The Q&A Archives: Planting Cherry seeds

Question: Can you start a cherry tree by planting the cherry seeds? If so, how do I do this? What time of the year do I plant them? How to plant and tend to them?

Answer: The cherry, like all temperate fruit trees, requires a "chilling" period or winter to prepare the seed for growth. The hard shell of the pit does not need to be removed, but the seed should be placed in moist vermiculite or peatmoss and stored in the refrigerator for six to eight weeks before planting. Do not let the seed dry before beginning this treatment.

Once the seed has been treated by chilling, it may be planted?outside if the weather is already cool, or in a pot in a window or greenhouse. If planted outside, it will experience further chilling and begin growing in the spring. If planted in a pot, it will begin growing in a few weeks.

Plant several seeds because it is possible that only a few will grow. In about seven to ten years you may begin eating cherries from your tree. The fruit from your seedling may be tasty, or it may be bitter. Like apples and peaches, this is a plant that will not produce a seedling exactly like the parent.

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