ISO Qing Chinese chestnut trees

I planted 2 Qing seedlings in 2015 and this year I harvested a very decent crop.

A friend wants to do the same, but we are having trouble finding trees, especially at an affordable price. My original vendor is out of stock (and has been for a while).

We’d seriously consider any seedlings of named Chinese varieties. We’re looking for trees that (1) are immune to blight, and (2) produce decent sized nuts.

Does anybody have any suggestions of a vendor? Thanks.


Just a thought, why not plant some on your Qing seedling’s nuts?

Good idea. If I were 20 years old, maybe I’d try it. But I’m 70 and my buddy is a few years older. We need results while we’re still around to enjoy them. :slight_smile:

Also, this year’s crop is already roasted and mostly eaten.

Try here-

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@castanea – Thanks, that’s a great suggestion, especially as the interested friend lives in VT. The only problem is that the inventory of chestnuts seems sold out. But I’ve encouraged the friend to contact the grower. Maybe they can work something out.

I hope it works out. It’s hard to find chestnut trees this late in the season.

Maybe Covid made things worse – both less supply and more demand. I used to do all my buying for spring dekivery/planting in December. A lot of places selling apples, etc didn’t even open until then. Last year, items seemed to sell out early. This year the same. I made sure that I was done in early November.

Anyway, thanks again.

I have about a dozen beautiful 12-18" one year seedlings of Colossal chestnuts. Certified Organic, potted in 13 inch nursery pots. $15.00 each.

Cold Stream Farm sells good size Chinese chestnut trees. Be prepared to pay for shipping. Chinese Chestnut - Castanea Mollissima | Deciduous Trees | Cold Stream Farm

@Blake – My understanding is that Colossal is a Japanese-European hybrid with uncertain resistance to blight. I’ve seen enough chestnut trees die that I want near certainty. Thanks

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@scarecrow – Thanks. Maybe I’m too picky but I’m looking for seedlings of named varieties so I have some assurance of quality and size.

My husband and I are preparing to plant a large chestnut orchard on our farm and Qing is one of the cultivars we are planting. They only take 3 years to begin producing, so if you had planted, say, 25 nuts when you first posted your question, you’d have nut production beginning the fall of 2024. If you still have any from this year, get them into cold stratification now. From 25 trees, you’d have a decent harvest for roasting, and production goes up exponentially every year until around 12 years when it tends to level off. We actually use a plain old yard sweep to get the nuts and burrs up from the ground for now, so not so much bending and stooping!

They propagate VERY easily and have a 94% success rate. There’s tons of videos on YouTube on that subject if you want to try it.

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@loislane21 – Thanks. I hadn’t considered planting seeds from my own trees.

Seedlings can take anywhere from 3-10 years to begin producing. It depends on the pollen parent of the nuts, your soil and your climate. When you plant Qing seedlings you are not planting the Qing cultivar. The seedlings are only 1/2 Qing genetics.

@castanea – Thanks. 3-10 years is a helpful reality check. I’m 71!

I’m confused about Qing genetics. Maybe you can help me out . . .

  1. I purchased two Qing seedlings from Starks, which I assumed came originally from someone else. The two trees can’t be identical or they would not cross-pollinate. So I assume that they are Qing crossed with something else. But was it one cross or many? In other words, are my Qing seedlings 50% Qing or has there been enough back-crossing that the percentage would be higher?

  2. There is a chestnut of some type ~300 yards away in the neighborhood, but that’s pretty far. I assume that the nuts produced on my two trees, 15 yards apart, are almost entirely the result of cross-pollination between them. Doesn’t that mean that any offspring would be roughly the same proportion Qing as these parents?


I’m sure there is a chance that any seedlings from your trees might be duds even if they were just crossed with each other. Castanea may be able to tell you what that likelihood is, but this is basically an F2 cross so there could still be a lot of genetic variability. Do your two trees seem very similar in nut size and flavor? That might suggest better chances of similar seedling offspring I think.

The good news is you seem to have 2 trees you like, so you could always start the seedlings and then graft them over with scions from the 2 trees you have. Chestnuts are known to have some issues with grafts failing, often years after they are grafted, so that is a risk but I think you have a better chance since the rootstock and scions would be closer genetically. And if you graft them they should produce faster.

Yes, my two trees do seem to produce similar nuts. I’ve noticed one difference – bloom times are slightly out of sync. Evidently there’s enough overlap that it doesn’t create a serious issue. But one tree is definitely ahead of the other.

For me, these two trees are adequate. I was looking for additional trees for a friend. He’s a little older than me, so years matter.,

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Your Qing seedlings should each be 50% Qing.

Offspings of two Qing seedlings which pollenize each other would be 50% Qing.

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