I bought some sweet cherries in season last summer and decided to see if I could germinate some for planting. I "de-nutted" maybe 20+ of them and placed them in damp paper towels in the refrigerator for several months. They were all healthy looking seed kernels (out of the stone). I decided to plant some in the house in early January for an early start. Several of them were putting out roots.
I planted the four largest ones first - one died, three grew up, but one of those was "albino" - so I pulled it out. A couple of weeks later I planted six more that had roots, and these came up much more slowly. Four of them are slow growing and green. One more of these was "albino" (also??), and the other is still there, but not poking out of the soil yet - maybe dead. All of the remaining seeds were not sprouting roots at all, so I threw them away.
So, I got roughly a sorry 50% germination rate and only 25% survival rate. I then wondered if they might have been irradiated causing genetic defects, and if the surviving plants might also have other genetic changes that are not yet evident. I can't find any info. online about cherry irradiation in the US. Does anyone know if cherries are routinely (commonly) irradiated for market?