Propagating cornelian cherry?

My pioneer fruited good for the first time this year.
Large fruit tastes good when wrinkled ripe .
The ones in the photo were just picked and have some astringency, good when left sit a week until wrinkly .

Planning to plant the seed for rootstock / new plants …
Read they can be rooted from summer cuttings .
Has anyone had luck with rooting cuttings of cornelian cherry?
Methods ?


I think most propagation is done by grafting or budding onto seedling rootstock. I am not sure if you will get many replies on this forum since I don’t think a lot of propagation is done by forum members for Cornelian cherries. I would suggest you visit the Cornelian Cherry facebook group. A fair number of people are propagating them there but I can’t remember if any are using cuttings.

1 Like

I bought 14 seedlings for a hedge. Nine years later only about half have fruited. They ripen at different times too. They are growing in almost complete shade with only about two hours of direct sun. It’s about 12 feet tall now. I do prune them to stay at 12 feet. The fruit is good. I make a syrup from it. I wanted to comment that if you grow seedlings expect to wait 6 to 10 years for fruit. They probably would be good for rootstock in 2-3 years.


Pioneer is a us trademark of the original ukrainian variety Lukyanovsky. Chip budding is the way to propagate cornelian cherry, trying to root the cuttings is a waste of time.


I’ve had some success with rooting cuttings. This summer, I took semi-hardwood cuttings on June 9th, treated with rooting hormone (Hormodin 2) and stuck them in a 2:1, perlite:promix potting mix and placed on a mist bench. When I checked on them last Friday, about 70% of them had roots (but roots were not prolific, and still small).

But in the past, I’ve not had great success getting them to grow after they were rooted. Last year, more than half of the rooted cuttings stalled out and eventually died, leaving me with only a few plants left.

FYI - the cultivars I’ve rooted were Bodacious and Chicago.


I rooted summer cuttings taken in late July, they died overwinter unfortunately. Layering and grafting are more reliable for me


Propagation questions! Seed- managed to find seed, but that has not had stratification. I know this needs warm and then cool and maybe a repeat, but what is the best plan for this? Do I scarify at all? What substrate?
Also managed to find Cornelian cherry seedlings that were actually in stock, and they should ship to me soon. I believe I have grafting scion as well, although same thing on shipping, may not get the one. A post said Hidden Springs did whip/tongue but most say bark or side graft? I can try whichever should work best, or v-graft with a tool. What stage should rootstock be in/ temp for callus? I had planned on potting it upon arrival and grafting this spring.

Around this time I go to some stands of wild cornus mas which is not uncommon in my area. I collect the seeds in the pockets of soil between the stones, some of them with radicles already emerging. I usually get enough seedlings for my own use and further selling. Seed has two embryos so you can get two plants out of one seed or kernel to be more exact. These embryos are virtually impossible to extract so scarification is of no use.


Any thoughts on seedling fruit quality? I’ve never had one in my life nor are they native to my area. Trying to decide if I should graft some seedlings or let the seedlings I have produce fruit (in 10 years :slight_smile: ).

i have never tasted one either. But from what i read and heard. The names varieties are superior. But that could also depend on your seed source. (if your seeds come from named varieties they might be good/decent)

I have one cultivar and 14 seedlings. I could not tell the difference in taste. The biggest difference was in size and production. Cultivars at least the one I have way out produced the seedlings.


Just a note, I have the seedlings to make a hedge, love it, doing it again at my daughters place. I may add another cultivar in the future. Two are enough for a good harvest for me. Plus the fruit from my hedge. I made syrup this year. I mixed it with the pomegranates I grew, wow, this mix makes an extremely tasty syrup! Wish I had an ice cream maker!


These seeds of cornus mas were collected last spring in the wild. They were sown immediately and kept moist in the unheated greenhouse. Now they are coming up like a cress. Note the typical elongated cotyledons.