Cherries are among everyone’s favorite fruits, so growing your own in your garden makes lots of sense.
With more than 1,000 varieties of cherry trees, the choice can be hard, yet you will find there are not that many used for commercial cultivation purposes.
If you want to know how to grow a cherry tree, you can find out all you need to know. One of the main things is that it can take a long time to reap the fruits of your sweet cherries in the summer.
However, you will find out, can you grow a cherry tree from a cherry pit; therefore, the next one you eat could be the start of your tree.
Can You Grow a Cherry Tree from Store-Bought Cherries?
It is possible to grow cherry trees from the cherry seeds you purchased at the grocery, although in most cases, it isn’t recommended.
It is most recommended to grow cherries from rootstock because it can take over ten years to pick the first fruits from a cherry tree that has been grown from a pit or seeds.
Besides this, you don’t know the variety of cherry it is, and it could be a hybrid. In some instances, you can find the store-bought cherry varieties are sterile, and cherries don’t often grow to seed.
You can find two types to choose from, such as:
Sweet Cherry: Best for eating yet only fare in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 7
Sour Cherries: Easiest of the two to grow and can fare in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8. You may need to ask at farmer’s markets for the fresh variety.
That being said, there is nothing you from growing from seeds if you wish. Here you can find more about what you need to do in both instances.
Do You Have to Dry Cherry Seeds Before Planting?
The great thing with growing a cherry tree from seeds is you need to eat them first.
Once you have eaten them, make sure to wipe off any remnants of flesh that are stuck to the pit. You can do this with a damp paper towel. If the time of the year is around early to the middle of summer, make sure to dry your seeds on a dry paper towel for a couple of days before placing them in an airtight container in a cool area.
Cherries have to feel a spell of cold and dampness (stratification) before they can germinate. Such a period has to be 3 – 5 months in length. If your winter weather doesn’t fall, lower than -20 to -30ºC, you can plant your cherries in the fall. (Read Planting Poppy Seeds)
One thing to note is that sweet cherries like a short period of warmth before the cold sets in; thus, late summer planting can deliver this. If you happen to have a warm spell after the cold weather starts, some cherries can slink back into being dormant.
To increase your chance of germination, you can carry out these steps:
- Wearing rubber gloves, place some sphagnum moss inside a plastic container.
- Water with water at roof temperatures around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the moss absorb water for around 10 hours and squeeze out the excess.
- Poke some holes in the container lid, or if using a bag, leave a small opening.
- Add your cherry pits then let them sit for two weeks in the same temperature environment.
- Drain and puddling water and check there are no seeds showing signs of mold. Toss these if there are.
- After two weeks, you need to change your pits from the sphagnum moss to soaked and drained peat moss and sand mixture.
- Add your seeds and then set the container or bag inside your refrigerator for 90 days (cherries need this cold spell)
- Check weekly and drain any standing water or add water if it appears dry
- You will see the seed coats begin to crack when they are ready to plant
How Long Does It Take a Cherry Tree to Grow Cherries?
Once you come to plant, cherries need good soil and lots of sun and circulation of air.
The soil has to be fertile and sandy that offers good drainage with a slightly acidic to neutral pH.
Poke a hole in the soil up to two inches deep. Add a cherry pit/ seed and plant others 12-inches between each other.
If planting in the fall, make sure to cover with up to two inches of sand as this prevents a crust forming from frost.
If planting in spring, fill the hole to the level of the soil.
Be sure to protect from rodents who will dig for the seeds.
Water once the soil is almost dry. You will see the cherry seeds are slow to germinate, and it can take a few months to see shoots forming.
Once they begin to sprout, keep the soil moist yet not over wet to a depth of three inches where the roots are.
Once trees begin to become established, you need to mulch annually and protect from intense winter sun and rodents.
Depending on the variety of cherries you end up growing, if you know, you can find a festooned tree that will start at around 2-years with 4 years to full cropping, and a fan trained cherry tree takes 3 years to begin and then 5 years to full cropping.
If you are growing in containers, you often find these yields faster than those produced in regular soiled areas do.
Will a Cherry Tree Grow from a Stump?
You may think you have a head start growing a cherry tree from a stump, yet if it ended this way because of damage or it had died back, then any growth may be slow, and what arises from the tree may not be what you expected.
It is much better to plant from some rootstock to grow a cherry tree, or even plant young trees to cut down on the years you need to wait. One of the best varieties for your garden being Colt rootstock.
It is easier to grow a cherry tree of this type, as it is easier to maintain than other cherry trees. Besides, you can pick your sweet cherries without needing to climb into a tree once you see cherries growing.
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