Propagating Cherry Trees


There are many varieties of cherry trees, such as sour, tart and sweet. Each variety has cultivars and the USDA planting hardiness zones range from 4 through 10, depending on the tree. Cherry trees can be propagated by seed and later grafting onto root stock, air-layering or hardwood-cutting. Hardwood-cutting is the preferred method because it's easy and the new tree will be exactly like the tree it was taken from. Propagating from hardwood cuttings can yield fruit in one to three years.

Step 1

Take a cutting from a branch that is between ¼ and ½ inch wide. The cutting should be 8 to 10 inches long with two or three leaves left on it.

Step 2

Fill a small container with some damp sand. Use a pencil to make a hole in the center of the sand just slightly larger than the branch.

Step 3

Dip the cut end of the branch into rooting hormone and place it into the small planting hole. Firm the sand around the branch.

Step 4

Place the container in a warm area and use a misting system to periodically mist the branch and container. This can be a system used outdoors in hot areas or a hand-held sprayer where you manually mist the plant every hour.

Step 5

Moisten the sand enough to keep it just barely moist. If you cannot constantly mist, such as at night, cover the branch and container with a plastic bag to keep in the humidity surrounding the branch, then remove in the morning. Roots should appear within 60 days.

Step 6

Transplant the branch into a larger container with sterilized potting soil. Keep the branch in a warm area and in the shade for six months to a year. Allow the top of the soil to feel dry between watering. Plant out in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Rooting hormone
  • Small container
  • Course sand
  • Misting system
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • 12-inch container with drain holes
  • Sterilized potting soil


  • Purdue University: Barbados Cherry
  • University of Florida Extension: Barbados Cherry
  • Iowa State University Extension: Germination of Tree Seed
Keywords: propagating cherry trees, growing cherries, fruit tree propagation

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.