Comparative Study of 14 Cherry Cultivars in Conditions of Low Coastal and Transitional Areas of Albania


1Agricultural Technology Transfer Center, Vlora, Albania

2Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

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The Sweet cherry (Prunus avium) is a well-known fruit species in the Albanian horticultural and commercial market. In Albania, the cultivation of cherries is widespread and well known for it’s commercial value and family consumption. The most cultivated native cultivars are: Dollmas, Belica-s and Zhitoma, while in the 1980s in the varietal structure were introduced some of the best European varieties such as Burlat, Napoleon, Ferrovia, Katalina, which adapted well and have prevailed the production structure during 20 years. After the 2000s in the Albanian orchards were introduced auto-fertilized cultivars, which were introduced into the planting structure over vegetative rootstocks that are widely spread from the coast to altitudes of 850-900 m above sea level. This new development trend was studied by QTTB Vlora and UBT Tirana researchers, in 2017-2019 in a private farm in Spille, Kavaja. The farm is located at coordinates E 019 ° 28’19.4 “and N 41 ° 05’09.1”. The average annual temperatures in this region range from + 14-17 ° C and the precipitation levels are above 600-1200 mm per year. The experimental analysis included 14 North American and European cherry varieties that have predominated in Albania over the last 10 years. Burlat was selected as the reference cultivar due to its climate adaptability and widely use for its commercial values over 50 years in our country.

The results of the study showed that, compared to the standard cultivar, New Star and Grace Star had higher flowering intensity. With regards to the percentage of fruit set, Sweet Heart recorded a percentage of 30.1% followed by Burlat 29.32, Feu 5 28.51, Celeste 24.45, Lapins 22.9, Regina 22.7, Grace Star 17.6, Lala Star 16.68, New Star 16.64, Ferrovia 15.9, Mora di Cazzano 14.08, Black Star 10.08 Schneider 1.77 and Cordia 1.24 %.

Cultivars Celeste, Burlat, Lapins, New Star and Mora di Cazzano resulted in the respective crop yields, 17.01, 15.56, 14.99, 13.7, 13.45 kg /plant, while Schneiders and Cordia performed poorly at 0.73 and 0.7 kg / plant, respectively.

The indicator of resistance to fruit cracking also indicated interesting results. Showing that: Celeste has high sensitivity with 75.32%, New Star, Big Burlat, Mora di Cazzano, Ferrovia, followed by results, 38.69, 38.29, 32.13, 30.23%.

Maturity results appeared to be different. The Burlat variety, usually matures during the first 10 days of May, with a difference of 10-14 days after the Feu 5, Celeste, Grace Star and New Star varieties mature.

Cultivars that recorded average ripening stage were Black Star and Mora di Cazzano (+ 15-20 days), while Lala Star, Cordia, Ferrovia, Sweet Heart and Regina resulted in later ripening, + 20, + 22, +24, respectively +30 and +32 days compared to Burlat. Regina, Cordia, Black Star, Grace Star, 10.7, 10.5, 10.2, 10 gr are rated as cultivars having the biggest berry’s weight, followed by Lala Star, New Star, Ferrovia, Schneiders, Celeste, Lapins, Feu 5, Sweet Heart, Burlat, Mora di Cazzano, with weight 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.1, 7.3, 6.6, 6.6 and 6.3 gr respectively.

The analysis of statistical indicators for eligibility, quantitative and qualitative production indicators, considers as the most important varieties: New Star, Lapins, Burlat, Mora di Cazzano, Regina, Lala Star while Schneider and Cordia presented more discrete indicators.

Keywords: Sweet cherry, cultivars, auto-fertility, maturity, regionalization.