Chestnut Grows in Brookline MA

truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Sat Oct 7 01:51:59 EST 2000

In article <8rkum5$g65$1 at>,
  minsky at wrote:
> In 1994 I found some sprouting chestnuts in the local supermarket.
> I planted them in a pot in a little greenhouse.
> Three of them grew.
> Next year I planted them in the nack yard.  One died.  Another is not 10
> feet high.
> The third one is now 35 feet high, with trunk about 8 inches diameter.
> It has about 50 tennis-ball size fruits.  They just started to fall off.
> Squirrels got some.  The burrs have long very thin, very sharp spints
> Each fruit contains about three rather flat, soft chestnuts.  About an
> inch in diameter but only a quarter-inch thick, not like their nice
> spherical parents.
> Any suggestions?   I have never hear of a hardwood tree growing this
> rapidly.  Presumably, there are no others in the area (Brookline, MA)
Chestnuts and oaks can grow much faster than most people give them credit
for. Growth of 8+ feet per year has been documented. Seedling chestnuts
may begin producing within 5 years of sprouting, so your production this
year is not too surprising, although you should expect much more
production in the near future.

It is possible your chestnut is being pollinated by nearby chestnut trees
which have not been attacked by chestnut blight. MA and PA used to have
magnificent chestnuts up to 15 feet diameter. Many early buildings were
made of chestnut lumber, since it was nearly impervious to rot.

There is considerable demand for chestnut lumber for old building
renovation as a result of the chestnut blight in much of the east coast.
Try to keep it growing as long as possible. It will reward you with food,
shade, and lots of wildlife, from racoons to squirrels, crows to deer and
elk. Chestnut is one of the preferred wildlife foods.

Oh, and by the way, chestnuts host several species of truffles. ;)

Daniel B. Wheeler

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