If you are looking to produce a mature tree that will bear luscious, sweet-tasting fruit, planting cherry tree seeds is just not the way to go. On the other hand, if you want to grow rootstock on which to graft your own cherry trees for future production or if you simply want to try your hand at growing a tree (with no expectations of fruit, mind you!), with time and patience, its not all that difficult. Read on to find out more.
Learn About Varieties
First off, planting cherry tree seeds from which to grow rootstock entails knowing a little bit about propagation. Selecting seeds compatible to the variety of cherry you wish to grow makes the endeavor way more successful, so you will need to do your homework in that area. Research online, at your local library or bookstore, or talk with a county extension agent or some other knowledgeable professional to determine which type of cherry grows best in your area or even if cherry trees do well at all in your part of the country.
Prepping and Planting
Once you have determined that planting cherry tree seeds in your region will actually produce a plant that will at least live, if not thrive, you want to take the following steps:
- Remove the seeds, or pits, as they are commonly called, from the cherries and wash.
- Allow them to dry for several days on paper towels and remove any remaining pulp.
- Store the pits in loosely covered jars in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) for eight to 12 weeks.
- The next step on the road to planting cherry tree seeds to at least get a plant, is to mix them with peat moss or sand, dampened but not soaking wet, and return them to the refrigerator.
Wait until the last severe frost of the season has passed, and then plant the seeds twice as deep as the seed is large.
For example, if the seed is ¼ inch in diameter, plant it ½ inch deep.
Cover with sand to prevent the soil from crusting and to promote germination. Wire screen or hardware cloth pushed down into the soil on all sides of the row will help keep squirrels and chipmunks from digging up the pits.
Water, Then Wait
When planting cherry tree seeds (or pits), keep the soil moist but not wet. Continual drenching of the pits will only result in rotting them, so you need to be careful that enough moisture is provide to facilitate germination, but not drown them.
Some people have reported that cherry pits can take up to a year to germinate, so be patient. Hopefully, your experience of planting cherry tree seeds will reap a seedling of 8 to 12 inches within several months, and when they do, it is time to apply urea fertilizer. This should be sprinkled 3 inches away from the seedlings at a rate of 1 tablespoon every foot along your row of seedlings.
Careful With the Digging!
Allow your cherry tree seedlings to grow for two years before attempting to move or transplant them. When digging, be sure you insert the shovel far enough down to encompass at least 5-6 inches of the taproot. Carefully move the seedling to wherever you have selected to plant it permanently. Congratulations! You have just been successful at planting cherry tree seeds, no matter what your intended use of them.