How to Grow Cherry Trees From Seed

Sharing is caring!

Growing cherry trees from seed can be a great way to start your own fruit-bearing orchard, and it’s much cheaper than buying dwarf tree saplings. It takes some time and patience, but with the right resources and knowledge, you can grow a healthy cherry tree by following the steps described in this blog post! Read on to learn how to get started growing your own cherry trees from seed.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

About Cherries

Cherry trees take some patience to begin bearing fruit – standard-sized cherry trees will need at least four years of growth before their sweet or tart bounty can be enjoyed. The reward is worth the wait though, as a single mature tree can produce between 30 and 50 quarts of cherries every year! Dwarf varieties provide an earlier harvest with about 10 to 15 quarts annually.

Come early spring or late autumn, grab a shovel and make your way to the sunniest spot you can find with well-drained soil! Plant cherry trees in this newly cultivated haven, then top it off with mulch for some extra love. Once flowering season rolls around after fruiting year comes along – watch out wildlife fans: don’t forget netting to protect that delicious fruit from wings above!

Sweet Cherries- Sweet cherries thrive in temperate environments between hardiness zones 5 and 7, making them an ideal choice for orchards and larger gardens. For those with space restrictions, the self-pollinating cultivar ‘Stella’ proves to be a great alternative. Not only does it demand less land but will also guarantee harvest season satisfaction thanks to its thick texture that is sure to delight every taste bud!

Sour Cherries– Sour cherries may be small, but they can bring big flavor to all sorts of dishes! Their tartness makes them perfect for preserves or as a tangy ingredient in sauces and desserts. They are self-fertile, so even the smallest backyard garden can bear juicy fruit come harvest time – just make sure your growing zone is between 4 to 6!

growing cherry trees


To ensure that cherry trees are able to thrive, plant them in a sunny area with sufficient air flow. Avoid situating the cherries underneath tall buildings or large structures as they need around 6 hours of sunlight each day – which will be blocked by shadows if too close!

Cherry trees grow best in soil with a pH between 6 and 7. When planting space your sweet varieties around 35-40 feet apart and tart varieties 20-25 feet away. For those looking for smaller plants there’s good news; dwarf variations just require 5 to 10 foot intervals respectively.

Not sure what your soils pH is, no problem we love this soil pH tester from Sonkir

How to Plant Cherry Trees – Preparation

Start your journey to grow cherry trees with a trip to the local farmers market or an orchard near you! Enjoy some of these sweet treats and save any pits you find. Give them a quick scrub in warm water, then let them dry out on a paper towel for three-to-five days—they’ll be ready to germinate when that sun hits ’em just right.

place the pits into a tubberware and put the lid on securely. Label it so you don’t forget what it is, and put it in the fridge for 10 weeks. This process should be started around January to prepare the seeds for the springtime germination.

This cold stratification period prepares the pits by mimicking what the plant will endure naturally during the winter months to prepare them for germination in the spring. After 10 weeks in the cold, your cherry pits are ready to become cherry trees.

How to Plant a Cherry Tree – Germination

Once ten weeks have passed, remove the pits from the cold and allow them to come to room temperature and thaw out from their artificial winter. Once they are at room temperature, they are ready to plant. Use small containers filled with potting soil and place two or three cherry pits inside of each container. Water the seeds into place and keep the soil moist.

How to Plant Cherry Trees – Transplanting

Once the seedlings have grown to two inches tall, select the strongest seedling, and remove the others from the container. Keep the single seedling containers in a sunny spot indoors until all danger of frost has passed, then transplant them outdoors.

Once the seedlings have reached a height of around eight to eleven inches, they are ready to be transplanted outside. Plant each cherry tree at least 20 feet apart from the next one.

planting cherry trees

Caring for Cherry Trees

Taking care of cherry trees is surprisingly simple – the same loving attention applies regardless of their sweet or sour variety. To ensure optimal growth, keep a generous layer of mulch around each tree to help seal in moisture from both waterings and natural rainfall.

Fertilize your cherry trees every spring until they begin producing juicy fruit. Make sure to water them regularly, especially in dry climates and during hot summer months – you don’t want their luscious bounty going down the drain! Keep hungry birds away by covering the trees with netting when harvesting season rolls around.

Pests and Disease

Cherry trees are often considered relatively resistant to disease, however they require vigilant protection. Careful watch of pest activity such as aphids, Japanese beetles and caterpillars is necessary in order to ensure a plentiful harvest.

One should also take extra measures against the most notorious cherry tree plunderer- birds! If you come across any branches with signs of brown rot or black knot (or worse yet bacterial canker!) it’s best to cull them immediately before they spread their afflictions further.

Recommended Varieties

Sweet Cherries
  • Early – ‘Black Tartarian’
  • Midseason – ‘Bing’
  • Late – ‘Stella’
Sour Cherries
  • Early – ‘Early Richmond’
  • Midseason – ‘Montmorency’
  • Late – ‘Meteor’

Harvesting Cherries

When cherry-picking season rolls around, make sure to pick your cherries with ripe perfection! After four years of growth, a single tree can yield up to 50 quarts worth of the succulent red fruit.

Time it right – wait until they turn deep shades like dark red and black before harvesting at their sweetest form. Opt for firmness if you’re looking to freeze them; snip stems instead hand-plucking in order not to damage the shoots or cause infection when seeking optimal crop success for next year’s harvest!

Enjoy within days or cook freshly picked as there is no substitute trusty flavor from fully ripened cherries bursting with sweetness from its natural sugars content ready amongst your fingertips just waiting patiently on that stalky branch.

planting cherry trees

Growing cherry trees from seed is a challenging but rewarding process. With a little patience and the right conditions, you can grow healthy cherry trees that will produce fruit for years to come. Have you ever grown cherry trees from seed? Share your tips in the comments below!

You may also enjoy these related articles:

Did you enjoy this article? Want to hear more? Stay in touch! Sign up below to receive weekly tips and inspiration for your homestead. 

[convertkit form=3733554]

Share for Later