SWEET CHESTNUT (Castanea)
European chestnut (Castanea Sativa)
Chinese seedlings (Castanea mollissima) - Grown from open-pollinated seed collected from superior mother trees, selected for nut production characteristics including large nut size, good kernel qualities, consistent yields, blight resistance, cold hardiness.
Chestnuts are majestic trees capable of producing large quantities of delicious nuts every year. They bloom in early summer & ripen in early fall. They form inside prickly husks that are squirrel proof until they fall ripe from the trees. European & American chestnuts & their hybrids are potentially large spreading shade trees when grown in the open, although most orchard spacings are at 25 foot intervals. Denser spacings of up to 12 ft. will produce fine timber. Chestnut wood is an excellent, attractive & rot resistant hardwood. Chestnuts need a sunny location with good soil drainage
Chestnut trees are self infertile. That means that they must have another chestnut tree nearby with viable pollen to produce nuts.
Whilst all varieties produce male catkins and female flowers on new season's shoots, the male pollen may no longer be present when the female flower is ready for pollination. It is therefore recommended that several different varieties be planted for the purposes of commercial production. Pollen is transferred from one tree to another by wind.
Seed - where possible sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame or in a seed bed outdoors. The seed must be protected from mice and squirrels. The seed has a short viability and must not be allowed to become dry.
Chestnuts require a well-drained soil, better
drained than apple trees require. The most common mistake in chestnut
cultivation is to plant them on sites that are too wet or too "heavy" (too much
clay). Clay soils can be tolerated if there is good surface drainage (slope),
but chestnuts do best on deep, sandy loams (rocks and gravel are okay). Soil pH
should be acidic, between 4.5 and 6.5. Chestnuts won't tolerate calcareous
(limestone) soils. Chestnuts don't require a very fertile soil, but do respond
well to fertilizer.
Gather Chinese Chestnuts as soon as they fall from the
burrs. Keep them out of the sun, since it will dry out the nuts. Harvesting is
easier if the grass under the tree is kept mowed low. The nuts drop over a two
week period and should be collected every two days. Place nuts on a screen in a
shady, cool, rather humid, well-ventilated place for several days to cure.
Chinese chestnuts have a high starch and water content and a very low oil
content. Nuts lack flavour when burrs open and chestnuts fall, but after they
dry slowly for one to two weeks in a cool place (50-65̊F), starches are
converted to sugars and flavour improves tremendously.
American Sweet - This native Eastern variety produces small nuts, which are much sweeter than any other kind. Tree very hardy and a strong, upright grower.
Amy - Pure Chinese, selected from our orchard, medium to large sized nuts, early ripening (a few days earlier than 'Eaton')
AU-Homestead - Selected at Auburn, AL; cold-hardy to -20 degrees F, medium-sized nuts, late ripening, reportedly some gall wasp resistance
AU Leader - Very sweet large nut. Excellent flavour raw or roasted.
Armstrong - This medium to large nut is one of the best tasting, but it doesn't keep long in storage. The tree bears very well. Chinese X American hybrid.
BELLE EPINE CHESTNUT (Castanea crenatata x C. sativa)
BISALTA #3 CHESTNUT (European X Japanese)
BOUCHE DE BETIZAC (European x Japanese)
Bournette - Mid-late season ripening. Hybrid variety bearing Large dark brown nuts. Pollinator. Spreading tree.
Bright - Has a large nut with a very sweet high quality kernel with an excellent taste. This is an outstanding selection and is highly recommended.
Byron (formerly 'Lindstrom 67') - Selection from Jerry Payne's planting in Byron, GA, vigorous grower, large nuts (but mis-shapen)
Carr - Old cultivar, medium to large-sized nuts, upright growth habit
Chandler - Selected by George Smith in South Carolina
CHINESE CHESTNUT (Castanea mollissima)
COLOSSAL CHESTNUT (Japanese x European)
Comfort - A very large, handsome nut, that has been grown in Pennsylvania for many years, and is found so nearly identical with Pargon in growth and fruit that it is not improbable that it was a nut of this variety from which Mr. Schaeffer, of Germantown, grew the original Paragon tree. Comes to fruit age very young, and is an enormous bearer of nuts of very good quality.
CONNECTICUT EARLY CHESTNUT (Castanea sp.)
Crane - Chinese selection from the Chekiang province of China. Nuts are dark red to brown in colour, flavour and keeping qualities are excellent. Crane is best adapted to the middle and southern USA. Produces a large tasty nut in this region. 32 to 40 per Lb.
Eaton - Flavour, texture and sweetness are among the best. Ripens 3 to 7 days, earlier than most Chinese. 30 to 40 nuts per lb.
EUROPEAN CHESTNUT (Castanea sativa)
Fordís Sweet - A heavy bearing timber-type Chinese chestnut that has a sweet kernel like the American Chestnut. Nuts are small and make good wildlife food.
Fordís Tall - A timber-type Chinese chestnut similar to Fordís Sweet that reaches a height of 70 feet. Medium sized nuts.
Gideon - Pure Chinese, selected from our orchard, medium to large sized nuts, mid-season ripening
Grimo 112X - This is a seedling selection of unknown
origin (possibly a Layeroka seedling). The tree is vigorous and productive. The
nuts are sweet, large and early to mid season ripening. It is moderately
resistant to chestnut blight. It is a good pollinator.
Japan Giant Chestnut - The tree is decidedly ornamental, hardy and productive, of dwarf habit, bearing extremely young; nuts of enormous size.
Japan Mammoth - Immense size, and of fine flavor; the burrs contain at times as many as five large nuts; the tree is similar in habit and growth to the Italian Chestnut; they yield fruit in two years after planting; seedlings vary in size and shape, as well as in habit of growth and productiveness, and are not so reliable as grafted trees. Early Reliance (Japan). Tree of dwarf, spreading habit; begins to bear very young. Nuts large, smooth and very attractive. Enormously productive.
Kohr - Selected by Clarence Kohr in Pennsylvania
Laguepie - Mid season ripening. Nuts medium sized.
LAYEROKA CHESTNUT (Chinese x European)
Maraval - Mid-late season ripening. Natural hybrid, bears medium-large nuts - shining mahogany-red. Pollinator.
Maridonne - Late season ripening. Hybrid variety, bearing large nuts of very good quality.
Marigoule - Very early season ripening. Good crops of large nuts. Pollinator. Upright vigorous tree.
Marlhac - Mid-late season ripening. Hybrid variety. Medium sized nuts.
MARRISARD CHESTNUT (Castanea crenatata x Castanea
Marron Comballe - Early-mid season. Large, light brown nuts of good quality
Marron de Lyon - Mid-late season ripening. Good crops of very large nuts.
MARRON DI VAL DI SUZA - (Castanea sativa)
MARRON DU VAR CHESTNUT (Castanea sativa)
Marron Goujounac - Mid season ripening. Good crops of large light brown nuts. Good pollinator
Marsol - Mid season ripening. Hybrid variety. Medium sized nuts.
Meiling -Large, good-flavored nut; early and heavy bearer; good keeping qualities. Chinese.
Mendes -A very hardy and productive Chinese selection, medium-sized nut with a short season.
Mossbarger - Chinese A hardy variety from Glendale Kentucky. A vigorous grower with large spreading canopy and bears early. Nuts are sweet and peel very easily. 30 to 40 per lb.
Nanking - Was once a very popular cultivar in southeastern USA, medium to large sized nuts, late ripening, tends to over-produce resulting in smaller nut size
NEVADA CHESTNUT (Castanea sativa)
Norris - Reportedly resistant to chestnut weevils, medium sized nuts
Numbo - A hardy, productive variety of European origin, but seems well adapted to this. climate. It ripens early, nuts are large and of good quality. An early fruiter; an exceedingly productive and annual bearer.
Orrin - Similar to 'Nanking', medium to large sized nuts, mid-season ripening, tends to over-produce resulting in smaller nut size
Paragon - This is most likely the "Sober Paragon", an American-European hybrid widely planted in the early 1900's. It has a vigorous, upright growth habit, is a consistent bearer of medium-sized nuts, mid-season ripening, very blight susceptible, It has produced many outstanding offspring both in terms of nut production and timber-type growth.
Payne (formerly 'Byron 3-3') - Pure Chinese, selected from Jerry Payne's USDA planting in Byron, GA; very large nuts; not yet widely tested
Peach - Pure Chinese, selected from our orchard, medium to large sized nuts, mid-season ripening
Perry (formerly 'Lindstrom 93') - Selection from Jerry Payne's planting in Byron, GA; nuts slightly smaller than 'Byron' but better shaped.
PRECOCE MIGOULE CHESTNUT (European x Japanese)
Ridgley - Tree of immense size and very productive, more than 5 bushels of nuts, have been gathered from the original tree in a single season; burrs are of medium size and carry from 2 to 8 nuts each; nuts of medium size, with some fuzz at point; kernels sweet and of good quality. One of the most valuable. Tree very healthy.
Rousse de Nay - Very early season. Large dark brown nuts of good quality. Good pollinator.
Qing- Chinese selection, Very sweet nuts, Pellicle separates freely from nut, 2 to 4 nuts per bur, Nuts are a light mahogany in colour. Qing has no sign of chestnut blight. Original tree planted in 1938 and to date tree is 114 inches in diameter and 35 feet tall. An excellent commercial nut due to its taste, size and keeping qualities. 18 to 22 nuts per lb.
Shing - Pure Chinese from Nanjing, China, seedling selected by Mike Nave in California; vigorous, productive, large-sized nuts; not yet widely tested
SILVERLEAF CHESTNUT (a.k.a Eurobella) (Castanea
SKIOKA CHESTNUT (Chinese x European)
SKOOKUM CHESTNUT (Chinese x European)
SLEEPING GIANT CHESTNUT (Chinese x American x
Smith - Selected by George Smith in South Carolina
TO613 CHESTNUT Castanea crenatata x C. sativa
Verdale - Early season ripening. Medium sized dark brown nuts which store very well.
Vignols - Very early to early season ripening. Good crops of large nuts. Pollinator.
W.C. - Chinese From Louisville, KY. Large dark colored nuts. Spreading tree with great orchard form. Good keeper sweet and peels very well. Very vigorous grower.23 to 25 per lb.
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