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How to Germinate Cherry Tree Seeds

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How to Germinate Cherry Tree Seeds

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Overview

A full-grown cherry tree can produce impressive blooms in the spring and buckets of ripe fruit in the summertime. Patience is crucial when growing cherry trees, as most species take seven to 10 years to reach maturity. Though they are notoriously hard to grow from seed, these trees germinate with a period of winter dormancy. If you are trying to start your seeds out of season, simulate winter by keeping seeds in the refrigerator for a couple of months.

Step 1

Rinse off any pulp that is still attached to the cherry seeds with clean water. The pulp inhibits germination and should be fully removed before planting.

Step 2

Fill a 1-gallon plastic freezer bag halfway full of vermiculite or peat moss. Place the cherry seeds inside and seal the bag. Be sure the seeds are fully covered by the soil mixture.

Step 3

Store the plastic bag in the refrigerator for 10 weeks. This will mimic winter-like conditions and start the process of germination.

Step 4

Mist the cherry seeds and soil mixture regularly by using a spray bottle. Seeds should be kept moist without sitting in standing water.

Step 5

Fill a shallow pan with 1 to 2 inches of potting soil. Remove the seeds from the refrigerator after 10 weeks, and bury them ½ inch below soil level in a shallow pan.

Step 6

Expose the pan in full sunlight and mist the seeds daily. Seedlings should emerge within two to three weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let cherry seeds dry out during cold storage, as this will prevent germination.

Things You'll Need

  • Cherry seeds
  • Water
  • Plastic freezer bag
  • Perlite or vermiculite
  • Spray bottle
  • Shallow pan
  • Potting soil

References

  • Iowa State University: Germination of Tree Seeds
Keywords: cherry pits, germinate cherry tree seeds, grow cherries

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. She is a featured poet on NYC public radio, is the winner of the San Jacinto & Alethean Literary Societies' Poetry Award, and has authored three collections of poetry including "cold days," "bastante" and "short poems." She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Southwestern University.