History, Establishment of the Institute

The history of the Research and Breeding Institute of Pomology goes back to the year 1951. In terms of reorganization of the Pomology and Viticultural Institute in Prague and the Pomology Institute in Průhonice the individual branches of horticulture were split into separate institutes.

zamek1907small.jpg On the site of the chateau building there used to be regent’s residence, later rebuilt in a stronghold belonging to the noblemen Holovouský from Holovousy.

The chateau was possessed by a number of owners. They were e.g. Karlikové from Nezetice, the Smiřický, Leveneuer, Sosnovec, from Vlkanov, Valdštejn family, and others, who rebuilt the stronghold into a chateau. The Malinský family gave the chateau its current appearance at the beginning of 20th century. Thanks to the restitution the Holovousy chateau was reclaimed by its original owners.

The Research Institute of Pomology was established here on 1st March 1951 and since January 1st 1952 it has become one of the institutes of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czechoslovak Republic, in 1956 it devolved to direct ownership of the Czechoslovak Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and in 1977 it was affiliated to VHJ Sempra Praha as an independent agricultural organization. Breeding stations Těchobuzice, Velké Losiny and Velehrad were merged to it.

On 1st July 1997 a new limited liability company was established called the Research and Breeding Institute of Pomology Hlovousy Ltd. The owners of the business shares of the new company are Sempra Praha a.s., Mr. Jaroslav Muška, Ing. Václav Ludvík, Ing. Milan Kamler, Ing. Jan Blažek, CSc., Ing. Josef Kosina, CSc., Ing. Miroslav Lánský and Ing. František Paprštejn, CSc.

Statutory representatives of the Institute are Ing. Jaroslav Vácha and Ing. Tomáš Zmeškal.



The institute is involved in research of practically all fruit crop that is grown as a market culture in the Czech Republic. The following issues in the field concerned are dealt with:

  • Preserving the gene pool of fruit crop
  • Breeding research of apples, sweet cherries, apricots and plums
  • Research of reproduction of fruit crop
  • Studies of the influence of rootstock on grafted cultivars
  • Introduction of foreign varieties
  • Collecting regional and primitive varieties of local origin
  • Assessment of important economical properties of preserved cultivars
  • Use of explantate cultures for sanitation of fruit trees
  • Regeneration systems in vitro for use in breeding
  • Development of biological and integrated fruit tree protection methods
  • Monitoring of occurrence of diseases and pests
  • Setting the thresholds of economical malignity of the diseases and pests
  • Application technology of new pesticides
  • Virological research of fruit crop
  • Development of intensive production systems of planting
  • Fruit tree pruning systems in relation to fertility regulation
  • Regulation of fruit tree fertility
  • Treatment of soil in the orchards and weed control
  • Irrigation systems in intensive orchards
  • Nutrition of trees in relation to quality of fruits
  • Economy of fruit production
  • Assessment of investment intensity of establishment and recovery of fruit planting
  • Fruit planting projects
  • Monitoring of pesticide residues in fruit for production of children’s food


  • Novel -breeding section
    At different stages of the breeding process breeding material of apple, sweet cherry, apricot and plum is selected. The work is focused on selection of prospective novel -breeding in hybrid orchards and on assessment of the station experiments.
  • The section of maintenance breeding is secured in cooperation with SEMPRA Praha a.s
    The maintenance breeding of all registered cultivars of plums in the CR is secured in full extent. The parent virus-free material is kept in technical isolate and production of virus-free buds is secured in two space-isolated graft reproduction facilities (total annual capacity is 150.000 buds). The authenticity of the reproduction material is controlled and further selection of clones is performed in comparison clone planting. In smaller extent maintenance breeding of selected cultivars of apple, pear, sweet cherry, apricot, strawberry and some rootstock is secured. Total annual capacity of bud production of this material is around 200 thousand buds.

Cultivars and rootstock bred in RBIP Holovousy Ltd.

Apples Sweet cherries Apricots Strawberries


James Grieve Double




Lord Lambourne  červený










Lady Silvia















Early Korvik





















* self-fertile sweet cherry cultivars

Dwarf rootstock for sweet cherry

The cultivars grafted on dwarf rootstock set in fertility very early and the crops are very heavy. They dispose of good affinity with the cultivars of common assortment grown. This rootstock is suitable for low shapes and slender spindles. They require excellent plantation management; they are impatient of permanent grassing. With rootstock P-HL-A and P-HL-C support is recommended.

Rootstock Intensity of variety vigour Recommended spacing Lifetime
P-HL-A 30 % 4 - 5 m x 2 - 3,5 m 20 - 25 years
P-HL-B 50 % 5 - 6 m x 4 - 5 m 25 - 30 years
P-HL-C 20 % 3,5 - 4,5 m x 1,5 - 2,5 m up to 15 years
Bird cherry 100 % 8 x 6 m 40 - 50 years


Commercial services

Nursery activity

The institute provides limited production of nursery cultivars of apple, pear, sweet cherry, apricot and plum, strawberry and raspberry. Novel cultivars are propagated with the purpose to establish operation experiments. Larger lots of cultivars are prepared based on contracts.

Production of grafts

In connection with the maintenance breeding practically the whole range of plums grown is delivered to the propagators. With the other fruit species complete assortment of cultivars bred in the RBIP in Holovousy is offered. The grafts of the cultivars that were registered by the institute or where the institute is their licence propagator are also offered.

Production of rootstock, trees and bushes

In the lab of the explanate cultures the institute carries out propagation of rootstock for sweet cherries of type P-HL. In limited extent the lab carries out propagation of the rootstock of pears and plums (St. Julien and Pixy) and some cultivars of strawberry, raspberry and Canadian blueberry.

Licence contracts

RBIP Holovousy ltd. provides the nursery companies and other propagators with licences for usage of cultivars that they are owners or co-owners, or sole distributer of.

  • List of nurseries possessing the sub licence contract for propagation of legally protected plum cultivars: (TOPHIT, ELENA, KATINKA)


The institute provides the growers with information about new cultivars of the fruit crop, proposes the cultivar structure and the way to ensure pollination of the cultivars grown. They provide all further information concerning the cultivar issues.

Testing of health state of the fruit crop

The RBIP Holovousy carries out tests of fruit crop (apple, pear, sweet cherry, sour cherry, plum, apricot, and peach, raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry) for the presence of viruses using the ELISA method, and the phytoplasm of apple, pear and stone-fruit using the molecular method PCR.




- Association for Intergrated Systems of Fruit Growing Holovousy

It is a voluntary interest association of fruit growers, representatives of researchers and consumers as well. It is a part of the Pomology Union of the Czech Republic. It is based in the Research and Breeding Institute of Pomology in Holovousy. On 1st September 2014 there were 316 members (311 growers, who grow fruit on ca. 10.900 ha, 4 non-production companies and 1 honorary member). The Association publishes the directives for integrated systems of fruit growing that are methodological guideline for fruit production with minimum rate of chemical input and minimum negative impact on the agro ecosystem. The directives are valid always for two years.

In the integrated system of fruit growing environmentally and economically acceptable regulations are applied that positively coordinate the production and quality of fruit, with special respect to minimizing the content of inorganic substance in the fruit. An important condition for application of the integrated production is the choice of suitable sites, cultivars and technological procedures. The ground of the integrated systems of fruit growing is integrated protection of plants where all economically, environmentally and toxicologically acceptable methods to keep the noxious agents under the malignance level giving priority to natural limiting factors (resistant varieties, biological and non chemical ways of protection) are applied.

Fruit grown in compliance with the principles of integrated growing is labelled with SISPO trademark. The trademark is non-negotiable, only the company can use it which it was awarded to, and the entire respective species of fruit awarded can be labelled with it. It can be awarded only to such a grower who has stuck to the given principles and SISPO directives for at least three years, and meets all the conditions for integrated production of fruit. The trademark is awarded for the period of one year. In the successive year the grower must advocate the right to use the trademark again. The SISPO directives can be obtained on the contact address.

Contact address:
Ovocnářská unie České republiky
Holovousy 129
508 01 Horice

tel.: +420 491 848 263
email: unie@volny.cz

Association chairman:
Ing. Martin LUDVÍK
Ovocnářská unie České republiky
Holovousy 129
508 01 Horice

tel.: +420 491 848 206
email: unie@volny.cz

Association secretary:
Ing. Miroslav LÁNSKÝ
VŠÚO Holovousy s.r.o.
Holovousy 129
508 01 Horice

tel.: +420 491 848 205
email: lansky@vsuo.cz