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How to Propagate Cherry Trees

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cherry trees are fruit producing deciduous trees that grow to a height of 6 to 30 feet. Propagate cherry trees through hardwood cuttings taken during the fall or during the early spring dormant season. Cherry trees are entering the dormant season when they lose their leaves in the fall. During the dormant season the tree is no longer in active growth and the wood does not bend well.

Disinfect propagation tools with a solution that is nine parts water and one part bleach. Air-dry the tools prior to using.

Take a 4-to-6-inch hardwood cherry tree cutting just above a leaf node. This is the point where the leaf grows out of the tree stem. Cuttings should have two to four leaf nodes on each. Choose long branches that are approximately the diameter of a pencil.

Store the cuttings in a plastic bag while cutting additional stems and preparing the propagation trays. This will prevent moisture loss in the cuttings.

Cut the bottom of each hardwood cutting at an angle with a sharp knife. Remove branches or leaves on the bottom half of the stem.

Purchase or create a rooting medium by mixing equal parts of peat moss and perlite. Lightly dampen the medium with water. Fill a rooting tray with the prepared medium.

Dip the bottom cut end in rooting hormone. Gently tap the stem to remove excess hormone.

Stick one third to half of the cutting into the rooting medium. Gently pack the medium around the cutting to hold in place. Cover the rooting tray with a clear plastic cover or plastic bag, to increase the humidity in the rooting area.

Place the cutting tray in an indoor location that has indirect sunlight. Monitor the moisture level to prevent the medium from drying out. Gently mist the medium with water if necessary.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Bleach
  • Hand pruner
  • Plastic bag
  • Sharp knife
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Rooting tray
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic cover


  • Transplant newly rooted cuttings in individual pots for continued growth. Cuttings should not be transplanted outdoors until the root structure is established. This may take up to a year in some varieties.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.