The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,998 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been researching chestnut trees in an attempt to figure out the best type to plant but I really can't figure it out and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. We have a house in the country with a very small hedgerow (about 140 yards long) that the deer use to travel between woodlots that borders the front yard. We are making it wider as it's only about 15 yards wide and decided to let it grow over into the yard 30 more yards. We'd like to plant a bunch of chestnut trees in there but want to make sure we are planting the right ones. Crop size isn't as important as how quickly they'll grow and start producing. We're looking for something that will grow well in Pa and starts producing chestnuts the fastest. Anyone have any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
Any chinese or chinese/american hybrid will work. Fast production generally means you want grafted trees but deciding on grafted varieties and where to buy is not simple. The only one very attractive to me is the AU Buck series sold by the Wildlife Group but I've not seen any reports of how they do in PA.

Most places sell seedling chinese or chinese hybrids. Potted Dunstan brand chinese hybrid seedlings are sold at quite a few retail locations and are pricey. They push growth in their florida nursery so Dunstan seedlings are much larger than typical 1yr old bare root seedlings but Dunstans cost 10 times more.

If you are able to control competition and provide care, my suggestion would be to buy a handful of Dunstan seedlings, some AU Buck grafted trees, and a bunch more cheap seedlings (like $1 to $2/each) and plant at high density, maybe 6-8ft apart in a row and 12ft between rows. You might even consider growing your own trees from seed. Use weed mats or spray to control competition for resources. Fertilize and push their growth, water if needed. Cage or tube to protect them. While eventually you want 30-40ft spacing for mature trees, you will have a bunch of small trees to start producing nuts. You can pick and choose which ones to keep over time as they grow and cut down those that are not productive as their crowns come together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,998 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perfect. Thanks chickenlittle!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
All good points. Yes, a good producing Chinese is durable and will produce thousands of quality nuts in usually less than 8 years.

A Chinese/American hybrid may have stronger American characteristics and can develop more of a traditional tall woods tree shape. A Dunstan is just a variety of a Chinese/American hybrid( with VERY little American genetics in it. there was a 4 page article about it in last falls American chestnut journal). It has also been my experience that Dunstans do not like cold and are highly intolerable to the slightly amount of frost or near frost conditions. If you are planting in Northern PA keep that in mind.

If these are your first attempts at Chestnuts I am not so sure I would start with a grafted tree. They usually have some cost associated with them and if they die it can cause a little frustration. But they can produce nuts earlier than seedling trees.

If you prefer to purchase locally, there are some places in PA to purchase Chinese/American Hybrid seedlings at a reasonable cost. PM if you would like that info.

Pick well drained to dry locations in your fencerow. They are highly preferred browse in my area. Therefore, I cage most but I will also occasionally tube a tree if I am keeping a specific sightline or I want to be able to run the lawnmower underneath it in the future. They grow better the first couple years when you can control/spray the weeds and grasses underneath.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top