Cherry Seeds

torontoontario(5)July 1, 2006

I have tons of cherry seeds saved from our one tree.

My questions are:

1. If I keep these soaked in water, will they germinate?

2. What is the best time of year to plant them?

3. I have room for lots of trees and am wondering the best way to go about planting them.

Thank you in advance!!!

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I am in the same boat as you are.I too have saved red and black cherry seeds but do not know the details about growing plants from them. I had bought plants last year which didn`t survive. so this year I sincerely hope someone who knows about growing plants from cherry seeds obliges.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 4:02PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Two things of note popped to mind right off the bat. Firstly, If you plant from seed chances are that the plant will not be true to type, chances are that the cherry came from an orchard, and chances are that orchard has grafted trees from all the same stock, and that they polinate with another type of cherry if the cherry they have is not self fertile, it may be such a hybrid that it cannot even germinate correctly, maybe not. Secondly, it does take a few years to get fruit from a tree planted from seed, the flower buds only show up one wood that has grown a certain distance (number of years) from the origional crown.

Soaking seeds is likely to end in seeds rotting, a better option is to keep the seeds in a bag with wet paper towels. Hopefully you have lots of pits to experiment with. A good place to start in my opinion is to nick the seed coat and soak in water for a few hours, then sow into 4 or 6 packs and keep in a warm and sunny place, then wait a few weeks to see if they germinate. Something you can do to get fruit reletively quickly and of good quality is to use your sedlings as root stock, go out and buy one or two cherry trees and graft branches and buds onto the seedlings and get lots of trees for a relatively small amount of money.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 3:56AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Most Prunus species require several months cold stratification, and often several months warm stratification before that. The pulp inhibits germination and must be removed completely, soaking is a good way to do this if you replace the water every few hours for a few days.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 10:36AM
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Thank you for the responses.

One thing that I know is that these seeds will germinate. I know this because I have lots of volunteers from previous years.

Do I need to keep the seeds in the fridge first to make them cold?

Direct sew or into pots?

I don't know how to graft. If someone could explain it to a newbie like me that would be appreciated.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 5:40PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

You need to keep em cold and wet for cold stratification, grafting is were you take a scion (branch) from a tree you want and graft it on to roots from a compatable tree, like a scion from a good tasting black cherry onto roots from a bad tasteing black cherry.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2006 at 8:50PM
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Does it matter what season you plant them? obviously not in the winter, cause to ground is too hard to even dig. I wanna plant wild sweet cherries and black cherries. We are coming close to November, and now frost comes every few mornings or temperature close to it. I got the seeds now. Should I precede by putting them in a damp paper towel within a bag and then plant them in the middle on November? If not what are my options to wait for after winter? Can I put every seeds in one paper towel or should i separate them and have a bag for each seeds?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 7:36PM
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I've not yet managed to start cherries from pits, but I've learned a few things about how it's supposed to work. Stratification is key. It's a survival technique that trees in temperate climates have learned. If seeds grew without being chilled, chances are they would sprout in the fall and be killed by winter weather. Seeds are stratified by soaking them first, and then putting them in moist soil, keeping the temperature between freezing and 40 degrees farenheit. The length of time depends on the variety you're planting, but 2-3 months should be enough for most temperate plants. You can keep the seeds in a zip lock bag in the fridge with a little potting soil and water, or you can plant them in the fall and let mother nature do the stratifying. If you plant outside, just mark where you plant them. In the spring, if you've stratified them in the fridge, you can plant them in pots or in your yard. One caution: if you live where there is lot's of wildlife, some critters, like deer, like to munch on tender tree seedlings. You may want to provide some extra protection.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:34AM
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Hi, quick question, after keeping the seeds in soil in the fridge for about 8 weeks, are they supposed to sprout?
or do you just go ahead and remove them from the fridge and plant them just as they were? or do you remove the seeds by its self and replant them in regular soil?. thanks

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Prunus avium L. (mazzard cherry) seeds grow with KNO_3 stimulation (_ = subscript).

It seems other types like the pin cherry respond to environmental factors such as light, number of trees nearby, and nitrogenous stimulation. However, I could only find proof of the KNO_3 actually making a difference.

Here is a link that might be useful: Improving germination of Prunus avium L. seeds by gibberellic acid, potassium nitrate and thiourea

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 3:36AM
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GA_3 (gibberellic acid) can be used to stimulate plant growth. I have taken cherry seeds from cherries I bought at the super-market, removed the pulp, cracked the external seed coat (usually requires a pair of tin-snips or a dremmel tool) and soaked in GA_3 for about 24 hours. If you google cherry seeds and GA_3 there is a research publication from a university in Turkey where they found the best results at 1250 ppm. If the concentration is too high or they are soaked for too long the seeds will germinate in about two days and grow too fast for the root structure to support. I have tried 24 hours at 1500 and 1250 ppm as well as 48 hours at 1000 ppm and 750 ppm. I have found the best results to be at 1000 ppm for 24 hours, then I put them in a JiffyStart (or similar) seedling tray. you're going to want to water them nearly every day to flush out as much of the GA_3 as possible to prevent it from growing too fast so i would recomment poking a hole in the bottom of the tray or propping the lid slightly so that it remains humid but not water-logged. On my most recent trial, I planted 36 seeds and 6 germinated within a week, two germinated the following week, and two sprouted the 3rd week but then rotted. One of the first to sprout grew too quickly for the root structure to support and wilted. Overall I would say it is a much more convienent way of germinating them than putting them in the fridge for 4 months, cupboard for 4 months, fridge, then planting them. GA_3 is available from ebay, amazon, etc... and almost always come with mixing instructions.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 10:39AM
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torontoontario and ranjana

How did you make out?

I am trying it this year. I am going to just pop them outside.

One thing I noticed while cleaning them. Most of them floated. I want to say that about 5 out of 33 sank.

I am not interested in the fruit. I want flowering trees. Big real ones not runts from root stock.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Step by step , how to grow cherry tree from seed.

This post was edited by fruit123 on Thu, Feb 21, 13 at 12:18

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:14PM
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Hey, would removing the seed from the seed coat remove the need to 'winter' the seeds in a freezer? I've managed to get a seed out intact and was wondering...


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 11:11AM
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I want to ask. What season is the best for planting cherry seeds?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:10AM
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As far as I can tell, it doesn't matter. I have gotten zero luck and I have been trying for years.

I put some outside last fall (again) and nothing so far has come up. I tried the wet paper towel thing and not one germinated and I did dozens of them. I will keep trying though!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 10:02PM
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