What We Offer
We sell chestnut seed and seedlings of the following species: Chinese, Japanese, American, and Allegheny chinkapin. We also sell hybrids selected specifically for wildlife, timber, and nut production. Seed is sold only in the fall. Seedlings are sold as bare-root stock, shipped from December through May, or as container stock (potted trees), shipped from September through April. Container stock can be picked up at our nursery any time during the year. Find prices and availability at our webstore.
Chinese (Castanea mollissima). Open-pollinated seed collected from superior mother trees, selected for nut production characteristics including large nut size, good kernel qualities, consistent yields, blight resistance, cold hardiness. Seed is generally sold as a mixture to ensure genetic diversity. If you want seeds from one or more particular mother trees, e-mail us. Seedlings are labeled according to mother tree. Orders for more than 10 trees will include seedlings from various mother trees. If you would like seedlings from one or more particular mother trees, e-mail to verify availability. Chinese seedlings are available as 1-yr bare-root (12-24 in. tall), 1-yr bare-root (24-36 in. tall), and 1, 2, or 3-yr-old container grown trees. Seed and seedlings are available as offspring from the following cultivars: AU-Homestead, Gideon, Hong Kong, Kohr, Liu, Peach, Qing, Sleeping Giant, plus some new numbered selections.
Chinese hybrids (Castanea xmollissima). While most hybrids perform poorly compared to pure Chinese, there are a few notable exceptions. These hybrids offer the potential for higher yields while maintaining excellent Chinese nut qualities. Because hybrids are more variable, some individuals will need to be culled or topworked. Therefore, hybrids should comprise no more than one third of a commercial planting. Seedlings are available from the following hybrid cultivars: Ace, Luvall’s Monster, Szego. These are sold under the category of Chinese chestnuts in our webstore. We ship Chinese hybrids to customers only at their request or with their permission, generally as part of an order that also includes pure Chinese.
Japanese (Castanea crenata). Seedlings from the cultivar collection at the Korean Institute of Forest Genetics have resulted in high quality Japanese-type chestnuts. We collect bulked seed from this planting. These trees are vigorous and productive, but lack the kernel quality of Chinese chestnuts. Limited supply.
Allegheny chinkapin seedlings (Castanea pumila). Grown from our own selected population of chinkapins (not chinkapin oaks!) Allegheny chinkapins are native to southeastern USA. Some of our newer chinkapins are hybrids between Allegheny chinkapins and Ozark chinkapins. Chinkapins are a shrub or small tree reaching a mature height of about 25 ft. They produce large quantities of tiny nuts (400-500 per lb.) in clusters of burs. They are great for wildlife or landscape use. Available as 1-yr plugs, or 2-yr container (1 gal.) stock.
Timber hybrids (Castanea hybrids). Timber hybrid seed/seedlings come from an isolated block of trees that have been assembled over a period of years. The trees in this block are seedlings or grafted trees that meet the following criteria: they are American chestnut hybrids, OR they exhibit a tall, straight growth form combined with adequate blight resistance. Every year, new trees are added to the collection and poorly growing (loss of apical dominance) trees are removed. Blight susceptible trees essentially remove themselves (they don’t produce seeds), but they remain in the planting to provide a constant barrage of blight fungus inoculum to challenge the other trees in the block. The trees come from a diverse background including the following: 1) a local American X Chinese that is unusually blight resistant; 2) Paragon X Chinese; 3) 3rd and 4th generation offspring from Meader’s New Hampshire #4 – mostly Japanese-looking with good stem form and blight resistance; 4) offspring from a Euro-Japanese hybrid selected in Switzerland for blight resistance and growth form. Also included are offspring from the above selections. These trees all pollinate each other so the resulting seeds are a genetic mixture. Most of the seedlings will carry some American chestnut germplasm, but overall the trees are much less than half American; the balance of their heritage is Japanese, European, and/or Chinese. It is likely that a substantial portion of the offspring from this planting will be blight susceptible and/or have poor stem form. But hopefully, some of them will exhibit a forest-competitive combination of blight resistance and height growth. All of them will produce seeds for wildlife commencing at age 3-7 years. These seeds/trees are for experimental purposes and genetic development purposes; they are not yet ready for reforestation purposes.
Wildlife hybrids (Castanea hybrids). Wildlife hybrids come from a contiguous block of trees that is composed of C. seguiniiX C. dentata hybrids and C. pumila X C. mollissima hybrids. Many of the trees are 2nd or 3rd generation trees from the hybrids listed. They have been selected for blight resistance. They all are prolific bearers of small chestnuts and should commence producing chestnuts at age 3-5 years. The nut size is generally larger than chinkapins, but smaller than Chinese. Ultimate tree size will vary, but they should end up in the 20 ft to 50 ft height range. This is not tall enough to compete in North American forests. The small chestnuts produced will attract birds as well as squirrels, deer, etc. An added bonus is that the chestnuts are very tasty as human food; probably better-tasting than most Chinese chestnuts. Unfortunately, they’re probably too small for impatient humans to shell and eat.