Belcarra Garden Club
BC, Canada

How to Grow a Cherry Tree from Seed

by Les Bramley and Nora Boekhout

Les got his lips smacking this month, thinking about cherry pies! 
No… actually he was thinking more about the fun of planting cherries with our grandchildren!


Here are some fun facts about cherries:
* they are classified as “drupes” (hey, what?), which are fleshy fruits with a thick skin and a seed pit at the center;
* they have been around since prehistoric times but came to America in the 17th century;
* there are a thousand varieties but just over 40 that we eat;
* we don’t eat the bitter cherries from those beautiful cherry blossom trees;
* the cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower;
* cherry pits are toxic;
* a single cherry tree can produce over 7,000 cherries;
*the world record for spitting a cherry pit is 93 feet.  

Popular types of cherries are Lapins Cherry (considered number one in the world),
Rainier Cherry (from Washington and the most expensive),
Bing Cherry (originally developed in Oregon in 1875),
Red Sonnet (developed in Summerland B.C.) Yeah, British Columbia!

Warning:  Patience is required!  Growing cherry trees from pits can take up to ten years to get a full crop. Before the end, however, you may have a beautiful blossoming tree and a delicious harvest.
Big Tip:  Try out some “kid friendly recipes” to promote the enthusiasm for cherries!

Let's get started!  Remove the pits from your cherries, wash them clean, (parents) cut open the pit shells, and then gently remove the seeds. Soak the seeds in a bowl of warm water for two hours.

New learning:  In order to sprout, the seeds should go through “stratification”.   Place the seeds on a damp paper towel and sprinkle some cinnamon powder on them.  Cinnamon has antifungal properties and helps prevent mold and fungi developing on the seed. Fold the damp paper towel around the seeds and place them in a plastic zip lock bag.
Stratification requires ten weeks in the fridge (not the freezer!) Mark the bag with the start and finish dates plus the type of cherry seeds you are using. After stratification, plant your seeds in a small pot. Seeds thrive in a soil that drains well.

Outside: Once planted, place the seeds in a south facing window or greenhouse to "keep them warm".  Water 1 - 2 times per week, but not excessively.  Once your seedlings are 8 - 12 inches tall and all frost has passed, harden them off for a week and then transplant them outside. Cherry trees grow best in well-drained soil and need eight hours of sun for fruit production.  After planting, water two times a week.  As the tree matures its water requirements will decrease.

cherry tree

Hope you try this and have fun with the kids! 
Les & Nora


Read other tips for Gardening with Children on this website!
Gardening with Children (

kids gardening

Cherry Facts for Kids
17 Cherry Facts For Kids That May Surprise You – Facts For Kids

Cherry Facts for Kids
Cherry Facts for Kids (

43 Types of Cherries
43 Types Of Cherries (With Photos!) | Live Eat Learn

Cherry Blossom Trees

Cherry Blossom Tree Facts for Kids
Cherry Blossom Tree Facts for Kids (

How to Plant a Cherry Blossom Tree (with photos of species)
Flowering Cherry Trees: Grow an Ornamental Cherry Blossom Tree | Garden Design

35 Cherry Blossom Facts
35 Cherry Blossom Tree Facts—Best Cherry Blossom Facts - Parade

Cherry Facts for Kids (with a video on Cherry blossom fast facts)
Cherry Facts for Kids (


3 recipes: Peanut Butter Cherry Smoothie, Cherry Fruit Leather, Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Hand Pies - -Baking with Kids
A Cherry Hand Pies Recipe and Baking with the Kids (

Easy, Nutritious Cherry Smoothie
Easy Cherry Smoothie (to Share with the Kids!) (

24 easy Cherry Desserts
24 Easy Cherry Desserts - Insanely Good (


 Back to Belcarra Garden Club