Fruit production in Bulgaria has passed several periods of development: 1) after the Liberation up to the Second World War (1897-1939), when the total area of orchards rose from 4,500 ha to 47,500 ha due to the increased demand on the West European market since 1925; 2) after the end of the Second World War up to 1960, when fruitgrowing developed in a typically extensive manner and the areas increased fast up to 135,800 ha; 3) the 1st stage of intensification (1960- 1970) when palmette orchards were established and the use of vegetatively propagated clonal rootstocks was started. During that period the areas reached a maximum of 178,600 ha (1965) and the concentration and specialization of fruitgrowing was started; 4) the 2nd stage of intensification (1971-1980). This period is known as the super intensive (high density) plantations on moderate and dwarf clonal rootstocks, when huge orchards of different fruit crops were established; 5) under the condition of transition to market economy since 1990 up to the present day – political and economic changes and allocation of the land to the former owners. A large number of the established new orchards are of a small size, mainly about 0.5-1.0 ha.
Fruitgrowing in Bulgaria – historical development, present situation and problems