Poor man’s fruit / King of Arid fruits / Chinese fig / Chinese Date
B.N. – Zizyphus mauritiana
Family – Rhamnaceae
Origin – India to South Western Asia up to Malaysia (China)
Ch. No – 2n = 48 (4x)
Fruit type – Drupe (stone)
Edible part – Pericarp
Inflorescence type – Fasicle (cymose)
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- Ber is non-climacteric fruit
- Highly salt tolerant
- Ber is extremely drought resistant.
- Ber is entomophilous (insect-pollinated).
- Gametophytic self-incompatibility is present in Ber.
- Maximum area and production Madhya Pradesh.
- One spray of 3% thiourea or KNO3 2 days before pruning results in bud germination from a maximum number of nodes.
- Irrigation in October leads to flower drop and during March-April the fruits are spoilage and ripening is delayed.
- Ber ripens 150-175 days after flowering.
- The most common method of Ber propagation is I or T budding.
- The ideal time for training is March.
- Harvesting in South India – October-November
North India – February-April.
- Spraying of 750 ppm ethephon at early stage of color change for early ripening.
- Flowering occurs in the axils of the leaves on young shoots of the current season.
Extremely dry area- early maturing
- Gola – Auto Octa-ploid.
Dry Area- late maturing
- Umran – Auto tetraploid, originating from Rajasthan Processed and used as ‘Chhuhara’
- Sanaur -2- resistant to powdery mildew
- Dodhia – resistant to fruit fly
- Illaichi – 90% pollen sterility
- Goma Kirti (Gonesh kirti)- early variety, Selection from unran.
- Surti Katha,
- Katha phal,
- Cultivated up to an altitude of 1500 meters
- Arid and semi-arid climate is required for better quality fruits.
- Tolerant to drought and waterlogging.
- Successfully grown in marginal lands.
- Being salt-tolerant, can be grown easily in saline and alkaline soils
- Sandy loamy soil with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH.
- In India, ber is commercially propagated by budding.
- Budding time – June or monsoon.
- Rootstock – Ziziphus rotundifolia
- For monsoon planting, pits of 60 cm3 size are dug from April to May.
- In December or January for spring planting.
- The best time for planting is the onset of the monsoon (June-July).
- 4X4m or 6X3m, or 6X6m or 6X5m planting distance is maintained.
Manure and fertilizers
- FYM -20-30 kg/plant
- N-400-500gm/tree, P2O5– 200gm/tree K2O- 200gm/tree.
- Half of the amount of Nitrogen and the full amount of Phosphorous and Potash should be applied in the month of June-July.
- The remaining amount of nitrogen should be used during September-October.
- Light irrigation should be given to newly planted ber plants.
- Drip irrigation is also an economical method.
- Irrigation at the time of fruiting increases the fruit size.
- Adopt a limited irrigation pitcher system of irrigation.
Mulching of 75% tree canopy around the trunk with dry leaves, grasses, saw dust etc. conserves soil moisture to a great extent.
Training and pruning in Ber
- For a strong frame of the ber tree, training becomes necessary from the first year of planting.
- The total number of main branches can be 4-6.
- Pruning in ber is highly desirable to maintain the strength and productivity of the tree as well as to improve the size and quality of fruits.
- All branches which are weak, thin, diseased, broken branches, criss-cross should be removed with sharp secateurs.
- The best time to prune is hot, dry weather when the plants shed their leaves and go to rest or go dormant.
Treatment of GA3, 2,4,5 – T, 2,4-D, NAA with 10-15 ppm increases the fruit set.
Interculture and intercropping
- Keep the ber plant free from weeds, regular weeding is recommended.
- Seasonal crops like moong, guar, cowpea, spinach, etc. can be grown in ber.
- Take intercrop in ber orchard for 2 to 3 years.
- In North India, harvesting is done from February to April.
- Western Port – December – January.
- South India – Nov.
- When the color changes from green to yellow and golden yellow to brown.
- Due to increasing in sugar, fruits become sweet and acidity decreases.
80 to 150 Kg / Tree
- Fruitfiy (Carpomyia vesuviona)
The flies puncture young developing fruits and lay single eggs. After hatching the larvae (maggots) feed inside the pulp of the fruit and pierce the rind.
- Collect and destroy affected fruits
- Spray Monocrotophos (0.04%) or Rogor 30 EC (0.06%)
- Grow tolerant varieties like Sanaur-1, Safeda, Elaichi etc.
Bark eating caterpillar (Inderbela quadinotota)
The caterpillar makes holes in the stem while eating the bark.
- Remove frassy galleries and point bark with 0.05% Monocrotophos 40EC.
- Grow insect tolerant varieties like, Rohtaki Gola, Laddu Glory etc.
Hairy caterpillar (Euproctis fraterna)
During the rainy season, the caterpillars cause damage by eating the leaves.
- Spray Seven (Carbaryl) @ 0.15%.
1.Powdery Mildew (Oidium erysiphoides)
- This disease was first observed in 1946 in Kanpur (UP).
- White powdery spots appear in affected fruits which later cover the entire fruit area.
- White powdery mass is also spread on flowers and leaves.
- Spray Karathane (Dinocap) 0.1% or Sulfox 0.2%
- Grow tolerant varieties like Sanour-5, Chuhara etc.
Sooty mould or Black Leaf Spot (Isariopsis sp.)
- In the month of September-October, black spots develop on the affected leaves on their inner surface.
- Leaves turn yellow to brown and eventually fall down.
- Adopt phytosanitary measures.
- Spray Dithane Z- 78@ 0.2%.
Fruit Root (Phoma sp., Colletotrichum sp., Alternaria sp.)
Brown to black spots are formed on the fruits, later these spots surround the whole fruit.
- Spray Dithane Zfirstname.lastname@example.org%.
- Commercial Fruits. By S. P. Singh
- A text book on Pomology, Vol,1. by T. K. Chattapadhya
- Tropical Horticulture, Vol.1, by T. K. Bose, S. K. Mitra, A. A. Farooqui and M. K. Sadhu