Chinese Chestnut trees are native to Asia and were brought here to replace or to
hybridize with the American chestnut. The American Chestnut was once so common
that it was said a squirrel could travel on chestnut trees from Massachusetts to
Ohio without touching the ground. About 1900 a few logs infected with the
chestnut blight, a fungus, were shipped in from Japan and within 40 years the
tree was almost totally wiped out. A few large American Chestnuts survived in
upper Michigan as we are out of the native range. I have 3 - 30' specimens that
are doing well so far!!! Now concerning Chinese chestnuts, these will survive
the blight, as far as I know there has not yet been any American chestnut that
in the long run has survived where the blight is prevalent.
Chinese chestnut matures at about 35', my 20 year old trees are approaching 20'
and are producing heavily. The trees tend to bush out rather than grow upright
when grown with ample room in full sunlight. The leaves are simple, serrated,
alternate, about 4-6" long, 2-3" wide and similar to American but shorter. The
leaf top is dark green, underleaf is pale and somewhat hairy. The fall color is
a copper, bronze look similar to beech and the leaves hang on the tree for quite
a while. The flowers are produced in catkins, attractive, fragrant, yellow to
pale white, in a panicle in late June here in the north. The fruit is
encapsulated in a very prickly ball that splits when mature (late September here
in Northern Michigan). The nuts are a deep brown with some cream color near the
tips, very edible and most years one would be very lucky to beat the deer and
turkeys to nut fest. We like to collect the nuts, rinse them and microwave them
for a few seconds which helps peel the skin off. We then eat them raw. Chinese
chestnut trees prefer good soil, well drained, acidy, loamy soil. Once
established can withstand moderate drought. Careful pruning as one would for
fruit trees will help prevent splitting of the branched where forked or it can
be trained to one trunk.
The blight will affect these trees but not in a serious way. Twig canker,
powdery mildew and leaf spot are moderate problems.
buy Chinese Chestnut seedlings and transplants use the table below.
Call for B+B prices.
Chinese chestnut seedling by PHONE: We're glad to take your
order by phone. For your convenience, we have a toll free number 800
568-9179. Phone orders can be charged to VISA, or MasterCard accounts.
To order Chinese chestnut seedlings by MAIL: For those who wish to
order by mail or prefer to send a check, send orders to:
Porcupine Hollow Farm
8593 W. State Rd. Central Lake, Mi. 49622
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