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This is good news for all cherry lovers with a small garden. This is due to a team of German breeders from the Institute of Pomology at the University of Giessen, which was bred by a series of GiSelA cherry rootstocks. These rootstocks reduce the growth of the cherry variety so that the tree reaches only a fraction of the size of the cherry grafted on the cherry seedling. From this series, the GiSelA 5 dwarf rootstock has become the most used. It is compatible with all current varieties of cherries, early bearing and the tree is easy to maintain. Already in the fourth year after planting you can expect a harvest of about 5 kg of cherries. Grafted on cherry seedling the cherry tree begins to bear fruit much later. The tree needs a sunny and airy place. Cherry blossoms are sensitive to frost, so avoid areas with frequent late frosts. The cherry on the GiSelA 5 requires a minimum space of 10 m² (which corresponds to a crown diameter of about 3 m). In order to ensure a sufficient supply of water for the young tree, keep the soil under the crown free of weeds and always irrigate during dry periods in the first year. Depending on the quality of the soil, annually add 30g NPK of fertilizer per m2 at the beginning of vegetation and the same amount after flowering. The fertilizer must be spread over the entire area under the crown.
Cherries can be prunned from budding until 2 months after harvest. Strong growing trees are best pruned after harvest, as the chosen date of pruning can reduce the growth rate of cherries. Spring prunning, on the other hand, supports the strength of growth.
1. The side branches must be shortened by 1/3 of the length, namely the upper branches more and the lower branches less. This is to maintain the conical shape of the crown, which is most suitable for optimal illumination of the entire crown, including the lower part.
2. If the side branch points downwards, try to cut it back to the horizontal position. Proceed by cutting the branch to the next lateral, upward shoot.
3. If the tree has reached the maximum height you want, cut the top to the next weaker side shoot. The best date is after harvest. This procedure can be repeated in the following years. Due to the fact that the tree grows on the support GiSelA 5, it does not respond to this procedure by creating strong shoots in the top part. Therefore, it can be maintained at a maximum and stable height of 3.5 m.
4. Occasionally, not every year, cut one of the lateral fruiting shoots whole, up to the main axis. The amount of light in the crown awakens the creation of a new side shoot.
5. Another recommendation is pruning of weak growing annual shoots to old wood, in accordance with the rule: the weaker the growth, the stronger the cut.