Giant Chestnuts


What’s frustrating is that I have his card somewhere (the Chinese are very big on business cards) but I’m sure it’s at the bottom of a box of books and papers that would take a really long time to sort through. I have dozens of boxes of stuff like that. But if I could find his name I would just name this tree after him.


Thanks for pointing out Red Fern Farm as a source for hardy Chinese and hybrid chestnuts (and a few other things too), @castanea.
After some correspondences with Tom, I ordered in some seed from two parent trees he recommended for my area, Mossbarger and Luvalls Monster, which I will plant out this spring. Interestingly, he spoke against grafted CHINESE chestnut trees for nut production, said they were good for breeding work but much less productive than seedling trees.


One problem with grafted Chinese chestnut trees is that they sometimes overproduce which gives you small nuts. Yet one of the primary reasons people plant grafted Chinese trees is to get larger nuts. Graft union failure in Chinese nuts can be pretty common also. And even the lower quality Chinese chestnuts from poor seedlings are usually pretty good anyway and they will almost all peel well. It’s a different situation though for the European trees Japanese trees and their hybrids. Some of their seedlings have very poor nut quality and the nuts that frequently will not peel well so grafted is a better way to go with them.


Wow…great thread. Thanks Castanea especially.


Castanea, do you sell or trade for your nuts?


I give them away in small quantities to people who want to plant them.


Hello Castanea.
write me a message, I’m interested in the exchange
Thank you


Hello Castanea.
write me a message, I’m interested in the exchange
Thank you


I will be sending you nuts.


I am curious of what you think of Bouche de Betizac. I think I read that BdB and Marigoule are among the most popular cultivars for new planting in France.


BdB is very disease resistant and consistently large nuts that peel OK. The nuts have OK taste but could us a little more flavor or a little more sweetness. Overall, it’s a good tree to grow.


Chestnut is my favorite nut. I wish I could eat every day. I bought two grafted chestnut trees two years ago. One is Szego; the other is Qing. Both trees died in the first year after being planted. There are suckers coming from the root of Qing. I bought three Chinese chestnut seedlings from starkbro nursery last year. They are all alive now.
Is it hard to graft chestnut?
For Qing suckers,should I find Qing scions to graft on them?
What varieties of chestnut are compatible with Chinese seedlings?


Sophia, it’s not hard to graft chestnuts, you can do it :slight_smile: I don’t know much about Chinese varieties, as I’m in Canada and they are often not hardy enough where I live. I’ve grafted mostly american chestnut selections, nice and hardy in fluctuating temperatures like here.
I bet it’s the same though with the Chinese and hybrids. The easiest graft is a cleft graft; you take a twig with only last years wood on it, still dormant, and pop it in the fridge…in a plastic freezer bag. This keeps it dormant and moist. When it’s warm enought that your outdoor tree makes new growth, cut the end off a branch into the last year wood. Cut straight across and then make a slot with a knife in the cut end. take your twig out of the fridge, cut off a little bit with two buds and sharpen the cut end to a wedge. Slip the wedge in the slot you made and make sure the bark and cambium line up well on at least one side. Wrap it tightly with tape, electric tape from the hardware store works…parafilm is easier to use, as it rots after a bit and you don’t have to remove it later, but electric tape works too. If it’s hot out, you might ned a plastic bag over the graft to keep it moist while it knits up. Poke a few holes in the bag for air.
After the graft starts leaves, cut the corner out of the bag for more air…so the bag is not fogged up. Leaves turn black and rot if they touch the inside of a wet, fogged up bag. Maybe someone else will add to this too.
I do a lot of grafts into potted seedlings on the kitchen table, so not as much outdoors on sprouts and established trees. I bet castanea has some tips for you…perhaps he will see this thread and help you.


Here is a picture for you of a potted new graft. it was made into the etiolated shoot of a new seedling.

it’s not as hard as you think, grin. if you can use a paring knife or a pocket knife, you already have the knife skills to do them.


Why did your two trees die?


She lists herself in 6b, perhaps that will suggest a reason?
I loose them here to fluctuating temperatures, so perhaps she is coastal also? Sophia???


I was out of country for four months. Possibly they lacked of watering.
I asked the questions about chestnut grafting here last year. A lot of guys suggested to choose Chinese varieties to graft on Chinese seedlings or just not to do anything. I asked the nursery when I bought two grafted chestnut trees. They use seedlings of the same variety to graft chestnut. So I wonder if chestnuts have strict compatibility when grafting.


I asked the nursery to pick up two varieties of chestnut tree that are suitable to our location. I thought they died due to no care for four month especially in summer. I was out of country for four months.
I did a lot of grafting on pears, peaches, plums,persimmon, jujubes, and roses.
I think chestnut grafting is no difference. But I don’t know the compatibility of chestnut scions with rootstocks.


Yes, lack of water for a new tree will often kill it. Grafted ones are the most likely to die back.
I don’t know much about compatability. I have grafted americans onto chinese hybrids, so it might be easier than expected.
castanea? can you help…I don’t know enough to help.


I too love chestnuts as much as anything else I grow in my yard but have not attempted to plant chestnuts due to the size of the trees. What would be the smallest I could keep a decent tasting variety in z6 and not wait a long time for a harvest?