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I'm going to grow a cherry tree from a seed. It's not that easy though and I need some time and patience. I have experience with pine tree and orange, though these are quite easy trees to grow compared to cherry and maple.

At the same time I saw some guys in a YouTube video who advised removing the seed shell for lemon seed to improve germination. They say it works very well and normally you will have at least 4 of 5 seeds germinated.

With cherry it's a bit more complicated. Normally seeds need stratification. Is it acceptable to treat cherry seeds in this way at all or it will just destroy it? If I remove the shell, do I need to stratify it or can I simply put it in moist and wait?

  • 1
    why not stratify the seed? Six weeks at fridge temperature should give you good germination results. Lemons are tropical and do not need stratification. Chemical/hormone agents inhibit plant germination if they need stratification, removing the husk doesn't change that – kevinsky Mar 27 '16 at 23:25
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Cherry seeds need both warm and cold stratification to overcome the seed's dormancy. But you can germinate fresh cherry seeds using the plant hormone Gibberellic acid.

In March 1969, partially stratified (3 months) seed from 14 families were removed from cold storage, endocarps were removed by cracking, and 10 to 20 seeds from each family were assigned to each of the following three treatments:

  1. Control: 18-hour soak in distilled water, followed by a 20-minute soak in Captan (1 gram per liter of water).
  2. Gibberellic acid: 18-hour soak in 100-p.p.m. GA3.
  3. Gibberellic acid-Captan: 18-hour soak in 100-p.p.m. GA„ followed by 20-minute soak in Captan.

After treatment, seeds were planted approximately 5 mm. deep in flats of coarse sand, treated with Pan-ODrench .3 Flats were placed in a greenhouse and watered with distilled water as needed to keep the sand moist. The following germination percentages were observed 3 weeks after planting:

germination table

GA3 stimulated germination, but Captan did not significantly enhance this effect or prove essential in reducing seed infection. After germination was evaluated, seedlings were gently washed from the sand and transplanted to loam-filled clay pots where about 95 percent of them developed into normal plants. In a second test, conducted in late summer with freshly collected fruit, seed from five trees were given the same three treatments used above. The experiment was a randomized complete block with five 10-seed replications of each tree-treatment combination. Mean germination percent at 3 weeks was almost identical to that in the previous test:

Farmer, R. E. Jr.; Hall, G. C., 1971: Gibberellic acid induces germination and growth of dormant Black Cherry seed. Tree Plant. Notes. 22: 2, 26-8 See here

  • Can you clarify your answer in regards to the question "do you need to stratify". In the article the seed mentioned has been stratified or chilled. One would assume that you do need to stratify the seed to germinate. Is that what you meant? – kevinsky Mar 28 '16 at 11:34
  • @kevinsky the experiment also used fresh seeds; see the final few sentences. So, ga3 overcomes the need for stratification. – Graham Chiu Mar 28 '16 at 12:53
  • Yes, you're right. They say "This procedure produces plantable seedlings in 6 months instead of 18 months as experienced in normal nursery production of stock". Looks like you have to spray with Gibberellic acid again after germination to get good growth. – kevinsky Mar 28 '16 at 14:40

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