Chestnut germination

Anyone here have any experience growing chestnuts from seed. I have chestnuts from Dunstan trees. I like the nuts and would like to germinate some. I want to put them in my air pruning seed bed. I assume the conditions will be no different than what they would experience in the wild but I’m interested in hearing from other who have experience with this. I’m in Virginia,
Zone7a. Thanks.

1 Like

I have some Dunsan nuts as well I plan to start and have looked at a lot of posts and videos. It seems to work very well doing exactly what I do for pawpaw and persimmon seeds, which is stratify in the fridge for 4 months in a ziplock bag with some lightly damp peat moss (I’ve also used ProMix) and then plant them.

It seems the biggest challenge is keeping squirrels and other critters from digging them up, even after they’ve sprouted, so most people with air layering beds I’ve seen have chicken wire or hardware cloth cages over their beds. You may already be doing that, but I’ve gotten away without growing pawpaws and persimmons in pots.

1 Like

That should work fine as long as the nuts are protected from critters.

BTW, there are far better Chinese chestnuts than Dunstans.


Thanks zendog and castanea.

First, I wrote air layer bed but it’s an air pruning bed.
Second, my fridg is already getting crowded with all of the other seeds i have in there.
Third, I have some chinese chestnut seedlings planted, and we are going to collect some seed this evening to see how they taste. Castanea, my wife and I have read your comments about chinese chestnut and we’re on the hunt for something that does well locally.

1 Like

What city are you near?

We live in Fairfax and have 2 chinese chestnut trees about 25+ years old. Though I never tried to grow them from seeds, the squirrels provide plenty of volunteers from the nuts they missed after burying them. I dug up 2 a few months ago and potted them, one is doing well but the other dropped all the leaves though scratching the bark still showing green.

Castanea, I’m in Martinsville, Va, between Roanoke, Va and Greensboro, NC.

We went and collected chinese chestnuts today from a couple of trees that are 10-20 yrs old. Abandoned property. They are slightly better than the Dunstan. There several people in the area with chinese chestnut. Hopefully I will get to get a few from their trees.

Any Chinese chestnut growing anywhere in the US will do well in your area. You have a great climate for growing Chinese chestnuts. Don’t worry about where Chinese nuts or trees are sourced. Just grow the best you can find.

Thank you Castanea.