Felt cherry is a fruit shrub that deserves close attention of gardeners and breeders. This tree is of East Asian origin and only in the middle of the XX century was recognized as a cultivated plant by growers of Europe and America. The popularity of felt cherries among gardeners is easy to explain - the extraordinary taste of fruits and the high ornamental status of the bush.
The natural habitat of felt cherries is the mountainside of China, Korea and Mongolia. There are historical facts that representatives of this species have previously met on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. But they did not find recognition from gardeners and were not introduced into culture. By assumption because of the low quality of the fruit.
Felt cherry is a shrub with several trunks reaching a height of 1.5 to 2 m and a spreading crown. It is very rare to find tall plants up to 3 m or more. Perennial shoots - brown light, dense and thick. Annual shoots of greenish-brown light with three lateral fruit buds. Fruit formations are active for 3-4 years.
A characteristic feature of the shrub - the pubescence of the trunks, leaves and fruits. This is a protective function of the plant against external factors. Hair (trichomes) reflect the sun's rays, preventing overheating of the shrub. Additionally, it makes the fruit resistant to transportation and storage. Soft blond hairs in the aggregate resemble felt, which explains the specific name - felted cherry.
Small leaves of oval shape with a corrugated surface. In the summer they are painted in dark green light, in autumn they get an orange tint. Blossom simultaneously with flowers.
The flowers are pale pink, gradually becoming white. The flowering phase begins at the end of May and lasts from 10 to 15 days. During this period, decorative shrub reaches its maximum. Located on a very short stalk, the flowers cling tightly to the stems, and the shrub takes on the appearance of a large blooming ball. Flowers tolerate lowering the temperature to -3 ° C.
Polymorphic shrub fruits - vary greatly among different varieties and seedlings within the species. The average weight of a single berry ranges from 1 g to 4.5 g. The color of the fruit is from pink to dark cherry, less often you can find shrubs with white berries. The flesh is juicy and tastes from sweet to sweet-sour. Inside there is an inseparable small bone.
The fruiting phase of different varieties varies from mid-June to mid-August. On average lasts up to 10 days. The stability of the fruit on the branches is high. Depending on the variety, it is possible to collect from 5.5 kg to 14 kg of berries from one bush.
The frost resistance of felt cherries is high - the shrub can withstand temperatures as low as -40 ° C. Winter hardiness is average, the weak point of the shrub is the preying of the root collar. Cherry life expectancy is small, from 8 to 10 years.Ripe berries of felt cherry on a bush
Description of varieties of felted cherries
For better pollination and stable annual yield, you need to plant several varieties of this species on the site. An interesting option: combining varieties with different ripening periods, you can harvest a fresh crop for 40-45 days.
- Princess. Compact (1.2-1.5 m) and high-yielding shrub. The fruits ripen in the third decade of July. With one bush can collect 10 kg of berries. Fruit weight 3-4 g, sweet taste with a slight acidity. The fruits ripen after July 20. Advantages: lack of root growth, resistance to coccomycosis. Disadvantages: selflessness and instability to moniliosis.
- Salute. Shrub, reaching a height of 1.6 m. Fruits in early July, berries from 2 to 4 g, sweet taste. Productivity of 11 kg from a bush. A characteristic feature of the berries - the transverse seam on the surface. Advantages: self-fertility and high decoration. Disadvantages: susceptibility to moniliasis.
- Fairy tale. Low shrub up to 1.3 m. Full ripening at the end of July. Berries from 3 to 3.5 g, yield up to 10 kg. The taste of berries is sweet and sour. Advantages: winter hardiness, semi-dry separation of fruits. Disadvantages: self-infertility, low resistance to moniliosis, chopping of fruits at bulk yield.
- Natalie. Vigorous shrub reaching a height of 2 m. The fruits ripen in the period from 10 to 15 July. The average weight of berries is 5 g, the pulp is dense, the taste is sweet-sour. The yield of adult shrub 6-7 kg. Lifespan 18 years. Advantages: the durability of the shrub relative to other varieties of this species. Disadvantages: chopping fruits at high yields, sensitivity to high humidity.
- Damanka. Vigorous shrub up to 3.2 m in height. The fruits are shiny, almost black in color, weighing about 3 g. The average yield of 8 kg per bush. Full ripening of berries comes at the end of July at the beginning of August. Advantages: the taste of fruits that are considered the best among the varieties of this species, the relative stability of moniliosis. Disadvantages: self-infertility, drought sensitivity.
Despite the species affiliation, felt cherries are genetically very different from ordinary and steppe cherries, and by all indications are much closer to other crops: plum, apricot and peach.
This feature must be considered during the cultivation of shrubs of this species.Felt Cherry Blossom
Selection and preparation of the site for planting
Felt cherry loves intense and diffused light. In thickened plantings or in shaded areas, shoots are drawn out, and fruiting is reduced.
This damage often occurs in winter, when a dense cover of snow falls on the unfrozen soil. When the root collar is damaged, the development of root shoots stops, which leads to the destruction of the shrub.
Therefore, you need to choose a site on an elevation where the snow cover is a thin layer. To minimize the risk of subsidence in the fall, the soil should be stumped around the root collar to a depth of 7-10 cm and covered with coarse sand.
The shrub grows well in loamy and sandy soils with a light texture and high aeration with a depth of groundwater not exceeding 3 m. The main cherry roots are felt at a depth of 35 cm, so this layer of soil must be structured and rich in nutrients.
The selected area is dug up and at the same time fertilize every 1 m.2:
- manure or compost 15 kg;
- potassium chloride 120 g;
- superphosphate 250g.
After this, a landing pit is formed with steep walls 50 cm wide and 45 cm deep. The upper part of the soil is laid for future filling of the pit. The plot and landing pit for spring planting is prepared in autumn, for autumn during the summer.
How to plant and care for a tree sapling in the suburbs?
Felt cherries can be planted in spring and autumn. Given the average winter hardiness of the shrub, experienced gardeners recommend doing this in the spring, when a stable temperature of + 15 ° C is established. In this case, the plant will maximize the root system and surface coverings. This gives more guarantees of survival than when planting in the fall.
For planting choose a seedling up to two years. Quality planting material - sapling up to 1 m in height, with a healthy root of at least 25 cm in length and with a mass of fouling roots.Ready Felt Cherry Crop
To fill the landing pit will need:
- manure or compost 3 buckets;
- superphosphate 40 g;
- potassium chloride 20 g;
These components are mixed with delayed soil. If the level of soil acidity is high, add 300 g of lime to them. A good option is a drainage layer at the bottom of the pit of limestone rubble, which will regulate the acidity of the substrate, and ensure the flow of water from the pit. At the bottom of the pit you need to stick a stake (1.5 m) for garter seedlings. The recommended scheme of planting shrubs 2x1m.
In the center of the pit, you need to form a mound and spread the roots of the cherry over its surface. It is important that the root collar remains approximately 5 cm above the ground level. This will prevent its penetration after shrinking of the ground. The roots of the seedling are filled with the soil mixture and the surface is compacted.
The seedling needs to be watered with 2-3 buckets of warm water and, after the soil has subsided, add soil to the voids. After that, the near-barrel circle is mulched with peat or sawdust.
While caring for felted cherries, it is important to remember about the weak points of the shrub: thickening of the crown, susceptibility to fungal diseases and support of the root system. The rest of the cherry unpretentious and does not require the special work of the gardener.
Basic rules of care:
- Watering. Irrigation is done only in very dry weather, constantly monitoring the level of humidity.
- Liming. Cherry is sensitive to soil acidity. With a strong deviation from the average alkaline reaction in the shrub metabolism is disturbed. This immediately affects fruiting, so soil liming is carried out every 5 years.
- Disease prevention. Mandatory processing fungicides in the fall and spring. This procedure is carried out in September and before bud break in spring. For this tree sprinkled Bordeaux liquid.
- Top dressing. In the first two years, the seedling is not necessary to feed. Adult shrubs feed twice a season. In the autumn after the harvest in the near-stem circle at the rate of 1 m2 make: superphosphate (15 g), potassium chloride (20 g), in the spring before bud break - ammonium nitrate (20 g).
- Preparing for the winter. Young seedlings bend to the ground and covered with spruce branches or straw. Pristvolny circle mulched peat (30 cm).
- Pests. Shrub rarely affected by pests. The danger for cherries is only a massive defeat of the site by aphids and flaps. In this case, apply chemical insecticides.
Shrubs of all sorts of cherries of this type are prone to thickening of the crown. This significantly reduces their productivity, so be sure to form a crown and in the following years to maintain the optimum degree of density.
Shrub crown formation is carried out in the third year after planting. To do this, choose a sunny day in mid-March, prepare a sharp shears and garden var.
Pruning is carried out before the start of sap flow, which is activated at the beginning of the kidney wake-up phase. If these deadlines are missed, it is better to wait for the fall, when the tree goes into a state of relative rest. Otherwise, the shrub will spend energy to restore injuries, and slow down the development process. Often, when this cherry is sick.
- select 10 -12 strongest branches;
- sick, damaged and dry branches are completely removed;
- increments greater than 50 cm are shortened by 1/4.
In subsequent years, you should always adhere to these parameters, controlling the growth of gains. The task of the annual pruning is the maximum access of light to the crown.
With the aging of the bush is held rejuvenating pruning. During this procedure, several side shoots are removed. As a result, annual shoots will appear near the cut point. After this, it is necessary to cut off all the old shoots above them. Similar pruning is carried out to enhance growth and restore frozen bushes.
Cherry felt is propagated by seeds, cuttings and layering. Each method has its own characteristics, on the basis of which it is necessary to choose the most acceptable option. Seed propagation
During the selection of planting material, it is important to pay attention to the condition of the bush. The best seed qualities are the bones of fully ripened fruits, compact shrubs without drooping painful branches with shiny, healthy bark.
The bones are separated from the pulp, washed with water and dried on a dry surface in a shaded room. After that, they are placed in layers of wet sand and cleaned in a cool room.Berries of one of the varieties of felt cherries on the bush
Sow bones for the winter. For this, a ridge of air-permeable and well-cultivated soil is prepared in advance. Bones are sown in the ground for 15 days before frost.
- on the surface of the ridge form a furrow with a depth of 2 cm and a row spacing of 30 cm;
- bones planted together with sand at a distance of 50 cm from each other;
- the surface of crops is mulched with sawdust or peat;
- after the fourth leaf appears, the plants are thinned, leaving only strong sprouts;
- when the seedlings grow to 30 cm, pinch 1/3 of the main root;
- until the end of the growing season, three supplements are carried out with nitrogenous fertilizers;
- watering only in dry weather, twice a week.
The seedling is transplanted to a permanent place after two years. Planted shrubs in this way come into fruition after 4 years.
Reproduction cuttings in the fall and spring
The main vegetative breeding method of felt cherries is by green cuttings. Planting material is harvested in the first decade of June from young increments when they reach 15-20 cm.
Stages of the breeding method:
- a cutting is cut from the growth with 3-4 buds;
- the lower cut is made under the kidney, observing a 45 ° slope angle, the upper one above the kidney - horizontally;
- the cuttings are placed for 12 hours in a growth stimulator — a solution of heteroauxin (30 ml) and water (1 l);
- in a greenhouse, calcined sand is poured onto a layer of rich soil (4–5 cm);
- cuttings are planted in the substrate at a distance of 15 cm at an angle of 60 °, leaving two buds on the surface.
The cuttings will take root in 25-30 days. During this period, it is necessary to maintain high humidity in the greenhouse and regularly moisten the substrate. Before planting at a permanent place, shrubs grow one year in a greenhouse or on a ridge. With this method of reproduction, the shrub begins to bear fruit after three years.
The cultivation of felt cherries is of interest not only to lovers of high-quality culinary preparations. The fruits of the shrub have high dietary qualities and are successfully used in the treatment of atherosclerosis and hypertension. Shrubs and landscape designers are valued, often used in the formation of hedges or as a solitary plant.
And finally, a small video, how to care for felt cherries (including burgundy) in the suburbs: