Cherry tree from pit

So, at the base of my existing cherry tree (can’t remember the name but it’s a dark red/black type) I found a tiny tree sprouting from a pit.

I potted it and it’s about 8 inches tall now. Am I wasting my time, or will it turn into the same tree?

I assume the original was grafted because I bought it already potted.

It will not grow into the same tree.
And seedling tree’s wil get really large, especially sweet cherry.

It doesen’t mean however you are wasting your time. It might be a fun experiment. You could cut of a scion of the seedling and graft it to your larger tree, so you can try out the fruit sooner.

As a fun experiment it might be worth it. The chances of finding a tree thats “better” than the mother tree is small though.


What will it be, whatever the root stock was?

It will be an offspring of the fruit (so the grafted variety, not the rootstock) PLUS whatever pollinated the blossom to create said fruit. Does that make sense?


I have 4 seed grown Montmorency cherry trees and 1 Northstar sour. I have eaten fruit from my Montmorency and I can’t taste any difference. The north star is too young.


Sweet Cherry, Prunus Avium. or wild cherry might as well also be known as Bird Cherry because these trees can grow to a massive 105 feet eg a 10 story building, leaving all the fruit to the birds. Even the shortest cultivars are 50ft specimens. thus they are always grown on a root stock that will dwarf their growth.

The natural cross and chromosome doubling with the 3-6ft tall prunus fructose gave us the sour cherry with its more modest respectable height of 13-32ft. And their propensity to not require a mate to set fruit.

But there are few sweet cherries that will produce fruit without a partner, Benton, blackgold, lapins, starkrimson, stella and whitegold are all sold commonly in the garden center. And if you have one its seedling will likely be a monster. However, it may or may not maintain the self-fertile so it might be forever looking for a mate.

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I’m 99% sure it’s some type of heart shaped Bigarreau with blood red pulp. They sell different types of Bigarreau here.

I definitely don’t want a 10 story cherry tree

Unless you let the rootstock fruit, it’s likely not close to the rootstock.

The fruits from the seedling will likely resemble the tree the pit came from in some degree. But can be quite different. (see below for explanation)

Hard to tell without more information.

Are there other cherries nearby? Do you know what cultivar the tree the cherry pit came from is? What other cultivars are nearby, and thus possible pollinators. And just to be sure. You have a sweet cherry right? Not a sour cherry or canadian cherry? (the “sweet” in sweet cherry does not only pertain to the taste of the fruits, but to the specific species prunus avium. Where other cherry species grow differently and are quite different from P. avium)

The genetics of the seedling is determined by
-the mother tree
-the pollinator

Most cherries are self incompatible. But not only that, they can be incompatible with other cherry cultivars to.

Check this document for compatibility groups.

Most fruit trees are not true breeding. Most are hybrids of hybrids. Thus the fruits from seedlings can vary quite a bit from the father and or mother tree.

And even if you have a cherry that is self compatibly (can pollinate itself) the seedlings from those pits can vary significantly from the mother tree.

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I don’t remember their exact names but I have 2 cherry trees. One is Napolean white flesh and the other I think is Durona di Vignola blood red flesh

than you can expect the seedling to look somewhat like a mix of those 2.

However due to the parent not being true to type breeding wise. There can be large differences and there is a decent chance the seedling is quite different from either parent.

either way, i myself won’t keep the seedling as is. Since it would make a really large tree (unless you have room/want for that) but graft it to either a smaller rootstock. Or a side branche of an existing tree. That way you get fruits way sooner.

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Actually it is known as bird cherry.
Im horrible at latin. But i think the Avium in Prunus Avium means bird.

i checked wikipedia and they also have it listed as bird cherry for a common name.
Prunus avium - Wikipedia.

however Prunus padus is also named bird cherry in it’s common name, in English. But also in Dutch.

Another reason to prefer Latin plant names over common names. A lot less confusing/messy.

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I’ve never tried grafting but I have become interested in trying it…the seedling is skinnier than a pencil so I’ll have to wait until next year it seems