Origin and pedoclimatic requirements

Sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.), is a deciduous tree plant belonging to the family Rosaceae and the subfamily Prunoideae.

It is a demanding species and requires temperate climates, avoiding moist and clay soils that would cause water stagnation to which the cherry is particularly sensitive; The same applies to the mahaleb (Prunus mahaleb L.), a species that belongs to the same family as the sweet cherry but is used exclusively as rootstock due to its inedible fruits. On the contrary, sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.), including amarena, visciola and maraschino, is more hardy and therefore more adaptable in terms of climate and soil.

Water requirements for Cherry Trees

Sweet cherry is generally able to satisfy its water requirements and ripen its fruit without any external water supply, especially in cherry-growing areas characterised by spring rainfall. The cherry tree nevertheless benefits from irrigation: in fact, in cherry cultivation irrigation should not be seen as a relief practice, but as an agronomic technique that is fundamental for satisfactory production. Its water consumption is 1000 – 1500 m3/ha, with moderate requirements throughout the fruit development phase and increased needs during the final rush where the cherry tree grows through cell relaxation and prepares to be harvested. At this stage it is good to moderate water and fertiliser inputs, since strong water-nutritional variations seem to be responsible for fruit splitting (cracking). The use of irrigation is therefore particularly necessary in the summer and for varieties whose ripening takes a longer time. This also allow the plants to be produced more quickly.

Irrigation System for Cherry

The choice of the most suitable irrigation system for a cherry orchard is based on microflow systems, in variants with inline or online drip heads, normal or self-compensating, installed above ground or, again, with underground drip lines (sub-irrigation).

The choice will certainly depend on the soil and topographic conditions of the plot, the planting pattern, the length of the rows, and the morpho-physiological characteristics of the graft and rootstock. With regard to modern cherry tree cultivation, which aims at intensification of the installations, Irritec recommends lines with close drip points (50-75 cm) so as to create a wet strip along the row, with flow rates generally of 2.1 l/h or 3.8 l/h if a single drip line per row is chosen (laid or suspended), 1.6 l/h or 2.1 l/h if the double drip line per row is chosen (preferable because optimal expansion of the root system is encouraged from the first years after installation).

For the subirrigation system, the choice is the single, or even better, the double drip line per row with self compensating cylindrical drip heads (Multibar C), equipped with Rootguard technology, which offers excellent assurance against physical and chemical sprinkler occlusions, while simultaneously allowing even delivery of water and nutrients directly to the area occupied by the root system.

Application of water stress, fertigation and automation

Drip irrigation is the system that best lends itself to the application of particular irrigation management techniques, such as controlled water stress. This makes it possible to achieve considerable water savings without significantly affecting the year’s productivity or that of the following season, as well as to manage the plant’s vegetative-productive balance and probably also limit certain physiopathologies.

The micro-irrigation technique also allows better fertiliser management, thus enhancing the potential of the cherry orchard. To guarantee maximum flexibility of choice to farms, Irritec offers a variety of solutions: Venturi, Ferticlick Ferticlick Bypass (which allows a proportional or volumetric dosing of a single solution) and the DosaBox Junior Advanced, which allows up to 3 fertilisers to be administered simultaneously.

A new feature is available in the advanced version of the DosaBox Junior, which proportionally doses 3 fertilisers + 1 acid and simultaneously manages pH and EC.

For automation of the irrigation system, Irritec proposes the Commander Evo line, an extra edge for a more professional approach to irrigation shifts.

Climate-controlled watering for Cherry

Cherry is a crop that benefits greatly from frost-protected irrigation, because it is extremely sensitive not only to spring frosts but also to hot summer temperatures.

In the former case, blooming and therefore production for the year may be compromised.

In the latter case, the occurrence of high daytime temperatures (above 30 °C) during the differentiation phase of the flower buds can lead to the formation of floral anomalies and therefore to the production of double or multiple fruits in the following season.

With Irritec sprinklers F34, FXW AA and FXW AM, the frost-protection system can be activated in a timely manner, mitigating the cherry orchard’s microclimate and avoiding potential crop damage.

Cherry trees growing irrigation system

A practical example of how to drip irrigate cherry trees:

Irrigation System Cherry Trees Design Irritec

Here are the Irritec products you need to drip irrigate cherry trees



The classic drip line with a pressure compensating cylindrical drip head is the ideal solution for irrigating multi-season crops, and is also suitable for sloping terrain and uneven topography. The wide range of medium and long range swing sprinklers are ideal for applications in open field, orchards and greenhouses, both above and below the canopy. Available in both circular and sectoral versions, they are made from plastic or metal with highquality materials that are resistant to UV, the fertilisers typically used in agriculture, and adverse climatic conditions.

Cherry tree Dripline and sprinklers Irritec



he low density irrigation pipe is produced with state-of-theart equipment, using selected special resins that are highly resistant to chemicals and weathering. Due to its high resistance to mechanical stress, it is particularly suitable for side branches and withstands deformations caused by the assembly of hose couplings very well.

Pipes for Cherry tree irrigation, Irritec



The Rotodisk Automatic range represents a valid solution for the primary filtration of all types of water in an agricultural setting and large green spaces. The range of models makes it possible to manage water flow rates from 20 to 600 m3/h. Fully automatic operation ensures constant efficiency of the irrigation system and eliminates the need for filter maintenance. Disc filter elements, thanks to their “three-dimensional” filtration, are the greatest guarantee of reliability for your equipment.

Irrigation Filters for Cherry Trees Irritec



Irritec® fertigation systems combine practicality and reliability with a modern nutrient injection system. Fertiliser management is regulated by simple fertigation recipes that can be set according to agronomic and nutritional requirements. Proper water management, which is essential for delivering the right nutrition to the plants, is ensured by years of experience in sizing machines and equipment and the use of reliable and certified materials.

fertigation for cherry tree irritec systems



Complete range for tape connection, light and classic dripline, available in sizes 16, 20, 22, 23, 25 and 29 mm.


Discover how to irrigate others crops

Irritec wants to make life easier for those who take care of the plants, for work and for passion. We aim to ensure that every drop is spent as well as possible, minimizing the ecological footprint.

Agronomic Irritec Team support the farmer also on after-sale and installation, with continuous assistance and efficiency control. Continuous attention to the customer needs to provide succesful and sustainable solution with an efficience service.