Auburn University chestnuts

Thanks for the response! I’ll try and see if I can collect some nuts there next year. Are there any strands of Chinese trees that you prefer over others? I know you take the ability to easily peel and taste into consideration. In the meantime, I’ll start looking around for different sources.

At Camp Hill, just look for the largest nuts you can find. They all have good flavor as well. That includes trees 1-11, 1-26, 2-18, and 4-26 but there are other good ones as well, such as 4-9 which doesn’t have huge nuts but is very productive.

Other seed nut sources are the University of Missouri HARC program, and Route 9 Coop in Ohio. Cultivars you should get nuts from would include Jenny, Hong Kong, YGF, Yixian Large, Peach, Gideon, Shing, Payne, Liu, Luvall’s Monster, Qing, WC and Mossbarger.


Thanks again for the info! That’s a huge help. I’ll look into each of those and I’ll give updates when I get them!


And Ace. You can get Ace nuts from Route 9 Coop.

In September 2022 I visited the Auburn trees again and found a new tree which also has large tasty nuts. A photo of the nuts is below.
Eventually I hope to have the University of Missouri grow out scionwood from some of the non-patented trees (like this one) and provide seed nuts to the public.

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How can you get access to see that orchard at camp hill.

I get access to the pecan orchard by calling the guy who administers it. I am due to make a trip this weekend.

Castanea, are you a time traveler? 2022 visit to Camp Hill?

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No one administers the chestnut orchard. It is part of a deer preserve and is leased out with other land for cattle. It’s very difficult to get permission to visit and as a practical matter it no longer matters. Nut drop is over for this year and by next year most of the good chestnut trees will be dead. I last saw the orchard in March 2022 and it was in very sad shape. Last winter they placed cattle feeder stations among the chestnut trees and that increased visits by cattle to the orchard at least 100 fold. The result is dead trees and disrupted water flow through the orchard with permanently compacted areas and permanently muddy areas. One of the largest and healthiest trees from 2021 is now half dead and may not leaf out at all next year. The cattle have now also developed a taste for chestnuts. They have always browsed the leaves and branch tips of the trees but they are now also eating the nuts. I have no plans to visit again.

When I visited in March I did so in order to obtain scionwood from the best trees for the University of Missouri. They now have good grafts of all but one of those trees and they have a weak graft of one. In 5-10 years, Missouri will be selling nuts and/or scionwood. I got the wood just in time.



How can you get access to see that orchard at camp hill.

See my response above.

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I thought chesnuts tend to stump or root sprout when cut and that made it very difficult to graft. I thought I read where some root graft it though but the success rate may or may not be that great. I may be way off on that though.

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Chinese chestnuts have a lower rate of successful grafts than many other nut and fruit trees, but they are still commonly grafted. The more experience you have grafting them, the higher your success rates.

Yes, after grafting many will sprout from the roots or below the graft so you have to be vigilant to get rid of those sprouts.


I made 4 grafts on two seedling trees that were quite young and had grown vigorously the previous season. I waited until first growth on the 2 trees and all 4 grafts took and grew vigorously at first. The two on one of the trees continued to grow vigorously throughout the season but the two on the other slowed down and became somewhat chlorotic. However, all should have enough energy to come back next season as long as there aren’t factors going on difficult to see. I’m hoping on great vitality from all of them next season, but we shall see.

I used splice grafts onto vigorous annual wood from previous season, almost like water sprouts. I get the highest success rates when I graft onto vigorous growth from the previous season.

There is nothing easier than a splice graft.


There is some research that shows chestnuts have genetically determined growth patterns. Grafting a rootstock with scions having the same growth type gives good growing trees. Grafting with different growth types eventually gives graft failure. Grafting a tree onto its own seedlings is one way to get a high percentage of successful grafts.


Grafting vigorous wood on vigorous stock, or even weak wood on vigorous stock, does seem to work well in many cases.

I try to graft on related stock but I always prioritize vigor over relatedness.

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There is research on that? That would seem to suggest genetic incompatibility, but I’d love to see the research.

It is mentioned in this article.

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He’s the first person to ever mention that to me and I remembered it. He’s wicked smart.

What are cambial peroxidase isozyme patterns?

Are the AU Buck III, IV & Gobbler packages sold by The Wildlife Group good for eating? Or mostly for animals?

I’m planning on getting some seedlings and nuts to plant from Route 9 when available as well.

I currently have 9 Collosal seedlings.

Where are you growing your trees?

The AU Buck and Gobbler trees have very tasty nuts. Both are very productive. The Buck trees produce larger nuts and the Gobbler trees produce smaller nuts.

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Southeast LA. An hour north of New Orleans.

Thanks for the response. I want to continue to add chestnuts, but would prefer they taste good enough for me not just the deer and wild hogs. :joy: