Sweet cherry Valery Chkalov - early and tasty

The generation that the famous test pilot Valery Chkalov knows also remembers from childhood the taste of sweet cherry named after him. Its large, fleshy, juicy and sweet berry, early ripening and unpretentiousness in care caused the longevity of the variety despite the appearance of a large number of new-generation hybrids. We will tell in detail about this worthy variety and the features of its cultivation.

Description of the variety and its main characteristics

In the middle of the last century, Caucasian pink cherries as a result of free pollination yielded fruits, from the seeds of which the first plants of a new variety grew. Of course, before becoming a variety, they were noticed and identified by breeders S.V. Zhukov and M.T. Oratovsky from the Central Genetic Laboratory and the Melitopol Experimental Gardening Station. In 1953, the variety was transferred to state variety testing, and was included in the State Register in 1974 in the North Caucasus region.

The tree is tall - up to five - six meters - with a wide-pyramidal crown, which becomes spreading with age. The crown is not prone to thickening. The foliage is good, the leaves are large - up to 10 x 15 centimeters. The stamp is powerful, thick with a gray-brown rough bark. Thick skeletal branches extend from it at an angle of 45-60 °. It blooms in late April and early May. Winter hardiness and frost resistance are increased. In frosts down to -23.5 ° C, a maximum of 70% of flower buds freeze. The variety is susceptible to diseases - coccomycosis, gray rot (moniliosis). Other fungal diseases are also not excluded. Some gardeners report exposure to cherry fly damage.

Infertility - five years from the year of planting. The variety is self-fertile. As pollinators in the growing region are cherries of varieties:

  • Bigarro-Burlat;
  • June early;
  • April
  • Early ripening;
  • Jabul.

Productivity is high, especially in the Crimea. For ten years, the average productivity of trees aged 10 to 19 years was 62 kilograms of berries per tree. The maximum yield was recorded at the age of 12 years and amounted to 174 kilograms on average per tree. The yield of ten-year-old trees in the Krasnodar Territory was noted within 24–32 kilograms.

The ripening of the berries is early and fairly amicable - during the first decade of June you can usually collect the entire crop. Fruits are large (average weight 6-8 grams), round-heart-shaped with a blunt apex. The skin is thin, its color is dark red close to black-red. Juice saturated dark red color. The semi-cartilaginous juicy pulp also has a dark red color and pink veins. Berries have a very good dessert flavor. A large bone is not very well separated from the pulp. The peduncle is firmly attached to the berry and is separated with the release of juice, as a result of which the fruits do not have good transportability. Due to this feature, berries are available for fresh consumption only in cultivation places. And also they can be preserved in the form of compotes.

Peel of cherries Valery Chkalov is thin, its color is dark red close to black and red

At our dacha (it is located in the east of Ukraine), cherries Valery Chkalov also grows. Polluted by its growing neighbors April. A tree of five meters height in early June brings us about five to six buckets of large sweet berries. Since my wife and I cannot eat so many berries, of course, the previous year it was decided to make dried fruits out of them. We have an electric dryer for fruits and berries on the farm, with which we pretty quickly processed the whole cherry crop. The result pleased us. Dried berries in the winter were very handy - we ate them just like that, added to cereals, cooked compotes (with the addition of other dried berries and fruits). We really liked this method of harvesting for the winter and in the current season we intend to repeat it if the harvest is sufficient.

Summing up the description of the variety, we note its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages, of course, include the following qualities:

  • Early maturity.
  • Productivity
  • Winter hardiness and frost resistance.
  • Taste and size of berries.
  • Early ripening.

The variety also has a lot of disadvantages:

  • Self-infertility.
  • Exposure to fungal diseases and damage to the cherry fly.
  • Wet separation of berries and low transportability.
  • Tall tree.

Planting cherries Valery Chkalov

Since the variety is tall and the tree has a wide crown, it is worth planting it at a distance of at least five to six meters from buildings, fences, and other trees. The place should not be moist and shaded, and groundwater should lie no closer than two to three meters from the surface. Cherry grows best on loams and sandy loams, as well as on chernozems. Recommended soil acidity is pH 6.0-7.0. The soil should be well drained.

Cherries Valery Chkalov should be planted at a distance of at least five meters from neighboring trees

In my garden, Valery Chkalov grows on fairly heavy soil - chernozem is above 30-40 centimeters, and then pure clay. But I do not complain about productivity. By the way, I recently measured acidity - it was pH 6.2.

Cherry can be planted both in spring and autumn. In the first case, the time is chosen before the sap flow begins, and in the second, at least a month before the onset of frost.

I am a supporter of the first option. In this case, the seedling wakes up in a new place and immediately starts growing, is well rooted and is gaining enough strength for the upcoming wintering by the end of the growing season. Supporters of the second option argue their point of view by the fact that during spring planting in a hot climate, it is more difficult for a young plant to survive a dry summer. But in the summer we, as a rule, are very often in the country and have the opportunity to regularly water the plant, and if necessary, shade it. In winter, we rarely arrive and we do not always have the opportunity to respond in time to weather changes. So the young plant remains face to face with unpredictable elements. And he needs more strength for this. If the garden is located on a plot of land and the gardener has the opportunity to care for plants in winter, both options are equivalent.

In any case, it is better to buy a seedling in the fall, since at this time the best choice of planting material . Choose one or two-year-old plant with healthy, well-developed roots without thickening and growths. Until spring, the plant is placed in a cellar with a temperature of 0— + 5 ° C or instilled in the garden, after dipping the roots in a solution of mullein with clay (the so-called talker). When stored in a cellar, the roots should be covered with moist sand or sawdust.

Step-by-step landing instructions

The process of planting a tree is as follows:

  1. At least a month before planting, a landing pit is prepared. If the landing is planned for spring, then the pit is prepared in the fall. Do it like this:
    1. They dig a hole 60–80 centimeters deep and 80–120 centimeters in diameter. The poorer the soil, the larger the pit. On humus-rich chernozems, there is enough pit for the size of the root system of the seedling.
    2. If necessary (if the soil is heavy), a drainage layer 10-15 centimeters thick is poured onto the bottom, consisting of crushed stone, gravel, expanded clay, broken brick, etc.
    3. Fill the pit with a nutritious mixture of chernozem, peat, humus and sand, which are taken in approximately equal amounts. For each bucket of such a mixture you need to add 30-40 grams of superphosphate and one glass of wood ash.
  2. On the day of planting, a seedling is taken out and its roots are soaked for several hours in water with the addition of growth and root formation stimulants (Epin, Kornevin, Heteroauxin).
  3. In the center of the landing pit, they dig a hole and pour a small mound into it.
  4. At a certain distance from the center, a stake 0.8–1.2 meters high is driven in.
  5. The seedling is placed in the hole, having the root neck at the top of the knoll, and the roots are spread along the slopes.
  6. The next step is more convenient to perform together. One person holds the plant in the right position, and the second one fills the hole with earth, ramming it in layers.

    It is more convenient to plant sweet cherries together

  7. At this time, it is necessary to ensure that the root neck is ultimately at the level of the soil, and the vaccination site rises above it. For this it is convenient to use a rail or bar.

    During planting, you need to ensure that the root collar is ultimately at the level of the soil, and the vaccination site rises above it

  8. Now you need to use a chopper to form a trunk circle, raking the earthen roller along the diameter of the landing pit. This is necessary to retain water during irrigation.
  9. The trunk of the plant is tied to a peg with a tape of elastic material so as not to transmit the bark.
  10. The central conductor is cut off at a height of 60-80 centimeters, and the branches are shortened by half.
  11. Water the plant abundantly until the trunk circle is completely filled. After absorbing water, watering is repeated twice more. This is necessary for a good fit of the soil to the roots and elimination of air sinuses in the root zone, which usually form when the pit is filled up.
  12. When the soil is sufficiently dry it is loosened and mulched with humus, compost, rotted sawdust, etc. The layer of mulch should be 5-10 centimeters.

Video: planting cherries Valery Chkalov

Features of cultivation and subtleties of care

Sweet cherry Valery Chkalov is quite unpretentious in the care, which consists of ordinary agricultural activities.

How, when and how much to water cherry Valery Chkalov

Cherry is a moisture-loving plant, but waterlogging is harmful to it. The first time you should water the tree in April before flowering. Immediately after flowering, water again. This is usually done in mid-May. Before the berries ripen, the tree is no longer watered, otherwise they may burst. In June, after harvesting, a third watering is carried out to maintain the forces spent on fruiting. Then watered with an interval of one month until September. In late October and early November, pre-winter water-loading irrigation is carried out. The amount of water consumed should provide soil moisture to a depth of 30-40 centimeters, and with water-loading irrigation - by 50-60 centimeters. The soil after irrigation should be loosened to provide oxygen access to the roots. Loose soil is optional.

It is not necessary to loosen the mulch soil after watering

Top dressing

Sweet cherry loves fertile soil and responds to regular fertilizer application with increased yield. The first top dressing begins 3-4 years after planting.

Table: Fertilizer application schedule for sweet cherry Valery Chkalov

FertilizersApplication DatesMethod of application and frequencyDosage
Organic (humus, compost, grass peat) October NovemberDigging once every three to four years5-10 kg / m2
Phosphorus-containing (superphosphate, double superphosphate, supegro)For digging annually 30-40 g / m2
Nitrogen-containing (ammonium nitrate, urea)April, during the first wateringThey are scattered evenly over the area of ​​the trunk circle and watered with water until dissolved
Potassium-containing (potassium monophosphate, potassium sulfate)May, during the second wateringDissolve in water when watering10-20 g / m2
Complex mineral fertilizers are applied in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations

Sweet pruning

The main pruning for cherries Valery Chkalov is formative. Since the tree is tall, its crown is usually given the traditional sparse-tier form.

Step-by-step instructions for forming sweet cherry pruning

It is carried out in early spring during the first few years of a tree's life in the following sequence:

  1. When landing, the first trimming step is performed, as previously indicated.
  2. After a year, 2-3 strong branches are chosen, growing in different directions - they will be skeletal.
  3. All other branches are cut out completely using the “ring” technique, while skeletal branches are shortened by about a third.

    The “ring” technique is used when pruning entire branches

  4. The central conductor is cut at a height of 30-40 centimeters above the upper skeletal branch.
  5. After a year, the second tier of skeletal branches is formed in a similar way, and the branches of the first tier are shortened by 20-30%.
  6. At the same time, they begin to form branches of the second order. For this, 1-2 branches are selected on the skeletal branches of the first tier and halved. The remaining shoots that appeared on the skeletal, cut "into a ring."
  7. The next year, the formation of the internal volume of the crown continues, removing the intersecting shoots growing inward, and also shortening the remaining 20-30%.
  8. In the fifth year, the central conductor is cut out over the base of the upper skeletal branch.
  9. The remaining skeletal and semi-skeletal branches are cut off, bringing their sizes in line with the principle of subordination. This means that the branches of the third tier (if any) should always be shorter than the branches of the second tier. And they, in turn, should be shorter than the branches of the first tier.

Cherry form in the first years of life

In the future, thinning (regulatory) and sanitary scraps may occasionally be needed.

Harvesting and storage

To transport the cherries over long distances, the berries should be picked with the stalks and stacked in even layers in wooden ventilated boxes. In this case, they can be stored in cool rooms for up to 10-15 days.

Harvested with stalks, cherry berries can be transported over long distances

Diseases and Pests

Although this variety is susceptible to fungal diseases, timely prevention will help to avoid them.

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Table: preventive measures for diseases and pests for cherries Valery Chkalov

DeadlinesEventsWays of doingAchieved effect
FallCollection and removal of fallen leavesThe fallen leaves are scooped up in a heap, weeds, dry branches, etc. are put there. The heap is burnt, and the resulting ash is stored for future use as fertilizer.Destruction of foliage, spores of fungal pathogens and wintering pests
Inspection and treatment (if necessary) of the cortexIf during the inspection revealed cracks, damage, wounds, then they should be cleaned and cut to a healthy bark and wood. After this, it is necessary to treat with a 1-2% solution of copper sulfate and apply a protective layer of a garden var.Prevention of common (European) cancer, cytosporosis, gum
Whitewash trunk and skeletal branchesA solution of slaked lime is used, to which 1% copper sulphate and PVA glue are added. And also for this you can apply special garden paints.Prevention of frost and sunburn
Late fall Deeply dig the soil of near-stem circles, turning over the layers. Pests wintering in the soil are raised to the surface and most of them die from the cold. Simultaneously with this operation, you can make the necessary fertilizers.
Processing of crown and soil with 3% solution of copper sulfateEnhances the effect of a previous event
Early springPesticide Eradicating TreatmentPotent drugs are used: DNOC (once every three years) and Nitrafen (in other years)Prevention of all known pests and fungal diseases
SpringSystemic fungicide treatmentApply Chorus, Scor, Strobes. Spend three sprayings of the crown:
  1. Before flowering on a green cone.
  2. Immediately after flowering.
  3. 7-10 days after the second treatment.
Prevention of fungal diseases including:
  • moniliosis;
  • coccomycosis;
  • klyasterosporioz, etc.
Insecticide treatmentSpend two treatments - before flowering and after it. Apply preparations Spark-Bio, Fufanon.Prevention of damage by harmful insects, including cherry fly and cherry sawfly

The diseases to which cherries are affected Valery Chkalov

The variety is often infected with fungal diseases, the prevention and treatment of which is mostly of the same type.


Fungal disease, widespread in America and Europe. The disease came to Russia relatively recently from the Baltic countries and Ukraine. The fungus in the form of spores hibernates in fallen leaves. Under favorable conditions (high humidity, air temperature + 18–20 ° C) it grows on young leaves, on which small reddish spots appear, which subsequently increase and merge with each other over time. With a severe defeat, the leaves turn yellow, turn brown and dry, falling prematurely. The tree is weakening and winter hardiness is sharply reduced as a result.

With a severe lesion of coccomycosis, the leaves of the cherry turn yellow, turn brown and dry, falling prematurely

As a rule, the disease affects trees for which preventive treatments and sanitary measures were not carried out. In case of signs of damage, two to three sprayings with the Strobi drug should be urgently performed with an interval of 7 days.

Kleasterosporiosis (perforated spotting)

This disease is similar in signs and harmfulness to the previous one. The only difference is that the fungus pathogen loves a higher temperature (20-25 ° C) and it proceeds more rapidly. Only two weeks pass from the appearance of small black dots on the leaves to their growth into rather large (3-5 mm) round spots of red-burgundy color. The leaf plate inside the spots dries and falls out, forming holes. The result is the same as with coccomycosis - the leaves fall prematurely, the plant weakens. Prevention and treatment are also similar to the previous disease.

With clasterosporiosis, holes form on the leaves

Moniliosis (gray fruit rot)

Typically, cherries become infected with moniliosis during flowering, when pathogen spores enter the flower brought on the legs of bees when collecting nectar. At this time, flowers, leaves and young shoots are affected, which dry out and fade. Since the affected parts of the plant appear to be scorched, the disease in this period is called a monilial burn. If symptoms are found, the affected shoots should be cut with a piece of healthy wood and destroyed. The crown is sprayed 2-3 times with Horus with an interval of one week. Processing should be stopped 7-10 days before the harvest is ripe. In the summer, moniliosis affects berries with gray rot, as a result of which they become unsuitable for consumption. After harvesting, the affected berries are removed and destroyed and treatment is performed with the Strobi preparation.

Moniliosis often affects berries of cherries and cherries with gray rot

Likely cherry pests

Cherries and cherries are mostly common pests. It should be noted that cherries Valery Chkalov is rarely affected by insects, especially when observing prophylaxis. Therefore, we will briefly introduce the main representatives.

Cherry Weevil

A small (up to three millimeters) bug hibernates in the upper layers of the soil. With the onset of heat, weevils rise to the crown, where they can eat buds, young leaves, shoots. The female beetle cuts through the bud and lays an egg in it. A larva emerges from the egg, which eats the flower from the inside and it will not bloom. But depending on the developmental phase, the female can lay eggs in the already formed berries. Larvae that were born in berries feed on the kernels of the bones. Such cherries have a deformed appearance and are unsuitable for food.

Larva of a cherry weevil eats the kernel of the stone

If beetles are found in early spring, they can be collected mechanically. Knowing the peculiarity of them being in a numb state in cold time (at an air temperature of no higher than +5 ° C), the beetles are simply shaken from branches on a fabric spread under a tree. And also at this time, you need to double-treat the crown and the soil under it with Decis or Spark-Double effect twice with an interval of one week.

Cherry slimy sawfly

Sawfly larvae look like a slug and a caterpillar at the same time. The body up to ten millimeters long is covered with black mucus. They feed on the soft part of the leaf plate, leaving the veins intact. Due to the insignificance of the damage, they usually struggle with the sawfly with non-chemical means - they collect larvae by hand, wash them off with a stream of water from a hose, dig the soil in the autumn, etc. Insecticides are used in rare cases with mass damage.

The larvae of the cherry mucous sawfly feed on the soft part of the leaf plate, leaving the veins intact

Cherry fly

Damage is caused by fly larvae that penetrate the berries and feed on their flesh. Since Valery Chkalov matures very early, the larvae usually do not have time to crawl out of the eggs by this time. But some gardeners in the reviews report regular lesions of cherries of this variety with cherry fly larvae. For prevention, two treatments with insecticides, which were mentioned earlier, are enough.

The larva of a cherry fly eats a pulp of berries

To summarize, I will express my opinion about the variety. Sweet cherry Valery Chkalov is unpretentious in leaving, practically does not need scraps (except forming and sanitary). In my garden, it does not get sick and is not affected by pests due to regular prevention. The berries are tasty and early - this is the greatest advantage for us.

Grade Reviews

Valery Chkalov - an early ripening variety, the first decade of June. Fruits are large, 8–10 g, heart-shaped (Cowskin heart!), With delicate black skin, fleshy, dense, red flesh, very juicy, pleasant wine-sweet taste, freely separated from the bone, small bone, dry separation. Suitable for fresh consumption and processing. Winter-hardy, drought-resistant, resistant to diseases and pests. In Crimea it is widespread and in great demand. It is a pollinator on a par with the Large-fruited variety for early varieties of cherries. Indispensable in the garden, all who have - do not get enough!

Roman, Crimea

Re: Valery Chkalov

The main drawback is that the cherry fly loves her.

NatalyaS, Krasnodar Territory

Re: Valery Chkalov

For 20 years of fruiting in the conditions of the Kharkov region, the fruits were not once struck by a cherry fly. We have a cherry fly affects the fruits of the varieties of cherries of medium late and late ripening.

Gardener-vine-grower, Kharkov

Re: Valery Chkalov

This variety does not have time to see a cherry fly and in the conditions of the Crimea I have never seen this variety.

Hunter 1, Bakhchisaray, Crimea

Coccomycosis on Chkalov tortured! Despite the taste and appearance of berries, there are thoughts about removing the tree.

Lada77, Rivne, Ukraine

Re: Valery Chkalov

In my conditions, there is a strong defeat of moniliosis, chemistry does not take something ...

olegkhm, Khmelnitsky, Ukraine

Despite quite significant flaws, the variety has not lost ground for many decades. Особенно популярен в частных домохозяйствах южных регионов, где ввиду раннеспелости ягоды могут выгодно реализовываться на рынках в день их сбора. Значительный сбыт ягода находит в курортных местностях Крыма и черноморского побережья Краснодарского края. Однозначно черешня Валерий Чкалов ещё долго будет находить своих почитателей и потребителей.


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