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Chinese Chestnut

Castanea mollissima  Zone 5(4)-8 

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.


 To buy Chinese Chestnut seedlings and transplants use the table below.

Call for B+B prices.

To order 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

To order Chinese chestnut saplings using our secure shopping cart: chinese_chestnut
Plant Type Age Size Quanity / Price
Chestnut-Chinese Castanea mollisima 6-12"

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Shipping & Handling: Most orders are shipped UPS. Make sure we have your street address and a daytime phone number.

Please include 20% shipping and packaging with your order.

    Minimum shipping $15    

Michigan Residents add 6% sales tax.  

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