• The ber is one of the ancient and common fruit of Punjab. The districts of Sangrur, Patiala, Mansa, Bathinda, Fazilka and Barnala are most famous for ber cultivation. Ber is one of the nutritious fruits. It is a rich source of vitamin C (120 mg/100g), protein (1.0%) and minerals like calcium (0.03%), phosphorus (0.036%) and iron (1.14%). Umran variety is most suitable for the preparation of candy, sun drying and dehydration. Fully mature unripe fruits of ber can be used for the preparation of murabba, pickle and chutney. The juicy varieties can be converted into pulp to serve as base material for squash, nectar and ready-to-serve (RTS) beverage. The fully mature fruits of ber can be canned in sugar syrup.

Climate and Soil

  • The ber is a hardy fruit tree and can grow successfully even under unfavourable climatic conditions where most other fruit trees fail to grow. It can be grown in sub-tropical and tropical climate. Ber trees relish hot and dry climate for successful cultivation but need adequate watering during the fruiting season. Excessive atmospheric humidity is a limiting factor for satisfactory fruiting. It can withstand hot and dry weather during summer months of May and June as tree enters into dormancy by shedding its leaves. New growth starts in July with the advent of rains and growth period continues till the middle of November when it stops with the onset of cold weather.
  • Although ber grows and yields the best on deep sandy loam soils with neutral or slightly alkaline reaction having good drainage, it can be grown on marginal lands or even those which are considered unsuitable for growing other crops. It develops a deep tap-root system and as such adapts itself to a wide variety of soils. It is known for its ability to thrive under adverse conditions of salinity, drought, alkanity and water-logging. It can flourish even in soils with pH upto 9.2.

Recommended Cultivars

  • Wallaiti (2000): Tree semi-erect to erect and vigorous. Fruit medium to large, oval in shape, skin smooth and light golden yellow to golden yellow at maturity. Pulp soft, sweet with 13.8 to 15.0% TSS. It is an early variety and ripens during first fortnight of March. Average yield is 110-120 kg fruit per tree. Moderately susceptible to powdery mildew disease.
  • Umran (1968) : Tree spreading and vigorous. Fruit large, oval with a round apex. Skin smooth and glossy, golden yellow, turning to chocolate brown at maturity. Pulp sweet with a pleasant flavour and 16% TSS. Ripens from end-March to mid-April. Yield upto 150-200 kg of fruit per tree. Susceptible to powdery mildew disease.
  • Sanaur-2 (1968): Tree spreading and semi-vigorous. Fruit large, oblong, smooth and golden yellow. Pulp sweet with a typical flavour and 16% TSS. Ripens in the second fortnight of March. Average yield is 150 kg per tree. It is resistant to powdery mildew disease. Most suitable for Kandi area.


  • Rootstock Raising : The ber plants should be budded on desi ber. However, Katha ber is generally used for raising rootstock seedlings.
  • The germination of ber seed is quite difficult process on account of the stony nature of the shell (endocarp) which contain the seed. Seeds should be dipped in 17-18% salt solution for 24 hours before sowing. The stones are sown during April after fresh extraction in well prepared nursery beds at a distance of 15 cm in rows spaced 30 cm apart. Germination starts in about 3-4 weeks and seedlings become buddable in August.
  • Budding : The propagation of ber by budding is the most successful method. Shield budding (T) is done during June-September.


  • The budded plants are usually transplanted during February-March or August-September at 7.5×7.5 m in square system. Dig out the plants from the nursery with a good-sized earth ball so that minimum roots are lost. Pack the plants properly and carefully to keep earthball intact. The ber plants can also be transplanted bare-rooted with equal success. For this, lift the plants from nursery in usual manner from mid-January to mid-February. Defoliate the plants just before lifting them from the nursery.
  • On sandy land, it is advisable to sow seeds and bud in situ as transplantation of budded plants has a poor success.

Training and Pruning

  • The ber fruits are trained according to modified leader system. After transplanting head back the main stem at 75 cm from the ground level. Out of the new lateral growth produced on the main stem select four to five laterals which are most favourably located around the main stem. As the ber tree bears fruit on the current season’s growth, regular annual pruning is necessary. Prune the lower branches to prevent them from spreading on the ground. Also remove thin, dry, broken and diseased branches of the previous season. Pruning is done during second fortnight of May when the trees are dormant. Pruning in Sanaur-2 cv. should be done during the thrid week of April. Pruning by heading back to 8 buds of previous year’s growth gives higher yield of better quality fruits. Severe pruning after four-five years is recommended.

Rejuvenation of Old Ber Trees

  • Ber trees need to be rejuvenated after the age of about 25 years. This can be done by heading back the main limbs to about 30 cm during second fortnight of May. The trees start giving commercial crop with higher yield of excellent fruit quality during the third fruiting season.

Manures and Fertilizers

  • Age of tree (Years)

    Farmyard manure (kg/tree)

    Urea (g / tree)













    5 or more



  • Apply the whole quantity of farmyard manure in May-June. Urea may be split up in two parts – one part to be applied during the rainy season in July-August and the other soon after the fruit set.


  • Irrigation is essential during the development of fruit i.e. from October to February. It may be given at intervals of 3 or 4 weeks depending upon the weather. The fruit becomes large, quality improved and fruit shedding is minimized by irrigating the trees during fruit development period. Irrigation should be stopped in second fortnight of March, as fruits on the branches lying on the ground get damaged and their ripening is delayed.

Weed Control

  • Light cultivation of the field should be done to manage the different kinds of weed flora. Apply paddy straw mulch @ 5.0 ton per acre under the canopies of trees to supress weeds. Application of mulch should be done in the month of October after application of second split of inorganic fertilizers.


  • Intercropping can be successfully done on the vacant land in the young orchard during the first three-four years. Only the leguminous crops of short stature like gram, moong and mash should be grown to get some income from the land. These crops also enrich the soil by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The exhaustive and tall-growing crops should not be grown in the orchard as they deplete the soil of its nutrients to a greater extent and compete for light with the trees.
  • In the established ber orchards the short duration groundnut var. TG 37A can be grown as an intercrop immediately after pruning of trees in the middle of May. TG 37A matures in about 100 days after sowing. It gives an additional income without having adverse effect on ber plant.

Management of Physiological Fruit Drop in Ber

  • For the management of physiological fruit drop in “Umran” ber, give two sprays of 15g NAA (Naphthalene Acetic Acid) in 500 litres of water per acre once in 2nd fortnight of October and again in the 2nd fortnight of November. NAA should be dissolved in a small quantity of alcohol or spirit and then the required volume of water should be added. Wash the spray pump thoroughly with washing soda before and after the spray.

Quality improvement in ber

  • Two foliar sprays of potassium nitrate @1.5% (15 g per litre of water) during mid November and again in mid January increase the fruit size and yield.

Fruit Maturity and Harvesting

  • The ber tree grows quickly and the first crop ca n be harvested within 2-3 years of planting. The peak season for harvesting is mid-March to mid-April. During this period, ber sells readily at remunerative prices. The fruit should always be picked at the right stage of maturity, i.e. when it is neither under-ripe nor over-ripe. It should be picked when it has acquired normal size and characteristic colour of the variety e.g. deep golden yellow colour in Umran. All the ber fruits on the tree do not ripen at the same time and picked 4-5 times from mid-March to mid-April In no case, the fruits should be allowed to become over-ripe on the tree as they deteriorate in taste and quality and thus fetch lower price.

Post-Harvest Handling

  • Grading and Packing of Fruits : The grading should be done before the fruit is marketed. Sorting should be done to remove culled, undersized, under-ripe, over-ripe, mis-shapened, cankered and bird-damaged fruits. The fruits should be graded into four grades namely, A grade – large sized; B grade – medium-sized; C grade- small-sized and D grade – under-ripe, over-ripe, deformed, mis-shape and cankered fruits. Highest distribution of fruits is found in grade B (33%), which is closely followed by grade A (27%). The extent of C and D grade fruits is 21% and 19% respectively. The fruits of Umran belonging to A and B grades which accounted for 60 per cent of the total crop have deep golden yellow colour are more acceptable to the consumers and considered the best for marketing.
  • The fruits should be packed properly in Corrugated Fibre Board (CFB) cartons, wooden crates, polynets, wooden baskets and gunny bags of convenient sizes on the basis of grades.
  • Storage : The ber fruits of cultivar Umran, harvested at colour break stage can be stored at 7.5+10C and 90-95% RH for two weeks with acceptable colour and quality.