We grow Shpanka cherries
Those who wish to plant Shpanka cherries in their garden can be misled by a variety of varieties. On the market they will offer Shpanki: dwarf, Bryansk, Shimsky, Donetsk. They differ in appearance and size (from dwarf to giant), life expectancy and fruiting, quality of berries and productivity. Therefore, each shpanka requires closer acquaintance.
Description of the variety of cherry Shpanka
Shpanka belongs to the so-called folk varieties, the authors and the exact date of origin of which are unknown. It was isolated in the 19th or early 20th century (and according to other sources more than 200 years ago) as a result of crossing cherries and cherries, so from a scientific point of view it is a hybrid that has become a separate, resistant variety. For many decades, Shpanka has proven itself and has spread widely throughout Russia, Ukraine and Moldova.
The origin of Shpanka cherry is difficult to establish, therefore it is called the “folk” variety
The height of the tree reaches 6 m, but there are specimens up to 10 m high. The plant has a lifespan of 20–25 years. In some cases, with the correct anti-aging pruning up to 30 years or more, but this is not all. When the cherry begins to age, one root shoot is left under it. Then the dried-up old trunk is cut down, and a new tree remains on the approach to fruiting. Thus, without any problems, it is possible to keep cherry plantings in one place for many decades. In the Central Black Earth region and other regions, there are still old plantings of cherries that have been growing since the late 40s - early 50s of the last century.
With proper pruning and proper care, the life of a cherry tree can be extended for decades
The trunk and perennial branches of Shpanka are dark brown in color, young ones are much lighter. This is important to know, because cherry fruit exclusively on young shoots, which is taken into account when pruning. The crown crown is medium. Therefore, the Shpanka is not prone to thickening; it obscures itself little inside the crown, even without thinning pruning. The branches do not grow upwards, as in the pyramidal varieties, but at a right angle to the trunk, parallel to the ground. This can be considered a minus, because under the weight of a large crop they can sometimes break and require the installation of props. The sheet of spruce is long, 7–8 cm, more like a leaf of sweet cherry, pink petiole.
The first small crop of Shpanka gives 5 years after planting a 1.5–2-year-old seedling. Then over the years it increases productivity, reaching a peak by 15–18 years. At this age, one tree can produce 50-60 kg of berries. 35-40 kg are considered average yields at other periods of life. The berry is flattened, up to 5-6 g in weight, which is considered large for cherries in a ripe state of maroon color, juicy. The flesh is yellow inside, the bone separates easily. The berries are sweet, juicy, with a slight sourness.
In taste and quality of berries, Spanka has very good performance among cherries precisely because it inherited part of its ancestor - cherries. However, the fruits are not stored for long, they require quick processing or freezing.
Harvest ripens by mid-summer. Fruiting is gradual, stretching almost to the end of summer. Ripe fruits fall themselves at the slightest blow of the wind, so they must be collected on time.
The shpanka is considered self-fertile, that is, not requiring cross-pollination with neighboring cherries - both male and female flowers grow on the same tree. The lonely tree will bear fruit. But the harvest is more abundant and the quality of the fruit is higher if the Spanka grows in a group of cherries of any other varieties.
So that the garden is not inconsistent, it is not recommended to plant low or dwarf varieties next to the high Shpanka, which will also be greatly obscured.
Adult Spanky tree gives up to 40 kg of cherry
Shpanka is a hardy variety that tolerates drought and severe frosts in winter (up to -35 ° C). But the properties of the heat-loving ancestor (cherries) do not allow the variety to spread far to the north. Cherry can endure winter, but too short a summer will prevent the fruits from ripening. However, in the suburbs and in the Middle Volga Spanka is growing.
Bunches are successfully propagated by root shoots. Removing offspring under the trunk is a must-have operation because they drain the main tree. And if you do not touch the shoot, then in a few years it will become a competitor to the main trunks and to each other, cause thickening, as a result, there will be abandoned impassable jungle with a small crop instead of a garden.
The shoots are cut off at ground level without leaving a hemp, then thrown away or burned. But you can use it as a planting material. To do this, choose a suitable seedling from what has grown at the moment or, cutting out the shoots, leave some of the strongest shoots in order to transplant them in a year or two. It is optimal to transplant 1.5–2-year-old shoots 60–80 cm high.
The seedling selected for transplantation is dug up to the depth of the bayonet along the perimeter of the bayonet, pulled out together with the ground, trying to keep as many roots as possible intact. In the process of removing the seedling, a horizontal thick uterine root coming from the main tree will find itself. It is chopped off with a shovel or snack secateurs. When digging overgrowths, one should not forget that the work is going on in the zone of the root system of a living tree, therefore there is no need to dig too much. The hole is then covered with loose soil and sprinkled with fallen leaves or mulch. The seedling is placed on a raw burlap and the whole root system is closed to it.
A properly cut root shoot is taken out along with the roots and an earthen lump.
But if you manage to find a 2.5–3-year-old shoot that already looks like an independent seedling, you can transplant it, this will speed up the first harvest by 1-2 years. In an abandoned garden you can find a 4–5-year-old seedling. But the older he is, the worse it takes root, and the larger the volume of roots and earth will have to be moved with him.
Can be propagated by grafting on rootstock of outbred but hardy cherries. But it is more difficult and long, because first you need to grow a stock, then wait for the growth of the grafted shoot.
In the southern regions, you can plant a shpanka during the rest period:
- in the fall, as soon as the leaves fall and until about mid-October;
- in the spring, before the sap flow begins.
In the northern regions, it is recommended to plant cherries in the spring, as the tree planted in autumn does not have time to prepare for wintering.
Spanke needs a sunny place. In the southern regions shading is allowed below, for example, from remote fences or low buildings. In the suburbs, other colder regions in shaded places, snow melts longer, the earth warms up worse, the growing season of the tree is reduced, so the place should be completely sunny.
There are places between buildings, where drafts even blow in calm weather. Such places are not suitable for cherries.
Spanke needs a loose, loose, but sufficiently water-intensive soil. Unstructured sticky alumina or heavy loam is not suitable, the roots will not be able to develop well in them. The soil should not be acidic, but neutral or slightly alkaline, with a pH of about 7. Groundwater should stand no higher than 1.5 m from the soil surface.
The sequence of steps when planting cherries:
- They dig a landing pit according to the size of the roots, preferably with a small margin in depth and width.
- Fully mature loose humus is mixed into the soil in the proportion of 1 part humus to 3 parts of the soil. Wood ash is added to this mixture at the rate of 1 liter per 20 liters of soil.
The root system of the seedling should be freely placed in the planting pit
- A wooden stake or a metal pipe is driven into the center pit bottom.
- Yes, the bottom of the pit is poured a mound of prepared soil.
- On its top spread the roots of the seedling.
- The plant should be at the same depth at which it grew in the old place, which is clearly visible by the color of the bark. But in any case, it is impossible to fill the root neck, it should be at the level of the soil. If the seedling is low, they pull it out, pour the earth onto the mound below.
The roots of the seedling are located on the knoll, the root neck should not be covered with soil
- Having determined the height, the roots are covered with loose soil, without leaving air voids, the soil is gently rammed with the foot.
- 10–20 L of water is watered, depending on the size of the pit and seedling, and soil moisture.
The tree is watered considering the moisture of the soil
- The seedling is tied to the supporting stake with soft linen twine or a strip of fabric.
- The trunk circle is covered with mulch.
Caring for the Spank - feeding, pruning, pest and disease control - is almost standard, like all tall cherries. Some features:
- Spank is planted no closer than 3 m from each other. If the area allows, you can increase the distance to 3.5-4 m between the rows. This is a tall tree with a very extensive root system - 2–2.5 times wider than the crown area.
- In the process of growth, like all old varieties, Shpanka practically does not require top dressing, especially on chernozems and other fertile soils. But competent top dressing with organic or modern fertilizers, especially on scarce soils, can be beneficial.
- The variety is resistant to fungal diseases, coccomycosis and monolial burn, which simplifies care.
- The tree may require watering, if there is no rain, during flowering and ovary formation.
- In abnormally cold frosts, it is important that the ground under the tree is covered with a thick layer of snow. If there is no snow, you will have to fill the soil with a layer of mulch from sawdust, humus, foliage, hay, straw, manure, compost or peat with a layer of about 10 cm. The main thing is that the roots do not freeze.
- If part of the branches freezes in the winter, they are cut in the spring.
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Varieties of Shpanka
At the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries, on the basis of the old Shpanka variety, breeders created new varieties that are also worthy of the attention of gardeners.
The variety was included in the State Register in 2009, it is recommended for use in the Central region. The trunk is short, medium tall, that is, below the old Shpanka. Shoots do not grow parallel to the ground, but upward, because of which the tree has a different shape. The color of the bark is gray-olive. Fruits are smaller, up to 4 g in weight, round-shaped, light red. Sugars are gaining up to 9%, which is far from a record, so the taste of ripe fruits is not sweet-sour, but, on the contrary, sweet and sour. It is considered self-fertile, capable of bearing fruit on a single tree. Early ripening.
The average productivity of Shpanka Bryansk, according to the State Register - 73 kg per 1 ha, that is 73 kg from 100 m2, or about 8 kg from one trunk. According to other sources, Shpanka Bryansk gives about 35–40 kg from one barrel, which is closer to reality.
Cherry Shpanka Bryansk recommended for cultivation in the Central region
The variety was named after the place of origin - Shimsky district of the Leningrad region. Therefore, it is perfectly adapted to the conditions of the North-West.
A variety of early ripening, berries ripen in late June - early July. Fruits until August. The farther south the region, the faster the fruiting begins. From one adult stem, you can collect up to 45–55 kg of fruit. Begins to bear fruit from 3-4 years, life span up to 25 years. Fruits are medium in size, up to 3.5 g, light red even in ripe condition, sweet, with acidity. The flesh is light pink, the juice is not coloring.
The tree is medium-sized, up to 3 m in height. The crown is bushy, rare, not requiring thinning pruning. The bark is very dark, almost black even on young biennial shoots. It tolerates winter well, but sometimes it can suffer from a fungal disease, a monilial burn, which will require treatment with fungicides.
The variety is self-fertile, therefore, requires planting in a group with pollinators, cherries of other varieties, for example, Vladimir or Korostyn.
Like Shimskaya, it was named after the place of origin - the Donetsk experimental gardening station. This is a hybrid of cherries and cherries. The crown in the first years in the form of a pyramid, then becomes rounded. The variety gives record large berries - up to 6–7 g. The fruits are light red, the flesh is yellow, the taste is sweet and sour. The variety is winter-hardy and drought-resistant. With severe frosts in the winter it can suffer, but it is able to recover quickly. The tendency to fungal diseases is average.
The tree begins to bear fruit from 3-4 years, reaches a peak by 9-12 years.
A variety of low self-fertility, a single tree will yield a small crop. Therefore, it requires planting in a group for mutual pollination. In warm regions, it is recommended to plant not cherry or hybrid, but cherries for pollination.
Shpanka Donetsk has large light red berries
Berries of dwarf dwarf are distinguished by excellent taste. It is a hybrid of cherries and cherries, therefore it has a taste of cherries in combination with the best taste qualities of cherries. The variety is considered to be tenacious and hardy, resistant to frosty winters, fungal diseases and pests, and therefore grows successfully in the Northwest.
The average height of an adult tree dwarf dwarfs - no more than 3 m
This variety was isolated by breeders almost a century ago. And in 1938 he was given the separate name Shpanka early, or Kurskaya, at the place of origin, in order to avoid confusion in the group of varieties, also known as Shpanka. Many still confuse it with a large southern Spanka. But these are two separate varieties, very different from each other. Kursk shpanka is not a hybrid with cherries, but pure cherries, it belongs to the amorel type, that is, red cherries with colorless juice. The variety was widespread in the Kursk region, less commonly found in neighboring regions. In the more northern regions, it never grew, possibly due to low winter hardiness. And even in the southern regions, the cherry greatly froze in harsh winters.
The variety is early, the fruits ripen from mid-June. The tree reaches a height of 4 m. The crown is wide and spreading, sparse, shoots are thick, gray-brown in color. Productivity depends on the conditions of wintering of flower buds. If the kidneys do not freeze, the tree gives up to 30 kg of fruit. Begins to bear fruit in 4–5 years. Life expectancy is up to 25 years, the peak yield occurs in 12-18 years.
Propagated by grafting on seedlings of sour local cherry. This increases its frost resistance. Although it is possible to propagate and root shoots. For pollination, you need to plant it in a group with varieties of the same height - Vladimir, Kent and varieties of the Griot group.
I have a variety of "early Shpanka", zoned for all regions of Ukraine. I buy seedlings of trees of the Zaporizhzhya nursery and there are no special problems. For the North-East of Ukraine and other regions I will not prompt, but I advise you to take zoned seedlings from nurseries in your region.
I’m growing an old sort of cherry - Spanka, it’s not sick with anything. At all. Sweet, juicy dark berry ripens before Vladimir. Oblique cherries - an old garden. I gave the sapling to my brother in the Moscow region (Istra district), everything took root.
Shpanka cherries, whose “pedigree” is still not traced, is a wonderful confirmation that nature is a talented breeder. This hybrid, characterized by remarkable taste qualities of berries, stable productivity and low maintenance, gardeners have been happy to grow for more than 200 years. Breeders do not abandon attempts to “tweak” nature, developing new varieties based on Spanki.
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Old varieties, reliable and proven over the centuries, can be lost in the midst of an abundance of new varieties with convenient qualities - quick-growing, quick-returning, with a low harvest, low-growing, and so on. Therefore, there is reason to find a “real” Shpanka in the old gardens, knowing exactly what it is, and transplant it, keeping it in the new garden.