Saint Lucie (SL 64)

The Saint Lucie 64 (SL-64) rootstock allows medium density plantations, improving the precocity and productivity of the frank pattern. You need drained soils

Saint Lucie GF 64 or Santa Lucia 64, also known by the abbreviation SL 64 or SL-64. SL 64 is a clonal selection of Prunus Mahaleb. The word Mahaleb has its origin in the Arabic word”cherry”and like the sweet cherry, it is related to the cherry. It is less vigorous than the cherry tree, reaching around 5 meters high.

The Pattern SL-64 is obtained from the Scientific Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) of France. The Saint Lucie 64 rootstock was released in the year 1987. Therefore, today its multiplication should be possible without the need for commercial authorization.

The SL 64 rootstock is probably the most widespread in the Iberian Peninsula. Its excellent adaptation to the limestone lands of Lleida, Zaragoza and Murcia, was an important advance in the cultivation of cherry. Although today its presence begins to decline in favor of more recently introduced patterns (Colt, Gisela 5, Gisela 6, Maxma 14, Marilan (Mariana-Adara), Tabel…). SL 64 remains one of the main references of the nurseries and remains among the best sellers.

Characteristics of the SL 64 or Saint Lucie 64 rootstock:

Vigor: Saint Lucie 64, has a medium-high vigor reaching 90% according to the sources consulted.
Santa Lucia 64, Patron SL-64

Productivity: The SL 64 rootstock improves productivity and precocity against the frank or Avium standard. However, cherries of smaller caliber are usually obtained. It adapts well to frames of 400 feet per hectare. In productive varieties, different studies show potential productions exceeding 20 tons/ha.

Compatibility. Saint Lucie GF 64 is compatible with sour cherries or cherries and with most sweet cherry varieties.

Density: Supports medium density frames, successful plantations of 400 trees per hectare have been carried out. In the United States it is recommended to plant in frames of 7×6 meters.

Propagation: SL 64 is easily propagated by woody stapling.

Fruit quality: When the trees of Santa Lucia 64 settle on suitable land, good quality fruits can be obtained.

Irrigation: Saint Lucie 64 is sensitive to root asphyxiation, therefore, the type of irrigation applied must be careful. This is the main reason why SL 64 plantations have not been successful in the rainy Valle del Jerte.

Pruning : The tree must be maintained with adequate vigor if you want to get quality cherries and fruits of good caliber.

Root: The SL 64 rootstock has a good anchorage to the ground and rarely produces sierpes or baby grandparents.

Soil: You need well drained soils.

Resistance: Saint Lucie GF 64 is resistant to gill nematodes, but susceptible to injuring nematodes. SL 64 is moderately resistant to agrobacterium (bacteria that generates tuberculosis). But it is sensitive to fungi Verticillium, Armillaria and Phytophthora.

Recommendations: It is advisable to plant Santa Lucia 64 in medium density, preferably in dry climates (it is susceptible to fungi and asphyxiation).

Recommended reading

We have a lot of information about the cherry tree that may be of interest:

Cherry types: More than 50 varieties

Properties of sweet cherry


We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Note that some words may have seen their meaning altered during their translation.

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