These large spreading nut trees are prized for their long, tropical looking, glossy green foliage, They bloom early in summer with showy cascades of fragrant, yellow male catkins.. Their abundant crops of sweet and nutritious nuts form inside prickly husks that are squirrel proof until they fall ripe from the trees. Chestnuts are high in starch and are roasted as a gourmet treat, added to stuffing, ground and baked into breads. Prolific enough that in some areas they are used for animal feed producing up to 200 lbs per tree..Chestnut trees can grow to 25 ft. or more in height and are hardy to -25°F. Unless noted as self- fertile, plant at least two trees for cross-pollination and good crops. They grow well in most soil types as long as it is well drained. Chinese and American types prefer a lower ph than European.
The 4 most grown species of Castenea are:
American - C. dentata
Chinese - C. mollissima
European - C. sativa
Japanese - C. crenata
These have been crossed to varying degrees in many of the commercially available chestnuts.