“Step by Step Guide: How to Grow Cherry Trees from Seeds”
Cherry trees are not only known for their delicious fruits but also for their captivating beauty. They tend to add both flavour and aesthetic appeal to any garden. If you’ve always wanted to have your cherry tree at home, growing one from seeds is a feasible option. In this guide, we will walk you through the necessary steps to successfully grow cherry trees from seeds.
Understanding Cherry Tree Varieties
Firstly, understanding the different varieties of cherry trees is crucial. Cherries are broadly categorized into two types: sweet cherries (Prunus avium) and sour cherries (Prunus cerasus). Sweet cherries do well in warmer climates and are great for eating fresh. Sour cherries, often used in cooking, prefer cooler climates.
Common types of sweet cherries include Bing, Lambert, Rainier and Royal Ann, while popular sour cherry varieties include Morello, Nanking, and Evans Cherry. Therefore, it’s paramount to choose a variety that can thrive in your region’s climate.
Preparation of Cherry Seeds
In order to start, you’ll need to prepare the cherry seeds correctly. Choose ripe cherries, extract the seeds, and clean them thoroughly. Once cleaned, you’ll need to put the seeds through a process known as stratification. Stratification involves simulating the winter conditions necessary to break the seed dormancy.
To stratify your seeds, place them in a container with moist peat moss or sand and store it in your refrigerator for about 10-12 weeks. Remember to check periodically to make sure the medium remains moist and mold-free.
Planting the Cherry Seeds
After stratification, your seeds are ready for planting. Spring is typically the best time for this. You should plant the seeds in a well-draining soil mix, preferably in a location that receives ample sunlight. Place the seeds about an inch deep in the soil and cover it lightly.
Ensure that the soil is kept evenly moist until the seedlings emerge, which usually takes 3-8 weeks. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to rotting of the seeds.
Caring for Your Cherry Tree
After germination, your cherry seeds will need appropriate care to thrive. For young trees, watering should be regular and deep, typically once a week. They may also benefit from a layer of mulch to help retain moisture. As they mature, watering can be reduced.
Fertilizing your cherry tree annually can promote healthy growth. Pruning, which is recommended in late winter, can help maintain the tree’s shape and promote better fruiting.
Harvesting Your Cherries
Most cherry trees will take several years to bear fruit, usually between 3 to 7 years. Harvesting typically takes place in summer. It’s essential to wait until the cherries are fully ripe before harvesting.
Remember, cherry trees can attract birds, so you may need to consider bird netting to protect your harvest. Happy growing!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can a cherry tree grow in any climate?
Cherry trees can adapt to a range of climates, but the type should match your region. Sweet cherries favor warmer climates, whereas sour cherries prefer cooler ones.
2. Can I grow a cherry tree in a pot?
Yes, dwarf cherry varieties can be comfortably grown in pots. However, they will still need full sunlight and well-draining soil mix to thrive.
3. How long does it take for a cherry tree to bear fruits?
Most cherry trees take between 3 to 7 years to mature and start producing fruits. The exact time can depend on the variety and growing conditions.