Permaculture and Food Forest Nursery - Howland, Maine
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Aronia Cultivation (Aronia melanocarpa)

aronia cultivation news

Aronia (black chokeberry) - Culture of Aronia for Fruit Production

“chokecherries”, is a different plant.

History

Black chokeberry was imported to Russia in the 19th century. It was present in the botanical gardens in St Petersburgh in 1834, and that it has been cultivated commercially in Russia for juice and wine since the 1940s. 


Propagation

Black chokeberry can be propagated from seed. Recommend fall planting of seed, or 2-3 months cold stratification. Seeds’ internal dormancy can be overcome by stratification in moist peat for 3-4 months at 32-41 degrees F before planting.

Take softwood cuttings in late May-early June, to be rooted in well ventilated frames, or hardwood cuttings with piece of 3-year-old wood attached.

Field production

Black chokeberries are found in a wide range of climates and a wide range of habitats, suggesting that they tolerate varied conditions. For best performance of this plant as a fruit crop, full sun is required.

Soil pH and fertility: Black chokeberry performs well in slightly acid soil. pH  6.5-7.0. Yearly compost application increases vegetative and fruit production. 

Plant spacing: 6 feet within rows and 10 feet  between rows. (@900 plants/acre)


Pruning: optimal production is achieved when plants are pruned to a 3 ft  height every 4-5 years after they reach 8-10 years of age.

Harvest: Determination of optimal harvest date is an area of current research. I recommend picking fruit in August to September as late as possible before browning of the fruit occurs. This will maximize the nutritive, antioxidant levels while maintaining fruit quality.

Yield: @ 5lbs per plant, begining in year 2 an maximizing year 5+.


Problems: aphids, beetles.  Not attractive to birds.  Attractive to deer.  

Shallow cultivation keeps weeds and suckers in check
Harvest: @ 1 hour needed per 7lbs of fruit.  Fruit are not easily damaged after harvest.

Aronia Plants - Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)



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