How Deep Do You Need to Plant Cherry Tree Seeds?

Cherry trees are loved by gardeners and landscapers because they provide both stunning floral displays and useful fruit. It is possible to grow trees from cherry seeds, or pits, but there are several things to keep in mind as you do this.

  1. Grafting

    • Most sweet cherry varieties, such as Bing cherries, are cultivated through grafting and budding instead of being grown from seed. In this process, branches of sweet cherry-producing trees are cut and then grafted onto another tree's "root stock" so that the two grow together and form a new tree that can be planted.

    Flavor

    • Grafted trees will produce hybrid seeds with characteristics from both of the combined plants, so these cherries usually will not reproduce "true"; they will have different flavors and characteristics than the cherries your seeds came from.

    Gathering

    • You should gather cherry seeds when the fruit is fully ripe. Wash and dry the seeds and keep them in a cool, dry area until you're ready to plant.

    Planting

    • According to horticulturists at the University of Iowa Extension, many tree seeds won't germinate until they have broken through a dormant period. This can happen after a seed has been exposed to cool temperatures and moist conditions for several weeks or months, so in areas that have a cold winter, planting seeds in the fall should allow them to germinate the following spring.

      Seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/2 inch, and you should plant several seeds because it's likely that some won't germinate. (Reference 2)

    Fruiting

    • Once you have a small cherry tree established, it will likely take seven to 10 years for it to grow large enough to begin producing fruit.

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References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sevilay

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