Propagating cherry trees through seed planting or stem cuttings is an economical method of reproduction. Planting cherry seeds will not reproduce an exact duplicate of the parent tree. Rooting stem cuttings will produce an exact clone of the parent. Each method has its merits and downfalls. Planting seeds will produce a seedling the following spring. Rooting a stem cutting will take about a year before you can place that seedling in a permanent location.
Cherry Stem Cutting
Select a green stem from the parent cherry tree in mid-summer. Cut a 6- to 8-inch long piece from the end of the tree stem.
Remove the lower 2 inches of leaves from the cut end. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone, covering it with the white powder.
Fill a 6-inch pot to within 1 inch of the top rim with equal parts of peat moss and sand. Insert the cutting 2 inches deep into the medium.
Add 1 qt. of water, slowly, to the pot containing the stem cutting. Allow all excess moisture to drain from the pot.
Place the pot in a bright location, out of direct sunlight. Keep the cutting moist throughout the rooting process.
Transplant the rooted seedling the following spring, after all danger of frost has passed, in a permanent location.
Growing Cherry from Seed
Select healthy cherries that are fully ripe with no physical defects on the skin. Different varieties of cherry trees will ripen at various times during the growing season.
Remove all pulp material from the exterior of the seed hull. Wash the seed under a stream of water. Pulp will reduce seed germination rates.
Place the seeds in the refrigerator to stratify. Place the seed or seeds in a sealed plastic bag to retain moisture. Stratification is a method of cold treating seeds to promote germination. Most cherry seeds must remain at least 90 days between 33 and 41 degrees F.
Dig a shallow hole with a hand spade. Plant the seed in a permanent location outdoors after stratification. Use one seed per location. Cover the seed with a ½ inch of soil in full sunlight exposure. Keep the soil and seed moist.