Can You row a Cherry Tree From a Pit? Cherries are a great summertime treat, whether sweet, sour or somewhere in between. You can bake them into a pie or a cobbler, or eat them straight from the bag or tree. What if you wish to plant your own tree? Is it possible to grow a cherry tree from a pit? We’ve done the research and have all of the answers you’re looking for.
Yes, a cherry tree can be grown from a pit. However, any fruit produced by your tree will most likely not be true to the original cherry and may or may not be edible. You’ll have a better chance of selecting a pit from a locally cultivated cherry rather than from a grocery shop.
Continue reading for additional information on how to prepare your cherry pit for planting. We’ll also explain why the fruit your pit produces may not be genuine to the original cherry, as well as where cherry trees thrive.
Can You Grow a Cherry Tree From a Pit?
Cherry trees can be developed from either their pits or their seeds. This can be a fun gardening experiment, but the fruit your tree produces will most likely not resemble the original cherry from which the pit came. While your tree’s fruit may be different, it may still be edible and excellent. Or it may produce bitter fruit that is only appropriate for birds and other creatures to consume.
Planting and developing your cherry tree from a pit can be an interesting and educational exercise if you’re ready to take the risk and don’t mind if the tree you create is only ornamental.
Why Will the Cherries Grown From a Pit Be Different Than the Original Cherry?
Many cherry trees, particularly the most popular sweet cherry types, require cross-pollination to produce fruit. This means that you must plant two different yet compatible cherry tree varieties close to each other in order for the trees to be pollinated and set fruit.
Because the genetic material that generates a cherry seed is derived from two separate trees [two parent trees], the new tree that grows from that seed will not be genetically similar to either of the parent trees. The fruit produced by the new tree will also not taste the same.
Growing a cherry tree with fruit similar to the original variety requires grafting or cutting propagation. Trees propagated by grafting or cuttings are essentially clones of the parent tree, which means they share the same DNA and produce identical fruit.
If your primary aim in growing a cherry tree is to enjoy eating your favorite variety of cherry from your own backyard, your best bet is to purchase and plant a few cherry tree seedlings from your local nursery or online. These trees will have been grown by grafting or cuttings and will bear fruit faithful to the variety. They will also bear fruit more quickly than a tree planted from a pit.
Growing a cherry tree from a pit, on the other hand, maybe a wonderful gardening adventure if you don’t mind a few surprises and waiting a few additional years. And you might wind up with a new cherry kind that you prefer even more than the original.
How to Grow a Cherry Tree From a Pit?
While it is technically possible to simply scatter a few cherry pits in your yard and watch the trees grow as they would in the wild, you will have far more success if you prepare them for planting first.
1. Find Cherry Pits
You’ll have greater luck planting cherries if you get them from a local orchard or farmer’s market rather than the grocery store. If you grew the cherry locally, you’d know it’s suited to your growing conditions and environment. Fruit from the grocery store may have come from several states away and may not be suitable for your region.
2. Clean the Cherry Pits Grow a Cherry Tree
You’ll need to eat the cherry first [the greatest part of the process!] and then clean the pits. Because not all pits will sprout, save a large quantity rather than just one or two. To remove any residual fruit, soak them in warm water and gently scrub them. Allow them to dry for a few days before storing them in an airtight container until the next step is ready.
3. Prepare the Cherry Pits for Cold Stratification.
Cherry pits require a cold treatment or stratification technique before germinating. Under the correct conditions, this occurs in nature during the winter. If your winters aren’t quite the ideal temperature, you may duplicate similar conditions in your refrigerator to give your cherry pits the best chance of success.
Fill a container or plastic bag halfway with potting medium. Peat moss, sphagnum moss, sand, vermiculite, perlite, or a combination of these materials can be used. Some people use little more than shredded paper towels. Mold can be avoided by using a sterile media. Add the cherry pits and just enough water to make the medium moist but not soaked. After that, place the container in the refrigerator.
4. Store the Cherry Pits
The cherry pits should be stored in the refrigerator between 33 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit, with the best temperature at 41 degrees Fahrenheit, for at least three months. Some types require cold stratification for up to five months, so you may need to experiment a little here.
Check the container on a regular basis to ensure that the potting material remains moist and does not mold. Throw out any cherry pits that turn moldy. If any cherry pits crack open or sprout, move on to the following stage right away.
5. Plant the Cherry Pits
They are ready to plant after three to five months, or after the cherry pits have split open or sprouted. Fill pots halfway with well-draining soil and add two to three pits in each. Place them on a sunny windowsill and water them frequently to keep the soil moist. Please be patient. Your cherry seeds could germinate in a few months or take an entire year.
When seedlings reach a height of two to six inches, choose the strongest one in each container and snip off the others at the base, leaving only one seedling. They are ready to go outside when they reach a height of eight to eleven inches, depending on the climate and time of year.
6. Transplant Your Cherry to Your Yard
When the threat of frost has gone, you can transplant your cherry seedlings to their permanent location in your yard. Keep in mind that cherry trees may grow pretty large, up to 35 feet tall depending on the variety, so keep that in mind when deciding where to plant them.
Space sweet cherries 35 to 40 feet apart, sour cherries 20 feet apart, and dwarf kinds 5 to 10 feet apart. Plant two distinct cultivars between 50 to 100 feet of each other to promote successful cross-pollination and fruit set. Cherry trees require six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day and should be planted in rich, well-draining soil. Once you’ve determined the best location, harden them off, prepare the soil, and plant them.
7. Care for Your Trees Grow a Cherry Tree From a Pit
Fruit on a cherry tree planted from seed can take seven to ten years to appear. In the meantime, treat your cherry tree like you would any other plant. Water it regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Prune the tree to remove any diseased branches and keep it at a manageable height. Keep flies and rodents away from it. Enjoy your crop when it finally emerges!
Where Do Cherry Trees Grow Best?
Sweet cherries grow best in hardiness zones 5–7 and are best eaten fresh. Zones 4 to 6 are optimal for sour cherries, which are best for cooking, baking, and preserving.
Cherry trees need at least 700 chill hours [hours below 45 degrees] to set fruit. If your area’s winters do not have enough cold days, your trees may not produce much fruit. Once you’ve determined your zone and the number of cool hours in a typical winter, you can choose the best variety of cherry trees for your area.
Can You Grow Cherry Trees in Pots?
Choose a dwarf self-pollinating variety for the greatest results when planting a cherry tree in a pot. Select a large pot that has drainage holes. A 15-gallon container is required for a 5-foot tree. Because your tree can grow up to 10 feet tall, plan to repot it if required to keep it from becoming root bound. Keep it in a location with plenty of sunlight and sufficient air movement. Water it on a regular basis and fertilize it in the spring and after it bears fruit.
Also Read: How to Grow a Cherry Tree?