Cherry trees are a wonderful choice for home fruit growers. They have showy, fragrant blossoms in spring and delicious fruits in late spring and early summer. There are many varieties of ornamental cherry trees, and almost as many varieties of fruiting cherry trees. Though many backyard fruit growers purchase young trees at nurseries, it’s certainly possible to grow a cherry tree from seed. This is a much less expensive option, and it’s even surprisingly easy! Follow these tips for getting some healthy cherry tree seedlings that, with proper planting and maintenance, will one day bear fruit.
Selecting Cherry Seeds
If you have issues with deer or other wildlife that eat plants, such as rabbits or woodchucks, protect young fruit trees in winter. Wrapping loosely in burlap in mid to late autumn is a good way (deer hate chewing through burlap), and it lets sun and rain through. Remove the burlap before blossoming, in early April. You may want to do this every year for the first two or three years to protect the bark, as many critters find young fruit tree bark tasty, especially in a lean winter before spring foliage appears. You chances of having these young trees reach maturity will be much better if you can keep wildlife from eating them.
Planting Cherry Seeds
After ten weeks, remove the cherry pits from the fridge and let them come to room temperature (this will take about three hours). You can then plant them in a small container with potting soil. Plant two or three pits in each container. Place in a sunny spot and keep them watered so the soil stays moist but not wet.
Additional information on wild black cherry trees is in regards to its fragrant, but bitter, inner bark being utilized in cough syrups. Further wild black cherry tree information points to its use as a highly prized wood since colonial times in the creation of fine furniture.
Before transplanting black cherry trees, however, keep in mind that the tree is quite messy. The dropping fruit tends to stain concrete and the remaining seeds can be treacherous for anyone walking beneath the tree.
Once established, do not transplant again as the root system is fairly shallow and to do so may damage the tree irrevocably.
How to Grow a Black Cherry Tree
Intrigued? So, I guess you’d like to know how to grow a black cherry tree. First off, growing black cherries are hardy to USDA zones 2-8. Otherwise, the black cherry tree’s requirements are relatively simple. The tree prefers some sun exposure but is most often found in the wild as an understory tree, living beneath the canopy of forest and hence often in shadow. Black cherry trees will tolerate a variety of soil media.
Consider the location carefully with attention paid to potential staining, probably not near walkways or pavement. When transplanting black cherry trees has been completed, be sure to keep weed free and mulch heavily around the base to maintain moisture retention around the root ball.
Additional Information on Wild Black Cherry Trees
The wild black cherry tree (Prunus serontina) is an indigenous North American tree which will grow to between 60-90 feet tall with lightly serrated, shiny, dark green leaves. Growing black cherries have low branches which tend to droop and brush the ground.
The leaves and twigs of growing black cherries contain hydrocyanic acid, which has the potential to poison livestock or other animals when consumed in large quantities. Strangely, despite its toxicity, the fruit (non-toxic) is a valuable food source for a plethora of birds such as: