Just Us Nuts – Chestnuts
The American Chestnut is back! The forests of eastern North America were once dominated by the American Chestnut. Massive trees often reached 120 feet tall on trunks to 13 feet across. The wood was esteemed as a premier cabinet and furniture making material, as versatile as oak, but easier to work and more beautiful. Beginning around 1900, blight struck the American Chestnut, and by 1950, only a few small, isolated stands remained.
Researchers collected genetic material from those surviving trees and began to cross them with the blight-resistant Chinese Chestnut. Several varieties were developed and tested in groves that had been innoculated with the deadly blight. We are happy to report that no blight has been found in the original test orchards. We hope you will join us in bringing back the great American Chestnut!
These new American crosses have much larger nuts than the Chinese Chestnut, with a sweet crunchy, chinquapin flavor. They are delicious fresh, steamed or roasted, or they can be dried and ground into a sweet flour for making cakes and breads.
We’re also pleased to add the Chinquapin, another Castanea that has sweet crunchy nuts. Chinquapin are smaller growers, more of a multi-caned shrub. They are grown much like a chestnut, only planted closer together on 15 foot spacing. You will need two for cross pollination and good crops.
Lacking shade in your yard? Why not create your own edible forest. Planting a mixture of nuts and large growing fruit trees over time will give you a cool shady retreat to laze away a summers day under. Mixed fruiting forest are fun to work with, try this cool combination. Chestnuts with their large, coarsely textured leaves and broad umbrella-shaped canopy, mixed with the willowy beauty of pecan and the broad, heart-shaped leaves of mulberry.
«Not sure what to do with Chestnut Trees or how to grow them? Click here for Just the Facts on planting and care.
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