Cherry Shokoladnitsa is a fairly young, but managed to gain great popularity variety. The culture belongs to unpretentious plants, it perfectly tolerates drought, frost and does not require careful maintenance.
The variety was bred in order to obtain a frost-resistant crop with a small crown size, as well as tasty and attractive fruits. Shokoladnitsa was obtained at the research institute for breeding fruit crops by crossing the previously known varieties of cherries Lyubskaya and Shirpotreb black, after which in 1996 it was entered into the state register of fruit crops.
Description of culture
There are distinctive features of the Shokoladnitsa cherry variety. The height of a tree in an adult state can reach 2.5 meters, while the maximum growth is gained by the third or fourth year of the plant's life. The crown is usually an inverted pyramidal shape. The leaves, like most cherry varieties, are spiky, without a characteristic sheen, dark green. Inflorescences are white. The dark color of the berries and the slight bitterness in the taste can be confusing. By the taste of the berries, it is not always clear what the Shokoladnitsa is: cherry or cherry. This is a cherry variety, the berries of which have a dark shade, sweet taste, with a note of sourness and bitterness.
Cherry Shokoladnitsa, a photo of the tree of which is presented below, belongs to rather early and unpretentious varieties. It is drought tolerant, tolerates frost favorably, and also yields a rich harvest by the age of 4.
Drought resistance, winter hardiness
One of the main advantages of the variety is its high resistance to low temperatures and lack of moisture. That is why the variety is successfully grown in many regions of our country, although it was originally recommended for planting in the central part of Russia.
Pollination, flowering and ripening period
The flowering period of the crop falls on the first third of May, and the first crop can already be harvested by the 20th of June. But it is worth remembering that the first fruits do not appear earlier than 3-4 years after the seedling is planted in its permanent place of growth.
The main pollinators for the Shokoladnitsa cherry variety are the Griot cherry, the Sklyanka and Vladimirskaya cherry varieties. Therefore, it is recommended to plant this variety with the above crops.
High yield is another of the main advantages of the Shokoladnitsa variety. From one adult tree, you can collect about 10 kg of ripe and tasty berries. This is considered a pretty good indicator for such a short tree.
Scope of berries
Like many varieties, the dwarf cherry Shokoladnitsa, namely, its fruits are widely used in cooking:
- boil compotes;
- make preserves and jams;
- make natural marshmallow;
- dried in an oven or special equipment, as a result of which dried fruits from cherries are obtained;
- both whole berries and cherry puree are frozen for the winter.
The blanks are used in baking, making a variety of sauces and drinks.
Important! The shelf life of berries is 2-3 days at a temperature of + 4-6 ° C, when picking cherries together with the stalk, berries can be stored for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Disease and pest resistance
Cherry varieties Shokoladnitsa can be exposed to coccomycosis, moniliosis and aphids. However, with proper care and handling of the crop, contamination of leaves, branches and bark can be avoided. Plus, the lack of long branches leaning towards the ground prevents other pests from colonizing the plant.
Advantages and disadvantages
Summarizing the above, the following advantages of the Shokoladnitsa cherry variety can be distinguished:
- compact crown, facilitating the care process and reducing the risk of infestation of insect pests;
- high resistance to drought and frost;
- fast ripening of fruits;
- the possibility of self-pollination.
The disadvantages, in turn, include:
- the need for regular treatment against fungal diseases and pests;
- lower yield compared to other larger varieties.
Despite the lack of resistance to fungal infections, this cherry variety is considered one of the best for cultivation.
Compliance with all planting rules, site selection and seedling preparation - all this plays an important role in the further growth of the culture, its fruiting and resistance to adverse environmental conditions.
Choosing a landing site
The cherry variety loves sunny and open places. If on the site supposed for planting there are any structures or other large plants, then Shokoladnitsa is best planted on the south side of them. In this case, a favorable microclimate is created for the seedling, and nothing will interfere with the ingress of sunlight.
It is necessary to plant the culture in the spring, but if the seedling was bought a little in advance, then it is best to dig it into a hole 40 cm deep, fill the root system and trunk before branching with soil. After that, cover with spruce branches, this will keep the seedling in its original state.
Planting Cherry Shokoladnitsa in the spring is carried out in a light and neutral sandy loam soil.
Important! Avoid planting a seedling near groundwater and in lowlands.
Selection and preparation of planting material
It is only necessary to choose any planting material, including this cherry variety, in proven, specialized nurseries, in which professionals in their field will be able to give all the recommendations for care. And it is best to do this at the beginning of autumn.
Preference should be given to not too high specimens. It is important to examine the shoots for their number (8-12 pieces depending on the age of the plant and 15-25 cm long), as well as their external state.
The optimal volume of the root system should be within 25‒35 cm. The cherry bark should not have any damage, fungal lesions, the roots should be moderately moist, without kinks, swelling, with a large number of branches.
Stages of planting Cherry Shokoladnitsa:
- Pit preparation. Its size should be approximately 70 cm (width) and 65 cm (depth). The excavated soil is mixed with organic, potash and phosphorus fertilizers and poured back into the pit, while forming a small mound.
- At the top of the mound, a cherry seedling is installed, straightening all the lateral roots. The root system is sprinkled with the remaining soil, compacted and poured in with about 3 incomplete buckets.
- After the soil has settled, you can also add on top of the soil, and then tie the tree to a support next to a dug-in stick.
Additionally, before planting, it is recommended to treat the root system with a special stimulant preparation, for example, Kornevin.
Another important point in the care of Cherry Shokoladnitsa is reproduction. It is carried out in two ways: grafting and grafting. In the first case, a cherry seed is planted in the ground in the fall and after the emergence of sprouts, the emerging stalk with buds is grafted onto an existing adult plant. In the second case, the cherry stalk is buried in moist soil and await for its rooting.
Follow-up care of the culture
Newly planted cherry trees require moderate but frequent watering. After the appearance of the first leaves, you need to mulch the soil and reduce watering.
The basic rules for caring for a plant in the first three years are:
- regular removal of weeds around the seedling;
- loosening and mulching the soil;
- regular watering during dry periods of the year;
- crown formation before bud break.
One of the main conditions for caring for a Shokoladnitsa is a well-established watering regime. Water stagnation in the soil should not be allowed, as this can affect the appearance and taste of the fruits. But it is also categorically impossible to leave the soil dry. One plant takes about 4-5 liters of water.
Many people ask the question: what to do if the Shokoladnitsa cherry does not bloom? This can be influenced not only by pests and diseases, but also by a lack of light, a lack of pollinators, and a deficiency of minerals in the soil.
Diseases and pests
The main disadvantage of the Shokoladnitsa variety is its susceptibility to coccomycosis and moniliosis. In the first case, an effective way of destroying the disease is spraying the tree at the bud stage with a 3% solution of Bordeaux liquid, during the flowering period - with the "Skor" preparation and after harvesting the fruits with a solution of copper oxychloride.
To destroy moniliosis, which manifests itself in the form of fungal plaque on the branches and bark, it is recommended to remove and burn the damaged areas and subsequently treat the culture with a solution of copper sulfate.
Aphids that live on cherries and damage the plant are best removed with a 3% nitrafen solution.
Cherry variety Shokoladnitsa is indeed one of the most versatile, and its resistance to adverse environmental conditions makes it possible to grow this crop in many regions of our country.
Valentina, Moscow region
This variety has been growing in my garden for several years, and I think that Shokoladnitsa cherry for the Moscow region is an ideal option. It tolerates frost well, does not take up much space on the site, and, most importantly, the result is a rich and tasty harvest!
Several years ago I bought myself a Shokoladnitsa cherry on a dwarf rootstock and was very pleased with this variety. It is quite easy to care for, when planting, I followed all the recommendations, I liked that the crown of the tree is very small, not spreading. Delicious compote and jam are obtained from the fruits.