edible chestnut

brankuloJune 28, 2010

not sure if this belongs here but i would like to also plant edible chestnut tree. i am in denver, not sure if the tree would thrive here, and what kind to get.

i have a big yard but prefer smaller tree if possible rather than huge ones that i remember from my childhood.


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You need to check with your local extension agent or Master Gardner in the area. I never have seen any there but then there are a lot of things I never saw while living there. I don't know it they like your climate or not but it sure would be worth finding out for sure.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:18PM
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thanks, nurseries state zone 5-9 for most of the chestnut varieties. denver is listed as zone 5-6. am i pushing it if i want to grow it here? do i need two for cross pollination?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:19AM
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You need two, and forget about getting them small. They will get big. Even the smallish chestnut trees of Asian origin are big trees, getting to 50-60 ft and quite spreading instead of 70-80.

They are typically found on southern slopes in the East, and they have a deep taproot. That means no transplanting after you plant them, and also that they might make it in Denver, perhaps with a couple deep waterings during summer.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:49AM
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i am thinking chineese chestnut
how long does it take for the tree to reach mature state? could i affect size by pruning it . just wandering. as a kid i planted horse chesnut at my grandmas house and now after 25 years it isnt that big, and i know my grandpa would prune it every so often to the point when he just left major branches that he cut almost all the way to the trunk.
i already have one large globe willow, and have space for both chesnuts but they would shade subsatntial part of my yard. so i am wandering if pruning would help.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:37AM
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I know they naturally grow very large, but I'm pretty sure you can grow them coppiced (I think that's the right term), more of a multi-stemmed shrub than a tree. Under this system, the trunks are cut out as they get too large and new smaller ones allowed to grow. I believe that this method was used a lot in England and Europe in olden days.

I do know that my young chestnuts, both seedling and grafted, all under 10 years old are all bearing already, most started in the third year. The problem I've had with them is losing the nuts to the squirrels, so far it hasn't been any major quantity. This year won't be an issue either, that May freeze zapped the new growth and looks like it took almost all of this years flowers with it.

I don't know if I'm right about this, but the concept may be worth checking out.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:07PM
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denn, how big are your chesnuts at 10 years?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:23PM
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Um, probably about 10 to 12 feet tall and about the same or a little bigger spread. But, they had some "issues" for the first few years with animals eating them off in the winter, both rabbits and deer, so they were set back a couple of growing seasons. Otherwise they might be a bit bigger by now.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:54PM
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