starting chestnut from seeds? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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starting chestnut from seeds?

I got a bag of chestnuts in the freezer from last fall, should I plant them now?
any tricks to planting them?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 10:21 PM
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Mine are doing great and they grow pretty fast. Started mine in March and they are about a foot tall. Plant seeds by laying the in a pot flat side down. Just deep enough to cover 2/3 of seed. Keep moist in warm area. Watch if you set them outside right now the squirrels, chipmunks and mice will carry them off. If you have some good seeds they will germinate pretty quick.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 08:49 AM
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not sure if you were supposed to freeze them. Quart or half gallon milk cartons work great for planting in. Need a tall container.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 07:24 PM
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I keep them in the fridge from November til March. Put them in a tuberware container with moist pete moss. When you take them out they should have sprouts.
Plant them in containers. By Memorial day they should be a foot or more in height. Plant them & cage or tube them to protect them from the deer.
This is my 3rd year doing this. Do not over water, as they will die back & start again. out of 25 chestnuts I got 13 & 20 that survived. This year I have 22, but may lose some when planted.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-13-2017, 09:21 PM
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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.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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looks like I gotta play tomorrow. found a bag that didn't freeze, will try them separate. have to get some peat also.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 02:05 PM
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I never heard of freezing any kind of nuts. I put mine in a gallon sized zip lock bag with slightly moist potting soil and put them in the crisper. Along about now they will be sprouting.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 06:34 PM
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Yep put them in the fridge
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