Crack the Seed Nut Or Not - Stone Fruit Etc

Have read differing opinions and am too lazy to really drill down into it so…

Is it better to (1) remove the seed from the shell, or(2) just crack the shell or (3) do nothing before planting a PLUM or APRICOT?
And before or after Cold storage in fridge?

Any hands on experience comparing different methods.



I’ve started plenty of seedling apricot and pluot trees without cracking anything. That’s how nature does it. The seed swells when ready and busts out just fine.

I do think you can do just as well by carefully cracking out the seeds first.

I’ve planted mine in fall so as to get natural chilling of the seeds. Doing it that way I think the shell offers some protection to the seed until it sprouts in spring.


I’m not cracking any of them…i’m digging a trench and tossing them in…marking the location and calling it good. Might lose some, but plenty will still sprout. Peaches are really good about sprouting…i’d say plums are not as likely to sprout.


I planted three outside as-is last fall except that I let the seeds dry inside until I was ready to plant. Is the drying necessary before planting outside? If anyone remembers the seed I planted was from three plums that I previously posted. One measured very close to 4". Only one seedling has emerged and I will be budding scions from it next week. Looking forward to my world record size/quality plum tree. Just kidding but I do hope it is a decent plum. Bill

I cracked my peach pits last year before putting them in the fridge in damp paper towel to stratify. I took them out periodically to change the paper towel and remove any that were molding.

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Kind of a separate question, same general topic. For those who have planted peach pits in say zone 5-6 how much growth does a germinated seed put on the first year? I will be grafting to the seedlings and wonder if they will be of sufficient size after 4-5 months to do so?

I plant peach pits in the late summer and they seem to come up pretty good late the next spring. If I can keep the weeds down and some mulch on them, they are generally plenty big to bud in the late summer (one year after planting the pits). I’d say they grow about 3’ the season with about a pencil size thickness on average, at they point they are budded.

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How do you store the pits until fall?

I’ve just let them air dry in an open container.

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Thank you Sir.

I had a million peaches sprouting out of my compost pile this year. I potted some up. Do I graft on them next spring?

Was wondering if this made sense in order to get a head start here in the Northeast.

Refrigerate the pits now for 4 to 6 weeks and pot them up. They might start coming up in the fall and I can grow them out under lights (I have them running anyway for other stuff) and by spring …

Am I making sense?


That’s what I do. As I eat the fruit, I rinse and put the pits in a sandwich bag 1/2 full with potting soil and keep it in the refrigerator. After a month or two I’ll pot them up. I usually get a few inches or more before they go dormant.