The Q&A Archives: Growing Cherry Trees

Question: I live in Philadelphia, PA My question is how can I start a cherry tree from cherries I get at the market. Please give me a full detail of how to do this.

Answer: A. Commercially, cherry trees are propagated by T-budding or chip budding the desired cultivar (variety) on a seedling rootstock. Cherries are never producd from seed because the genetics get all mixed up and what fruit finally ends up on the resulting mature tree is inferior (in quality, taste, productivity, etc.) than the parent fruit and what you expected. If, however, you want to have fun watching a seedling grow, here are the details: soak the seed in water for 24 hours, then stratify (provide an artificial winter chill) for 100 days at 40 degrees F (about the temp in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator). You can also give them a real winter chill by sowing the seeds straight to the ground in latest fall in marked rows. Cherries are easy to grow from seed but, again, don't expect an armload of supermarket-quality cherries when the tree sets fruit in 5-10 years.

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