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Cherry nutrition - the balancing act of feeding fruit for high-quality cherries


Close, DC and Swarts, ND and Mertes, EF and Corkrey, R and Hardie, MH and Whiting, MD, Cherry nutrition - the balancing act of feeding fruit for high-quality cherries, Proceedings of 8th International Cherry Symposium, 05-09 June 2017, Yamagata, pp. 303-312. ISSN 0567-7572 (2019) [Refereed Conference Paper]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The International Society for Horticultural Science. The original publication is available at

DOI: doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1235.42


Cherry tree nutrition and fruit quality is extremely complex, involving regional soil and climatic factors overlaid by cultural factors of cultivar, irrigation and fertiliser application. Over the last decade our team has investigated within-tree to regional variation, fertigation (particularly N) rate and timing (with irrigation overlays), tree uptake and storage and foliar application of the relatively immobile micronutrients, all within the context of fruit quality. Observational studies of within-tree variability revealed that fruit on vertical structures were associated with lower concentrations of micronutrients than fruit on horizontal wood in Kym green bush systems. Observational study of regional variation found negative correlations between colour development with fruit of higher N, Zn and Mn concentration. Follow-up manipulative trials found that foliar applications (but not fertigation-applied) increased fruit concentration of Mn and Zn, but not Ca, but this did not translate to fruit quality improvements postharvest. Manipulative N rates and timing work on multiple sites over consecutive seasons indicated that increased preharvest application (equivalent to 150 or 240 kg ha(-1)) led to increased fruit N concentration and loss of firmness in N-deficient but not N-sufficient orchard scenarios. Future funded work will use N-15 labelled fertilisers to further investigate tree allocation, storage and re-mobilisation of N, and losses of N below the rootzone with a view to developing a full N, and potentially P and K, budget. This, along with critical climate and soil data will allow the development of a grower decision support tool.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:fertigation, foliar application, Kym green bush, nitrogen, manganese, zinc
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Close, DC (Professor Dugald Close)
UTAS Author:Swarts, ND (Dr Nigel Swarts)
UTAS Author:Mertes, EF (Mr Eric Mertes)
UTAS Author:Corkrey, R (Dr Ross Corkrey)
UTAS Author:Hardie, MH (Mr Marcus Hardie)
UTAS Author:Whiting, MD (Dr Matthew Whiting)
ID Code:152285
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:TIA - Research Institute
Deposited On:2022-08-16
Last Modified:2022-09-05
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