Reduce Cherry Cracking and Doubling with Cuticle Care

Cherry cracking and doubling reduces yield and fruit quality causing significant economic losses for growers. Fortifying the cuticle layer to help fill microfractures and combat heat stress can help reduce culls and promote overall fruit quality.

Parka is a plant health solution proven to minimize cracking by up to 50% and reduce doubling up to 64% over controls. Parka coats the cuticle with a clear, hydrophobic and elastic lipid bilayer that expands along with the developing fruit. Applying Parka to cherry trees postharvest enhances its ability to tolerate heat to decrease the chance of doubling fruit the following season.

Why use Parka on Cherries?

  • Reduces cracking and doubling of cherries.
  • Increases fruit quality and storage ability.
  • Increases plant tolerance to environmental extremes.
  • Improves overall tree health.
  • Leaves no visible residue.
  • Exempt from maximum residue levels.
  • Zero preharvest and worker reentry intervals.

How to Use Parka in a Program

For cracking prevention, apply Parka at 100% shuck fall with a second application at straw color. Reapply every 7-10 days. For reactionary applications, apply within 24-48 hours before a rain event.

Want More Information on Parka?

Send us a message. Be sure to ask your retailer about how to include it in your crop protection program.


There are two types of cherry cracking: cuticular and vascular. Cuticular cracking occurs when the cherry fruit absorbs surface by osmosis which is facilitated by cuticular microfractures. As sugar concentration increases during ripening, so does the osmotic potential (absorption potential) and the longer water remains on the surface, the more the fruit can absorb. Often, this type of cracking appears on the shoulders of the fruit when water pools in the stem bowl or at the blossom end where water droplets can form. This is the most common type of cherry cracking and it can occur with as low as 0.10 inches of rainfall in one event.

Vascular cracking is caused by water that is taken up by the roots and translocated through the vascular system. If more water is absorbed than the fruit can hold, the turgor pressure in the cells builds to the point where the fruit cracks from within. This type of cracking usually occurs after high-volume rain events followed by warm temperatures.

Cherry Splitting

Parka coats the fruit with an elastic, hydrophobic lipid bilayer, which seals the microfractures as soon as they appear, and if applied at fruit set, prevents their formation. Because Parka is hydrophobic, it also repels water from the fruit surface. Parka also increases the concentration of anthocyanins within the cuticle. These are antioxidants that reduce oxidative molecules that degrade membranes within the cells. By supplementing the cuticle and adding elasticity to it, as well as repelling moisture from the fruit surface and increasing cell membrane stability, Parka contributes to better cracking resistance.

Doubling is a deformation of the fruit that results in two equally sized cherries that are insufficiently separated or one underdeveloped fruit protruding from a normally sized one. Either way, they are usually culled, resulting in lost profit.

Doubling occurs when the trees are subject to heat stress four to six weeks after harvest. This is a critical period when the pistil differentiation occurs within the flower buds that are forming for the next year’s crop. The minimum threshold temperature is around 94° F for doubling to occur.

At these temperatures, without cooling measures or other stress-reducing practices, the pistil of the flower will double and produce two incomplete cherries the following season.

Cherry Doubling
cherry doubling

Parka, because it supplements and strengthens the leaf cuticle, and increases chlorophyll production, significantly reduces the impact of heat stress on the tree. Under extreme heat stress, plants slow down or nearly stop all their developmental processes in order to conserve resources. When this happens during flower bud formation, the pistil does not fully divide. By strengthening the leaf cuticle, increasing the amount of chlorophyll, and reducing transpiration from the leaf, Parka applications allow the tree to continue photosynthesizing and support flower development.

Primarily, growers like Parka because it is effective. Reducing cracking by up to 50% and doubling by as much as 64% over control helps protect profits. In addition, Parka is easily tank mixed with many other inputs, including fertilizers and pesticides, which saves fuel and labor costs. Parka has an excellent worker safety profile with a zero preharvest or postharvest interval, and no maximum residue level. Parka is transparent and does not leave a white residue on the fruit, which workers and packers appreciate.

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