting out old trunks and growing new ones from the root growth.
- Rejuvenate steppe cherries can stem offsprings that grow from adventitious buds located on underground stems. They bring many fruits and will be a great substitute for a cut off crown.
Advantages and disadvantages of steppe cherries
The benefits of shrub cherries include:
- excellent frost resistance of the plant. But this does not apply to young growth, which is not particularly resistant to frost, and therefore requires shelter for the winter with agrofibre or sacking,
- due to the specific root system is drought tolerant,
- unpretentiousness to the soil. It gives a good harvest, growing on stony, poor soil,
- berries are tasty, well suited for blanks: compotes, juices, jams,
- it is also used for decorative purposes, due to its early and abundant flowering and fruit-rich fruits, it becomes a magnificent decoration of the garden.
The disadvantages of shrub cherries include:
- lack of shade tolerance
- the taste of berries is characterized as more tart and sourish than ordinary cherries,
- susceptibility to attack by pests, coccomycosis and nodules,
- self-infertility of the plant.
Thanks to its taste, unpretentiousness, resistance to frost and drought, steppe cherries will become indispensable in your summer cottage. And the appropriate care of this plant will allow for a long time to enjoy the beauty of its flowering and collect an excellent harvest of berries.
Description and characteristics
This culture is a dense shrub in height from 0.5 to 2 meters. The height of the plant is inferior to ordinary cherry, which grows up to 4, and sometimes up to 6 meters. Krone bush cherry has a globular form most often, it is slightly flattened. Small leaves are oval, their petioles are short.
Spray cherries bloom in late spring. In order for the flowering to be effective, it needs cross-pollination, representatives of at least three varieties of the described plant should grow nearby.
Round berries, their weight is from 1 to 3 g, while they are consumed fresh, small bones do not cause discomfort. The color of the fruit is often dark red, it tastes sour or sour-sweet, their skin has a beautiful shine. Their ripening begins in late July - early August. If you grow this crop from a sapling, then it will delight you with its fruits for 4-6 years after planting, in other cases, fruiting may begin earlier.
Keeping the drought cherry helps peculiar root system. The roots go down one and a half meters into the earth, their length can be from 5 to 8 meters. As a rule, the bush grows surrounded by uneven-aged shoots. These and other factors must be considered during the removal of weeds, fertilization, loosening the soil and other work in the garden. Vegetative-root reproduction prevails.
Although this culture is considered to be undemanding in the care, but still, it has some preferences, they need to be known and taken into account.
The planting of any plant begins with the selection of a place, and the steppe cherry is no exception. If this issue is not removed due attention, the harvest will be scarce, the fruits are acidic, and the fight against frequent diseases will take you a lot of time and effort.
The place where you plant the cherries should be sunny and elevated, it is better to dig a hole on a flat plot. Snow cover in winter here should be no higher than 90 cm, otherwise an unpleasant surprise awaits you in the spring - the roots will turn out to have subsided, which will negatively affect the growth and development of the shrub.
Landing is started immediately after the snow melts and the weather is warm. The site must be well dig and fertilize. To make the harvest rich and appear as early as possible, humus is poured to the bottom of the fossa, per 1 sq. M. enough to make 4-5 kg. Potash and phosphate fertilizers are applied for the same purpose (20g and 40g respectively), it will be correct if you dissolve them in advance in 20 liters of warm water. Dig a hole and fill for 10-14 days before planting.
Выбирая участок для посадки многолетнего кустарника, не забывайте, что плодоношение будет продолжаться 15-20 лет, а значит, растущая вишня должна чувствовать себя комфортно на выбранном вами месте.
- Растению нужны подкормки, это способствует интенсивному росту и урожайности. Для этого в почву вносят суперфосфаты, древесную золу и другие минеральные добавки.
- In summer, the soil needs to be loosened in a timely manner, weeds must be removed so that they do not take nutrients from the plant. Loosening the soil provides oxygen to the roots.
- Cherries do not need abundant watering, but this does not mean that watering can be completely eliminated. Watering a bush 2-3 times in summer, pouring 30-40 liters of water under the bush. The first time the plant needs to be watered after flowering has ended, the second - when the formation of berries begins, the third - when they ripen. After the crop is harvested, the cherry does not need an additional supply of moisture, otherwise, with the onset of cold weather, the root system may begin to rot. Watering is recommended to combine with dressings.
- The plant should be inspected regularly in time to notice the onset of the disease or the presence of pests. She needs regular spraying and treatment, if done in a timely manner, the result will be good.
- But the main thing in the care is still regular pruning.
Cut the cherries correctly
In autumn and spring, the branches of the plant must be cut. This is done to form the crown, which simplifies care, harvesting, improves the aesthetic appearance of the plant.
It must be remembered that the fruits are formed only on the shoots of last year. Inflorescences, which are groups of flowers, are arranged evenly along the entire length of the twigs, they give rise to buds.
The very next year after planting, the cherry needs sanitary pruning, this is the name for the removal of dry and diseased branches, and formative pruning, after which the bush will have the correct shape. In order for the fruits to be large and tasty, and the plant healthy, you need to regularly remove the processes of the cherries.
- At the beginning of spring (before the buds swell) and at the end of the summer, dry and diseased branches are removed.
- In order to rejuvenate the branches, it is recommended to shorten them, but they do it not earlier than in seven years. Circumcision of the upper shoots promotes the growth of new lower ones.
- In order for the crown to be sprawling and lush, you need to leave five or more branches, but the inner shoots must be thinned out, otherwise thickening will affect the crop is not the best.
The characteristic of this culture would not be complete if we had not considered its pros and cons.
- An important plus is the frost resistance of shrub cherries. But the young growth of such qualities cannot boast, which means that before the onset of cold weather it should be covered with dense material (agrofibre, burlap, etc.). Adult plants do not die even when the temperature drops to -60 ° C.
- The plant is drought-resistant, as its root system has a number of distinctive features.
- Cherry is undemanding to the soil, gives a rich harvest, even if the humus content is minimal, including on stony ground,
- Fruits contain a large amount of vitamin, minerals and trace elements. They are used not only in fresh form, they are prepared compotes, fruit drinks, jam. The berries are dried to make compote in the winter,
- Blooming cherry is extraordinarily beautiful, it can serve as an excellent decoration of a garden or a country site.
Shrub cherries have drawbacks, although there are not many of them, but you need to know about them.
- By planting cherries in the shade you will not get a rich harvest, the berries will be sour, and the plant itself will get sick and wither.
- The fruits of this culture have a tart taste, they are more acidic than the fruits of other varieties of cherries.
- Plant immunity is not high enough. Cherry can destroy pests, it is susceptible to many diseases, the most common among them is coccomycosis and klesterpyrosis.
- The plant is self-infertile.
Despite the shortcomings, this particular cherry can often be found at the dacha plots. It is widely spread due to a number of its advantages - endurance, unpretentiousness, resistance to adverse weather conditions. If you provide the plant with even minimal care, it will thank you not only for its magnificent flowering, but also for the rich harvest of not large, but juicy, tasty and healthy fruits.Video about pruning cherry
Features trimming cherry bush:
- With the spring and autumn care of the crown, all dry and diseased branches are cut out.
- The shortening of branches in steppe cherries is carried out only in the case of formative or rejuvenating pruning.
- When conducting formative pruning in steppe cherries in the Russian climatic conditions, it is recommended to form a low-stem or bush crown. To do this, cut the tip of the continuation of the shoot and cause the formation of lateral shoots at the bottom of the shrub. At the bottom of the spray cherry branches should be located every 3-8 cm, and all the excess shoots cut.
- If an ordinary cherry has three or four main branches to form a crown, then a steppe variety has at least five branches in order to create a spreading multi-trunk bush. In the future, it will only be necessary to thin out the shoots inside the bush to prevent its thickening.
- When the length of the increments in steppe cherries decreases, and the bush trunks begin to age (approximately seven years), it’s time to rejuvenate the shrub, gradually growing new trunks from the root growth and cutting out the old ones.
- Bush cherries can be rejuvenated at the expense of stem shoots, which, as the branches die off, are formed from adventitious buds growing on underground stems. These stem offsprings grow well and bear fruit, fully replacing the lost part of the crown.
An excessively thick crown of a cherry is undesirable for the reason that the shrub will lack nutrients at the same time for further crown formation and for ripening a large number of fruits. In addition, in the thickened bushes, the crop is located only on peripheral branches, respectively, the yield of cherries is markedly reduced.