Can you cross beachnut trees with chestnuts?

farmfreedomMay 22, 2010

Can you cross beachnut trees with chestnuts? What can you cross each with?

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keking(z6 TN)

Interesting idea. The chestnut is a member of the Beech family.

Here's one from the Northern Nut Growers Association report of 1916.

Dr. Morris: Answering Mr. Littlepage, I have apparently managed to get some crosses back and forth between chestnuts, and oaks, and beech, this year. I have a number of those crosses now under way that are apparently good hybrids.

Dr. Stabler: A cross between a chestnut and a beech?

Dr. Morris: Yes, I think so. You see, I have got to wait a year or so until the plants develop later characteristics. All of these parent trees are pretty closely related, you see. The blooming period between the different ones may be as much as two or three weeks, or three months apart, in fact. I have cross pollinated hazels and oaks, this year. The way to do that is to find correspondents at the extreme limit of the blossoming range of the species, who will send pollen. For instance, Professor Hume, in Florida, sends me chestnut pollen in time to cross my oaks, and Professor Conser, of the University of Maine, has some beeches that blossom in time for me to cross with chinquapins and oak trees. That is one way to do it.

Another way is to put your pollen in cold storage with some sphagnum moss, just put a little damp moss in your box with the pollen and put it in cold storage, and keep it at just about forty, above the freezing point. Another way is to put branches with dormant flower buds in cold storage. Hazels, for instance, may be kept for six months in this way. Put them in water, in the sun, and you soon have flowers furnishing pollen. I would take up the whole session of two days here if you were to ask too many questions along that line. (Laughter.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Chestnut x Beech Hybrids

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 11:07AM
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSE ! IT TOOK QUITE A WHILE to get one . I have always wanted to combine the "jumbo Italian chestnut" with the beautiful red leaved silver barked beach tree . For both ornamental and edible landscape .

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 2:43PM
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keking(z6 TN)

I couldn't find any follow-up information on Morris's crosses.

I did learn that Dr. Robert T Morris was an expert on nuts. He wrote a book on Nut Culture, as well as various articles on the culture, propagation and breeding of nut trees. At one time he was president of the Northern Nut Growers Association.

And this from the Georgia State Horticulture Society, 1916.

"Beech. It is probably true that no varieties of the beech have ever been recognized except by the landscape gardeners who, in their profession have drawn lines irrespective of the character or quantity of nuts produced. Prizes offered by Dr. Robert T. Morris of New York City several years ago drew forth some very choice nuts but as yet none have been propagated by budding or grafting. The excellence of flavor of the beechnut and its food value are not disputed. The readiness with which turkeys and swine fatten on the buckwheat-like nuts of these trees is well known.

"For the present, no one would be justified in raising beech trees for the nuts alone but the presence of beech trees is an indication of good soil, the trees are long-lived, very useful as ornamentals, and for shade purposes are unexcelled. The word then, in behalf of the beechnut would be--Think about it."


    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 9:57AM
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There is also a blight that is destroying the beachnut trees . Perhaps the blight resistant ITALIAN jumbo chestnut would have resistance to this blight . The problem with the beachnut is it take 50 years to bear nuts . Chestnuts are much quicker to bear after planting.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:17PM
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keking(z6 TN)

I just happened across this info regarding the Beech blight.

"Loo is testing and searching for native beech trees that are resistant to beech bark canker.

"She believed native resistance was "out there" because she was personally aware of trees in natural forest settings that were not affected by the canker. Never having heard of a successful beech hybrid, native resistance seemed the best and obvious route to preserve the historic form and majesty of Canadian beech.

"The team found four to five percent of the beech in the research area showed no symptoms of the disease complex. The exact percent of beech with some resistance is unknown but the guess is around 50% of the disease-free trees or 2-3% of all the beech in the area. The other healthy looking trees have just not contacted the fungus yet. No one knows how many genes are involved in resistance nor do we know how these genes behave but these questions are under study."

The rest of the article is at the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hybrid or Native

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:43AM
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