Nuts for Home Use
Many people want to grow chestnuts for their own use. Lots of people have productive chestnut trees in their backyards. Before deciding to plant chestnut trees consider the following.
- Chestnuts need the right kind of site, esp the right kind of soil. See Site Requirements.
- Chestnuts require cross-pollination to set nuts, so you’ll need two or more trees. If space is limited, you can plant two trees close together and let them occupy the space of one tree.
- Chestnuts require full sun and eventually reach a height of more than 40 ft and a crown diameter of 40 ft or more. The trees can be kept smaller by pruning, but such pruning will reduce nut production.
- Chestnuts drop sharp, spiny burs on the ground. You will have to rake these up or tolerate them (no bare feet!).
- Chestnuts are subject to pests and diseases. The biggest problem is chestnut weevils which result in grubs in the nuts. Weevils are now found over much of eastern USA.
- Under good conditions, chestnut trees will begin bearing at age 4 to 5.
- The best kind to plant for home use is Chinese chestnut seedlings.
- For additional information, see Commercial Production.