Vulnerability of sweet cherry cultivars to continuous periods of spring frosts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

S. Malchev, S. Savchovska*

Fruit Growing Institute – Plovdiv, 12 Ostromila Str., 4004 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 31 August 2020; accepted for publication 16 October 2020)

Abstract. The periods with continuous freezing air temperatures reported during the spring of 2020 (13 incidents) affected a wide range of local and introduced sweet cherry cultivars in the region of Plovdiv. They vary from -0.6°C on March 02 to -4.9°C on March 16-17. The duration of influence of the lowest temperatures is 6 and 12 hours between March 16 and 17. The inspection of fruit buds and flowers was conducted twice (on March 26 and April 08) at different phenological stages after continuous waves of cold weather conditions alternated with high temperatures. During the phenological phase ‘bud burst’ (tight cluster or BBCH 55) some of the flowers in the buds did not develop further making the damage hardly detectable. The most damaged are hybrid El.28-21 (95.00%), ‘Van’ (91.89%) and ‘Bing’ (89.41%) and from the next group ‘Lapins’ (85.98%) and ‘Rosita’ (83.33%). A larger intermediate group form ‘Kossara’ (81.67%), ‘Rozalina’ (76.00%), ‘Sunburst’ (75.00%), ‘Bigarreau Burlat’ (69.11%) and ‘Kuklenska belitza’ (66.67%). Candidate-cultivar El.17-90 ‘Asparuh’ has the lowest frost damage values of 55.00% and El.17-37 ‘Tzvetina’ with damage of 50.60%.