How to germinate sweet cherry seeds?

Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)June 16, 2014

I've sprouted many sour cherry seeds but sweet cherry seems
to be allot more challenging.

I've put in hundreds from store bought cherries but I don't think
I've seen one sprouted over the years.

Breeders must have a secrete way of doing it,..how else would
they grow new cultivars all the time.

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franktank232(z5 WI)

I bet out of a couple 100 sweet cherry seeds, i've had exactly 1 sprout and grow out...yeah...and that one died! I think it got mites or something and before i got around to correcting it, the thing died.

I did come across this, which i will try and see if it helps...several sources suggested it:

"Prunus avium (Mazzard) : requires a warm moist stratification period of 3 weeks at 70 degrees F, followed by a cold moist stratification period of approximately 120 days at 35 to 41 degrees F"

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:17AM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

I have had really good luck getting sweets to germ. I prep a small plot and put the pits in the ground right away. lay down a sheet of composite(kinda like plastic plywood) and wait till spring. when the snow is gone remove said cover and wait for them to sprout! I literally have had hundreds of seedlings sprout!
I have quit a few trees now some are about 2 inch caliper or better....still no fruit though. I think this would have been the year but it was just too darn cold this winter and none of the fruit buds pushed flowers.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:43PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Interesting... that would be easier then having a bunch of seeds sprout in the middle of winter and having to baby them along... I'll probably put out some seed this summer and see what happens in the spring.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:45PM
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glenn_10 zone 4b/5a NewBrunswick,Can.

Here is a pic of two seedlings. It is really hard to capture a good photo through all of the jungle. These two were seeds planted summer 2008(I think) and are up around the 14 foot mark now. It is an ongoing experiment with these trees, I am hoping to eventually get a super huge hulking tree out of the deal. There is a big tree in the city,if I had to guess it would be about 25 feet tall and most years it is loaded with cherries...that's what I want:) . I have tried growing many different varieties of sweets over the years and have not had much luck here at the house. the only variety that seems to be doing good is Lapins.....But it died down to the snowline twice when I first planted it. With seedlings only the most vigorous and hardy survive and hopefully the fruit is O.K too. I have lots of seedling peach and jap plums that are really good, hopefully the cherries will be good too.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 6:34PM
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johnnysapples

Last fall I saved some seeds in a zip lock. I put them in the fridge and waited till spring to take out. They never sprouted. I watched some videos on how to do it and they laid a layer of compost over the seeds before putting them in the fridge. Years ago I spit my seeds into a coffee can while eating cherries on the deck. That can got left out all winter and when the snow melted I looked in the can and every seed was sprouted! I wasn't even trying to do that. Maybe I'll try it a couple different ways this year. I just want the root stocks. I'll graft them over to what I want.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:23PM
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canadianplant

I've never tried but from what I remember reading they need Sam stratification followed by cold. I also remember reading many prunus needing the shells cracked.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:59AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you all!
Glenn, I will try your way..looks like you're helping me in getting a hardy sweet cherry for the prairies!

I think it's almost pointless using store bought cherries,..most been cross pollinated with sweets and are not hardy.

An experiment with cross breeding for hardier cherries might
be worth a try?

I might try down the road in crossing, ..say Evans with sweet cherry, your climate is allot better growing sweets.

Please let me know if you beat me to it,..lol

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:55PM
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