Cherries and Plums: Evaluation of new and promising scion varieties / selections
Over the last 4 years funding of cherry and plum variety trialling at EMR has been provided by the HDC (project TF147). This has facilitated the production of annual fact sheets and has indicated the potential of varieties / selections from EMR and abroad to perform under UK growing conditions. The trials have attracted much interest from growers and retailers and orchard walks organised by HDC / EMRA / Stone Fruit Club have been well supported. Six varieties of plum have been selected for further on-farm trialling (HDC-funded trials being carried out by FAST Ltd) and at least 2 cherry selections are likely to be released subject to continued high performance in 2007.
Further funding of cherry and plum trialling is now required and a 3-year project is proposed to allow assessment of selections that are already showing promise in addition to 26 new EMR cherry selections on Gisela5 rootstock planted since 2004 and 6 EMR / Long Ashton plum selections on St Julien A rootstock planted in 2002.
In addition to the immediate relevance of these trials to UK fruit growers they are a key signal to the sponsors of the breeding programmes at EMR (Defra) that there is keen industry interest and take-up of the underpinning work in breeding and genetics research.
About this project
Overall aim of the project
To identify varieties and selections of cherry and plum suited to customer requirements and UK growing conditions.
To evaluate and compare the cropping and fruit quality of the most promising of the new plum and sweet cherry varieties obtained from fruit breeders throughout the world and selections from the EMR breeding programme.
Cherry plantings of interest include MP169 (18 varieties/selections (mainly EMR) on Colt or Gisela5 planted in 2001), MP179 (5 EMR selections on Gisela5 planted in 2004), MP183 (14 EMR selections on Gisela5 planted in 2005) and MP187 (7 EMR selections on Gisela5 planted in 2006).
Plum plantings of interest include TL170 (4 EMR and 2 Long Ashton selections planted in 2002) and 4 EMR selections planted in spring 2007.