The black cherry tree is most famous for its delicious, purplish-black fruit, though woodworkers prize the trees for their wood's appearance. A black cherry tree can reach a height of 60 to 90 feet, so it requires a large space if you are to grow one in your yard. Black cherry trees are best suited to grow in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 7, but grow well in both acidic and alkaline soils.
Remove cherry pits from three or four black cherries. Plant a few black cherry pits, to increase your chances of having at least one germinate and grow.
Place black cherry pits in a nest of peat moss and place this into your refrigerator. Let the seeds chill for six to eight weeks before planting.
Choose a suitable area to plant the black cherry seeds. The area should be partly sunny and large enough to accommodate several young black cherry trees, at least temporarily, should more than one or two grow.
Amend clay soil, if present. Add a 2-inch-thick layer of peat moss to the planting area. Use a rototiller or pitchfork to thoroughly incorporate the peat moss with the clay soil. This will improve the drainage abilities of the soil, which is important for the health of the black cherry trees.
Clear the planting area of grass using a rototiller or pitch fork. Grass provides unnecessary competition for the black cherry saplings, and should be removed prior to planting.
Plant the cherry pits once the risk of frost has passed. Make a hole in the soil, one per seed, twice the depth of the diameter of the cherry seed. For example: a cherry pit with a diameter of ½ inch should be planted in a 1-inch-deep hole. Space each seed 4 to 6 feet apart.
Cover each cherry seed with clean sand. Sand is an easier medium for the germinating cherry seeds to sprout up through.
Water the newly planted seeds lightly and often. Keep the soil moist. Water more deeply and less frequently once the saplings are at least 8 inches tall.
Fertilize the black cherry saplings, with an urea fertilizer, once it reaches a height of 8 to 12 inches tall. Apply the fertilizer 3 inches away from the saplings, at a rate of 1 tbsp. per foot of area the saplings inhabit.
Transplant young trees to its permanent home once the trees are two years old. When digging a sapling from the ground, sink the shovel a minimum of 5 to 6 inches, to capture the taproot.
Things You Will Need
- Black cherry pits
- Peat moss
- Rototiller or pitch fork
- Urea fertilizer
- Use a pesticide designed for fruit trees if an insect infestation appears.
- The leaves of black cherry trees can be poisonous to animals.