Hardiness Zone: 7a
Edie White from Whitmore, CA
To start a cherry tree from a pit, remove the pit from the fruit and clean off any remaining flesh. Don't try and remove the hard part of the shell that surrounds the pit. Cherry pits need a chilling period before germinating. To mimic the necessary winter-like conditions, place the pit in a plastic bag filled with moist vermiculite or peat moss (or damp paper towels) and store the bag in the refrigerator for about 10 weeks. Check the moisture level in the bag now and then and don't let the pit dry out. After about 10 weeks of chilling the pit is ready to be planted. You can start it in a pot indoors or plant it outside. Plant seeds about 1/2 inch deep in nutrient-rich well-drained soil with exposure to full sun. You should expect to see growth in after a few weeks. If our planting outdoors during cold weather, the seedling may just stay chilled and resume growth the following spring. After planting, you can expect to see mature fruit after 7 to 10 years. Grafting your seedling onto an already mature tree will reduce the waiting time considerably. It's best to plant several seeds at one time, because a good number of seeds may fail to germinate. It's also helpful to understand that the fruit you eventually harvest from the "pit" tree is not likely to be the same juicy cherries you ate from the parent tree. Commercial fruit trees are propagated from grafting or budding so your seeds will not likely reproduce true to the parent plant. The fruit from your seedling may be somewhat bitter, then again, it might taste even better than the original cherry.
How many cherry pits should I plant in one hole to get a good size tree to grow?
By Wanda M
Cherry pits should be planted in the late Fall because they need the cold weather of Winter to germinate in the Spring; this is called "stratification". I would plant several pits (but not in the same hole) to make sure you get at least one or two to sprout and when they are around 18 inches high, transplant them to their permanent location.
Can I plant a sweet cherry pit and grow a tree?
Hardiness Zone: 8a
By Clutterfree from Charleston, SC
I got at least 50 by throwing the pits left from canning out into the flower bed. We gradually trimmed out all but one. It doesn't produce heavily, but it's in mostly shade. What it does beautifully is give us shade on the house. Between the cherry and the apricot we got when one of the kids put a pit out, the house is a good 20 degrees cooler in the summer. We like it so much, we planted some plum trees on the other side of the house.