Italian chestnuts

truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Sat Apr 15 19:25:00 EST 2000

Yesterday went to Paul Bishop's Tree Farm near Oregon City. Gifted Paul
several gallon pots which my sister started Italian chestnuts (sold
locally in a Fred Meyer store) two years ago. The trees were already
leafing out, and several had already expired from crowding, but still
had probably a total of 20-25 trees set out in Paul's arboretum. Got all
of them planted before a nice drenching rain came, so hope they do well.

A question comes to mind: what exactly are "Italian" chestnuts? How do
they differ from other species. In Oregon, we have a potpourri of
chestnut trees, which appear to cross-breed readily. Chinese chestnut
(Castanea sps?), Italian chestnut (Castanea sps?), Chinese chestnut
(Castanea sps?), and American chestnut (Castanea sps?) are all found
here, and produce some rather bizare offspring. The nuts are eaten
readily by much of the wildlife, including racoons, squirrels, deer,
elk, chipmunk, crows, and almost anything else than can find their way
through the seed covering spines.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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