Features of planting and care for Helena cherries
Anyone who is looking for a compact early cherry should pay attention to the Helena variety. A detailed description, as well as the features of planting and growing this tree are discussed below.
Helena is a hybrid variety, also known as columnar, that is, predominantly growing up, originally from Canada. It was there that in 1964 it was found out that in the absence of a crown, fruit trees give increased yields.
Description and characteristics of the variety
This variety differs from other representatives of the species by the following advantages:
- fruits ripen quickly;
- stable and high productivity;
- rich taste of fruits.
The plant has a powerful trunk and a relatively compact crown. It grows up to 3 m in height and is only about 1 m wide. Leaves with a ribbed surface, glossy, with pronounced veins. Their color is deep green. The crown has the shape of a cylinder and does not grow in width, as it is formed by skeletal shoots of a short type.
The variety is classified as dessert. Its berries are round and quite large, 14-15 g each. They are juicy, ruby red in color, with a glossy surface. The pulp is dense, cherry with streaks, it tastes sweet.
Did you know? Eating cherries, unlike cherries, does not cause heartburn, so berries can be added to the diet of people with high acidity of the stomach.
The best pollinators of the variety
Cherry is not a self-polluting crop, so several varieties must be placed in the garden. The best pollinator for Helena is Sylvia, which also refers to columnar trees.Sweet cherry Sylvia.
Fruit ripening period
Considered cherry blossoms all April, and bears fruit in early June, starting from 3 years of growth. The productive period lasts approximately 25 years.
Productivity is stable from year to year and amounts to 15 kg of berries from one tree.
Winter hardiness and drought tolerance
Helena sweet cherry is quite frost-resistant and can tolerate temperatures up to –40 ° С. In winter, it is better to build a shelter for a tree - this applies to the first 2–4 years after planting on the site.
The described culture loves watering and is extremely negative about drought, which leads to a decrease in yield indicators. However, the tree does not need excessive moisture - it can provoke rotting of tissues.
Basic rules for planting cherry seedlings
First of all, you need to choose a healthy planting material. A good seedling has the following characteristics:
- living kidneys;
- smooth trunk;
- smooth bark without damage;
- healthy rhizome, without rot and dead spots.
Optimal landing times
The crop can be planted in autumn and spring. In the first case, the procedure is carried out approximately 30–45 days before the onset of frost - in September - October. In the spring, planting crops should be done after the snow melts and the soil warms up.
Choosing the most suitable place
The landing site is chosen well-lit and without drafts. At the same time, loose soil with deep groundwater will be acceptable. The southern slopes are ideal.
Important! Waterlogged soils provoke the development of fungi and bacteria, which subsequently affect the cherry tree.
Planting process and scheme
Landing is carried out according to the following algorithm:
- Pit preparationwhich is carried out 10-14 days before the event. Its diameter is 80 cm, the depth is 70 cm. If several seedlings are planned to be planted, a distance of at least 1 m must be observed between them.
- Filling the pit with nutrients. For this, humus and chernozem are combined in a ratio of 1: 3.10 g of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers are added to them, after which everything is covered with a layer of ordinary soil.
- Landing. The root system is placed on the embankment from the soil mixture and straightened. A support is driven in next - a wooden stake. They fill the seedling with earth to the level of the root neck, tamp, watered.
Variety Care Features
In order to regularly receive rich harvests, it is necessary to follow a number of simple recommendations, which are described in more detail below.
Watering and loosening
Cherry loves moist soil, so it is important to ensure that the earth does not dry out. In the first two years of growth, the tree during the growing season is watered daily, using about 3 liters of water. Further, the procedure is carried out so that the soil always remains moist. It is also necessary to take into account weather conditions that can provoke stagnation of moisture, which is detrimental to the culture.
After each irrigation procedure, loosen the soil and remove weed grass in the near-stem circle. This will increase the air and water permeability of the soil, which will positively affect the growth of the tree.
During the growing season, 4 feeding is provided:
- In the spring, when the movement of juices begins, it is necessary to add a solution of chicken droppings, which is rich in nitrogen, in an amount of 10: 1.
- The previous procedure is repeated during flowering, using the same active components.
- At the beginning of summer, watering with a nutrient mixture is carried out - 30 g of urea, 10 l of water.
- The last top dressing is carried out in the second half of autumn by sprinkling a tree trunk with granules of superphosphate (300 g) and potassium sulfate (100 g).
Important! In autumn, it is strictly forbidden to fertilize with a high nitrogen content, as it contributes to the growth of green mass, and young shoots will not have time to get stronger before the onset of frost
Cropping and shaping the crown
The formation of the crown of the columnar cherry has its own characteristics. The event is held in early spring, before the start of the growing season.
Depending on the age of the tree, the following procedures are carried out:
- First year. Pinch lateral shoots at a distance of 10 cm from the base, cut off the top.
- Two years. The top is cut off when it grows 30 cm, and the branches - at the level of 20 cm from the main shoot.
- Three years. Pinch the top, the lateral processes are cut off at a distance of 30 cm from the trunk.
- Four years. Remove weak branches.
- Five years and older. Cut off the apex at the level of 2.5–3 m and shorten the elongated branches.
Important! The weather during the pruning of trees should be warm and dry, otherwise the manifestation of gumming is likely.
Preparation for winter begins in mid-autumn. First of all, stop watering in order to eliminate the likelihood of rotting of the rhizome. In the event that a dry autumn has stood out, in October water-charging irrigation is carried out at the rate of 30 liters per tree. Such an event will greatly facilitate the wintering of the tree, since during exposure to low temperatures freezing of moisture from the crown occurs.Trees under 5 years old require additional protection. They are completely wrapped in agrofibre or burlap. To avoid rodent damage to the bark of adult trees, their trunks are fenced with a 50-centimetric mesh fence.
Diseases and Pests
Helena sweet cherry is most prone to the following ailments:
- Kleasterosporiosis - characterized by the presence of dark spots and small holes on the surface of the foliage.
- Coccomycosis and moniliosis - decay of the root system and the green part of the tree.
- Scab - A fungal disease that affects all parts of the plant. It is manifested by the presence of light olive spots, which subsequently turn into rot.
To combat the described diseases using 0.1% Bordeaux liquid, which is abundantly irrigated with a tree. It is important to carry out preventive treatments before and after flowering, using the above drug.
As for pests, when growing Helena, you need to be wary of these:
- Sawfly - a small insect with transparent wings. The main blow falls on the fruits in which the pest larvae develop. Against this insect, a solution of karbofos is used at a rate of 90 g per 10 l of water, which the tree is sprayed with.
- Weevil - a bug of bronze-green color, eating ovaries and foliage. To prevent the reproduction of the pest, it is necessary to dig the soil of the periostemal circle, and also to whiten the cherry stem. If the beetles are affected, they regularly shake off the branches and treat the plant with a decoction of wormwood - 1 kg of raw material is boiled for 10-15 minutes in a small amount of water, after which another 10 l is added.
- Aphid - small black insects that feed on plant juices. When the pest is damaged, the foliage is crowded, and the young shoots are shortened. To combat it, it is necessary to spray the foliage with a soap solution - for 10 liters of water, half a bar of grated laundry soap.
Harvesting and storage
Harvest in early June. If the product is planned to be used for conservation or transportation, it is necessary to disrupt it a little earlier than technical ripeness: for 3 or 5 days, respectively. The berries are removed together with the stem and placed in boxes, stored at a temperature of 0 ... + 5 ° C. In such conditions, the crop will lie for about 2 weeks.
Did you know? Cherry is used to make food coloring, but the color is green, not red.
Helena Cherry is a colon-shaped early ripe variety that is compact and decorative, as well as regular and rich crops. The agricultural technology of the culture does not require special efforts, and the recommendations given above will help to grow such a tree on any site.