starting a cherry tree form pits/seeds

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by tinapyle, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. tinapyle

    tinapyle Member

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    I was wondering if it is possible to start a cherry tree from pits/seeds? Can I use the pits/seeds I buy from the local grocery store? If so, how can this be done?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    You will get a tree of the same species (sweet cherry, in most instances) but it will not be the same cultivar (named selection). You will also have to wait some years for the seedlings to mature and flower, produce fruit.
     
  3. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    In theory you can sprout a seed from a grocery store. I say "in theory" because I tried and none of my pits sprouted. I'm not sure why.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    The seeds often take a year or two to germinate.
     
  5. biggam

    biggam Active Member

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    Clean off the pulp with a bit of paper towel. Put seeds in a jar of warm water overnight. Place them in a handful of moistened potting soil in a plastic bag and into the refrigerator. After a few months, check on them every 3 weeks for any germination, carefully transplanting to its own pot each that has. Start with at least a dozen seeds; they are stubborn. This website gives a similar method: http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-6211web.pdf
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Come, come, with sweet cherries, clean it off with your tongue and teeth! ;-)

    Serious point there - human saliva can help break down some of the substances in the seed shell which hinder germination. Most fruit have evolved this type of germination, so that seeds which get carried far away by a fruit-eater have better germination than those which drop under the parent tree (where a seedling would compete with the parent). A passage through a stomach works even better, but finding the seeds afterward isn't easy!
     
  7. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    All the cherries that make their way through a bird's digestive system seem to germinate without issue in my garden. Since a birds digestive system is relatively mild in comparison to us mammals, there is no need to swallow the seed....however you need to clean them. Make sure as much of the fruit as possible has been removed from the seed. Next step is to cold stratify the seed in moist vermiculite in the fridge for 2-3 months....they should germinate afterwards (maybe even while still in the fridge).
     
  8. holly2943

    holly2943 Member

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    I pitted the cherries with a cherry pitter, then threw them in the compost in August. They were in the center of the compost tub. When I dumped the compost on the garden this spring, they had all sprouted. I was shocked to see so many little sprouts. I put some in a pot and covered with dirt. I have so many small trees now. These were tart cherries (montmorency), not the sweet cherries. What a nice surprise!
     
  9. biggam

    biggam Active Member

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    I've found them (tart cherry seedlings) to be good fast growers when in a large-tall pot, with sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, and then it can be planted in the ground in early fall.
     
  10. holly2943

    holly2943 Member

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    Thanks for the hint on keeping them growing. I'm having fun with these.
     
  11. Robby Doom

    Robby Doom Member

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    I was wondering if I obtained seeds directly from a mature tree, how would I go about germinating them and are they easier to grow with that in mind? Is there another step I need to follow now, since the seeds have already been wintered? The seed I got were still attached to the wintering tree and the fruit had dried to a brittle shell. It wasn't much of a winter here in Alert Bay, but I did notice some maple seeds sprouting, that I had tossed in a dirt filled pot and left over winter. So I'm sure these cherry seeds have had a sufficiant amount of wintering.
     
  12. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that you will have any problems germinating the cherry seeds. I bury hundreds of seeds (from pitting cherries for freezing) in the garden every year, and they always sprout like weeds.
     
  13. Padraigan

    Padraigan Active Member

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    When my son was small he was eating cherries out of a bowl on our front porch, spitting the pits in the little garden in front of the house. Next spring there were many seedlings growing. I pulled all of them out but the one in the desired position furthest from the house. Seventeen years later it is a big beautiful tree. Every spring several hundred more seedlings are growing out of the garden and even in the grass. It was all a natural process.
     

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