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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Tioga County, NY
Freezing isn't a good method of storing chestnut seed. Chestnuts need to stratify which causes some chemical changes that tell the nuts to germinate. Stratification happens in cool temperatures above freezing. Storing in the fridge as suggested is a good way to stratify and get them ready to sprout. I have both started in pots indoors and direct seeded where I wanted the tree. Both worked but I did not do either method until the nuts had started to germinate. I preferred direct seeding but you have to protect the nut from mice and squirrels. Once the tree is started, I clipped the nuts off. Last time I gathered my nuts daily, put them in ziploc bags in the fridge until January. By then, a number had germinated that I started indoors. Every couple weeks I'd sort out the ones that sprouted. Then I direct seeded all the later germinating seeds in mid April. With good rain, they made it to top of a 54" tree tube by September.
Since you don't know if your nuts will germinate, I would start by float testing them in water and letting them have a good soak in water overnight. Floaters might have dried out too much in the freezer. I'd keep a few nuts moist at room temperature and see if they will germinate. The rest I would store in the fridge for a month or two with some slightly moist long fiber sphagnum moss. Take out a few nuts in a month and see if they will germinate. If not, take out some more in another month. If they won't germinate by the beginning of July, I'd give up on them and try to do it better this fall.