How To Germinate Cherry Tree Seeds

Germination of Cherry Tree Seeds

Cherry tree seeds are among the most unique and beautiful fruits. They are not only visually appealing but flavorful and nutritious as well. When people want to bring the taste of cherries to their homes, they may want to pursue the germination of cherry tree seeds to grow their own trees. To properly germinate a cherry tree seed, they must take into consideration a few key points.

Firstly, cherry tree seeds should be obtained from a reputable source. Quality of the seed will largely determine the success of the germination process. Many shops sell cherry tree seeds and local farmers may also offer them for sale. Regardless of the source, it is important to thoroughly inspect the seeds for any signs of damage or other imperfections.

Next, most cherry tree seeds require scarification, or a slight nick to the outer shell of the seed, to initiate the germination process. This process removes a barrier that existed between the seed and the surrounding environment. Scarification lessens the amount of time needed for the cherry seed to germinate and enhances the rate of germination. However, certain scions may bypass the need for scarification.

Then, the cherry seed must be soaked for an extended period of time. This will provide it with the necessary moisture needed to germinate and should be done for several hours depending on the size of the seed. When soaking, fill the container with room-temperature water and use an air-tight lid to reduce the risk of contamination.

Now, the seed can then be planted in a specially formulated soil mix containing a mix of perlite, vermiculite, and peat moss. The components of this soil mix minimize the chance of compaction, which can cause poor germination, and also properly retain moisture. When planting the seed, bury it up to its equator. Additionally, the soil should be kept slightly moist but not flooded.

Finally, to facilitate successful germination, the environment immediately surrounding the seed should be kept at an optimal range of temperature. The ideal temperature is around 70oF. Placing a heating pad or warm light source on the soil will effectively generate extra warmth to assist the process.


Fertilization is an important factor in the successful growth of a cherry tree from seed. Fertilization should be tailored to the needs of the seedling and should be complemented by organic mulch. This mulch should be applied in a four to six inch layer around the base of the seedling. This will provide essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that are needed for proper growth of the seedling.

When it comes to fertilizing, young cherry trees should always be fertilized during their early stages of development. This is because newly planted trees are often deficient in soil nutrients, thus causing them to grow slowly. To compensate for this, fertilizers with a high nitrogen to phosphorus ratio should be used. A monthly application rate of two tablespoons of fertilizer should be sufficient.

It is important to note that over-fertilization may have deleterious effects on the cherry tree seedling. Applying too much fertilizer can cause excessive foliage growth, weak root structure, and even death. Thus, care must be taken to apply the correct amount of fertilizer and ensure that it is evenly distributed across the root zone.

In addition, if the soil has been previously disturbed, such as through tilling or digging, it may not hold nutrients as robustly as it should. To counteract this, an additional application of fertilizer may be necessary. This will help to promote growth and development of the tree.

Pruning and Mulching

To ensure the growth of the young cherry tree, pruning and mulching are both necessary in its development. Pruning helps to ensure that the tree does not become overly bushy and can prematurely put on fruits. The most important time for pruning is during late winter and early spring when the tree is just beginning to wake up from its winter dormancy period.

When pruning, it is important to focus on removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches first. It is also wise to remove any competing leaders, meaning branches that are larger than the tree’s trunk. This will help the tree to focus its energy on producing healthy foliage and fruits.

Following pruning, mulching must also be applied. This should be done as soon as the ground thaws and is relatively dry. Mulching helps to retain soil moisture and also protects the tree’s root system from heat and cold. A compost or grass clippings pile should be placed around the tree at least 3 inches thick.

The soil should be raked or tilled to further ensure the mulch is spread evenly across the root zone. As with fertilization, caution should be taken to not over-mulch the tree. Too much mulch can make the soil too moist, potentially causing root rot and fungal diseases.

Watering and Disease Control

When it comes to watering, this is also a critical factor in the growth of the young cherry tree. Water must be applied regularly, with once weekly irrigations being sufficient. When giving the tree water, ensure the bark is also given a thorough soaking. This will help keep the bark moist, which will in turn help to protect it from pest damage or disease.

In terms of disease control, cherry trees are prone to a number of pests and diseases. To prevent these, it is wise to apply appropriate insecticides and fungicides each year. Applying these should ideally be done during early spring, just as the tree is beginning to blossom. This is when the disease and pests may be most active.

Finally, for additional protection, a lightweight insect netting should be placed over the tree once it has reached maturity. This will help to prevent bird damage and also protect the tree from hail storms or strong winds.

Harvesting and Preservation

When harvesting, it is important to wait until the cherries are firm and ripe. It is best to harvest cherries in the mid-morning when the sun is less intense. Picking cherries too early will result in them not tasting as good. Additionally, cherries should be harvested with their stems and calyxes still attached. This will ensure maximum freshness.

Once harvested, cherries should be stored in an area with low humidity and appropriate temperature. This could be a cool basement, root cellar, or other climate controlled space. To help ensure maximum freshness, cherries should also be placed in paper towels or a slightly damp cloth. Additionally, cherries should be laid out in a single layer and not stacked on top of each other.

When cherries are preserved, canning and freezing are two useful methods. Canning cherries is a good way to store cherries for longer periods of time, with canned cherries being able to last up to one year. Freezing cherries has a more finite shelf-life, typically lasting three months. However, frozen cherries have the advantage of lasting longer as compared to canned cherries.

Marketing and Selling

Once the cherries are harvested and preserved properly, they can then be sold. There are a number of avenues that can be used to market and sell cherries. Farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and online marketplaces are a few ideal places to begin selling cherries. Additionally, selling cherries on one’s own land is also possible.

At farmers’ markets and grocery stores, cherries should be packaged in appropriate containers, such as jars, boxes, and trays. Make sure to clearly label the containers or bins with the cherries’ name as well as the types of cherries and the net weight of the product. This will help potential buyers to identify the product more easily.

When it comes to price, it is important to research the price of perishable cherries in that particular market. Knowing the range of prices and the average price will help to price the cherries competitively. Additionally, advertising and marketing is a good way to build brand awareness in the area and help to increase sales.


In conclusion, germinating a cherry tree seed is an exciting process for those looking to bring the taste of cherries to their home. Taking into consideration the right steps such as scarification, fertilization, pruning, and harvesting, one can successfully take the journey of growing a cherry tree from seed to fruition.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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