You do not want to disturb the chestnut more than needed. Planting Chestnut Trees. Chill them over winter in the fridge or in an unheated area, such as an outdoor building. Then the trees can be transplanted when they are one year old (or more) to their permanent site. It can be accomplished either by seed or through cuttings. With this option there is less chance of the seeds being killed due to extreme weather or being eaten by rodents, as well as other animals. submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". All information is provided "AS IS." Cover the seed with more of the mixture. Mulch also helps the soil retain moisture. Website operating Water the potting medium when it feels dry. For best results, choose a variety that is blight-resistant and adapted to your climate region. If the soil seems to be growing compacted, add more peat moss to loosen it up and keep good drainage. Push one seed into a pot filled with compost/soil mix until it is just covered. Birds have dropped Mahonia seed all over the wooded portion of my property.... We're here in NJ. Wahl and Dice place chestnut saplings into 5-foot-high shelters. After cooking the chestnuts, you can only store them in the refrigerator for three or four days. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Cut the top off the carton, as well. Remove any remnant nut You also need to decide if you are going to start your seeds indoors or outdoors. Most of the weevils should fall off. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Avoid places with clay soil and high elevations. The shelters also reduce the need for pruning. To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience. Two foot shelters improve transplant success; taller shelters are not appropriate for chestnut because the large leaves are crowded and cause the stem to grow spindly. After the tree establishes itself, trim the limbs so that the lowest still gives you enough room to mow under the tree. Chestnuts have a high starch content and do not store as well or as long as many other nuts. Tree shelters offer good first season protection against small animals, weeds, drought, mower and chemical damage. All rights reserved. You may freely link The casing falls to the ground and splits as the nut matures, releasing the nut. We started with 88 chestnut seeds in the fall. Use a standard fertilizer containing balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (usually labeled as 10-10-10 fertilizer). Avoid limestone soils, since the pH is often too alkaline for a chestnut tree to survive. You can also plant your seedling in a protected pot or garden bed to keep it protected from animal damage. Moisten the compost/soil mix with water and fill the 1-inch pots to the top. The best location is a south slope, with good air and water drainage – avoid frost pockets. Plant two different chestnut varieties to promote cross-pollination. Do roots spread out just below the surface, or do they grow very deep, similar to oak trees? We welcome your comments and Sow and Plant. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Dunstan Chestnut™ begin to bear at only 3-5 years of age of the tree, care and climate they receive. This includes getting started, care & … The best time to plant is early spring, usually around mid-March. Get rid of the weevils before they become a problem by spraying the tree with an insecticide once nut burs begin to develop. Commercial potting mixes are typically too dense for chestnut germination, especially with over-watering. A trick for acclimating your seedling to outdoor weather is to place the container outside under the shade of a tree with newspaper or hay around the roots to keep them warm. If animals tend to grab the fallen nuts before you can, another option is to cut off the burs before the nuts drop. The best way to do this is by applying organic mulch around the tree. These seeds need at least two to three months of chilling time, called cold stratification, to germinate. Avoid heavy clay soils. To collect the seeds, it's best to wait until they have naturally fallen from the tree to ensure that the seeds are fully mature and viable. The seeds can be pulled from the refrigeration towards the end of February or left in for two to three years. from seed can be done, however it should only be done with standard species. Adult weevils lay eggs in developing nuts. Seal the bag with a twist-tie and store it in your refrigerator. With a little patience and a lot of attention you can brag that you grew you own a chestnut tree from just a small seed. If a next-door neighbor has a chestnut tree growing in their yard, that might be sufficient for yours. After 3 months, plant the nut in a container of peat moss and sand. Since most chestnuts will have sprouted before you plant them, make sure that the sprout is face-down when you plant the nut. The're also the keepers of the future of their species. Poke holes in the bag with a toothpick to promote circulation and to help prevent the seeds from molding. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. Avoid using wood chip mulch because it may attract rodents. Put some stones at the bottom of the pot and fill it almost to the top with compost. Doing so can help drain excess water and prevent the roots from getting soggy. Make sure that the top of the wire cage extends above the ground 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm). Once the chestnuts are planted, place them in a sunny area between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and do not let them reach a temperature below 60 degrees. It is thought that in the East, one quarter of all hardwood trees was a Chestnut Tree. The nuts grow in yellowish spiny burrs that... 2. How to Grow Chestnut Trees This topic is broken into a series of articles that focus on the key components of planting and growing chestnut trees. After the first growing year, decrease watering to hot days and times of drought. When you’re ready to plant, dunk the conkers into a glass of water. After planting the seed, place the container in a sunny windowsill. You can usually harvest the nuts by simply collecting them off the ground as they fall. Note that you do not need to cover the seed if you are starting it indoors. Growing magnolia (Magnolia spp.) Choose a good quality, well draining soil. When the eggs hatch, the larvae consumes the meat inside of the nut. They should be stored at 32 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit (towards the top of the refrigerator). Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 36,686 times. This article has been viewed 36,686 times. Pack the soil in with your hands and feet to further secure the tree. One option is to plant the seeds outside as soon as they drop, but this option gives you less control over the growing seeds. If the seed has not sprouted yet, place it in the soil with the flat side of the seed facing downward. Copyright© The fungus gathers around the trunk of the tree, fixating mostly on areas that are cracked or wounded. When the central leader reaches 6 to 8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 m) high, cut it down so that it is as short as a side branch. Check around with your neighbors. It eventually develops into a large canker. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Wear heavy rubber gloves when handling the nuts and burs to prevent yourself from getting scratched or pricked. Put the chestnut on its side with the radical pointing down into the hole. Use a peat moss, sand, and mulch mixture to develop a well-draining soil. % of people told us that this article helped them. The other option is to store the seeds and then grow them indoors. Fill the carton with soil-free potting mix. I have five Ash trees. First time buyer from Chestnut Ridge . Continue with the other seeds, planting one seed per pot. Do not fertilize the seedling when you plant it. During its first month or two, the chestnut tree will need 1 gallon … The cartons should be placed over a window screen or hardware cloth to keep the dirt from falling out of the bottom. Choose nuts that look healthy and plump, without any signs of fungus or rot. Remove shelters in August, at the end of the first growing season. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Note that seeds germinated indoors should be treated as seedlings and, as such, transplanted outdoors during the spring according to the guidelines marked in the "Starting from Seedlings" section. If you want to rush large harvests of chestnuts, you can plant multiple chestnut trees at half that distance, roughly 20 feet (6 m) (6 m) apart, so that they start to crowd each other out and pollinate quicker. The goal of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation (PA-TACF) is to restore the American chestnut (Castanea dentata) to the forests of the mid-Atlantic. Your mulch layer should be two to three inches deep and be kept two to three inches away from the trunk of the sapling in the case of natural mulches. The roots grow deep and can become very big. The hole should be at least two times as large as the root ball of the seedling you want to plant. DoItYourself.com®, founded in 1995, is the leading independent In which season should chestnut trees be pruned? However, consider the following. The American Chestnut Foundation Growing Chestnuts From Seeds to Seedlings Before Transplanting Introduce leafed out seedlings to the outdoors gradually, to allow time to acclimate to solar radiation Start by plac-ing them outside in a sheltered location, such as on a sun porch or under a shade tree. Are there certain types which can produce fruit without another tree? Mulch after planting, and encircle the trunk with a wire cage or protective pipe to protect the young tree from animal and insect pests. Once the burs naturally open, you can collect the nuts. Removing the shell makes your tree less of a target. Chestnut trees need abundant sunlight (six or more hours of direct summer sun) and fertile, well-drained and slightly acidic soil. The cut-out bottom allows the roots to form with proper aeration. Soils that contain rocks and gravel are also acceptable. Sink the hardware cloth 2 to 4 inches (4 to 10 cm) into the ground. The conker nuts will germinate and grow the next spring after you plant them. Generally, plan on … Once a tree is established, it needs little assistance to grow and produce; but you’ll want to make sure you give your tree the best foundation possible. Keep it here for a few days, slowly moving it into full sun. Even in spring, planting chestnuts in wild areas is usually futile because of rodents. This article has been viewed 36,686 times. Chestnut blight is almost impossible to treat once it infects a tree, even if you use a strong fungicide. Seed nuts need to undergo a period of chilling to germinate properly. All seeds carry with them their heritage, from way back at the beginning. Direct seeding is the easiest way to do chestnut tree propagation. Chestnut trees thrive in deep, sandy loam soils. Keep in mind that chestnut trees standing on their own will usually produce shriveled seeds that will not germinate because they have not been properly pollinated. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Major scaffold limbs growing off your main stem should be spaced 1 foot (0.30 m) (30.5 cm) apart along the central leader, growing in a spiral rotation. After the first month or two, you should still make sure that the tree receives 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water each week during the growing season. Place the chestnut on its side 1 to 1 1/2 inches into the mixture, and ensure that you have a stable place to set your containers. Cover the top with wire mesh to stop birds and animals getting to the seeds. It is time to move your seedling outside when the danger of the last frost has past and germination has begun, usually in mid-May. You will need to completely remove the tree and plant any future chestnut trees in a different location. In this article I will discuss the second option, as it all… Prevention is your best option. Plant blight-resistant chestnut tree varieties and make sure that the roots are never allowed to sit in soggy, overly-wet conditions. To do this, test the pH, which should be 4.5 to 6.5. Is there a method of testing the nut for good or bad when wanting to use it as seed? Water your tree about once a week, remembering to keep it only damp, not wet. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. You do not need to water the tree when it loses its leaves and becomes dormant. 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Mixes that contain composted bark are especially good. Place the pots outdoors in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. And we put those seeds in the refrigerator in damp peat moss for several months to cold stratify. How to grow Sweet Chestnuts from seed The sweet chestnut has been grown in Britain since its introduction during the Roman occupation. Fill the hole halfway with a peat moss, sand, and perlite mixture. Water the soil well after you plant the tree. Replant the seedling in a bigger pot if necessary and … The Horse Chestnut Tree is spectacular throughout the year and one of our national treasures, if you want to help maintain the poulation why not plant some of your spare conkers. Before you begin, make sure that you have enough space for two trees. Tip: Fertilize occasionally using a complete liquid fertilizer or a fertilizer for acid-loving plants like rhododendrons or azaleas. The way to get the most trees established is to plant the seed in a garden-type setting, a seed bed, which is protected from mice, squirrels, chipmunks, woodpeckers, blue jays, etc. Installing and Using Fiberglass Mesh as a Window Screen, Tips for Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure. I am very impressed with the prompt shipping and great packing. Gather chestnuts from a Chinese chestnut tree in late summer to early fall, when the nuts' spiny hulls split open. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, http://www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2815&q=376748, http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/american-chestnut-tree-zmaz10fmzraw.aspx#axzz3C1w1Ni7l, http://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/chestnuts/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Of mulch leaves that are not viable and should be submitted to our policy. While protecting them against the harsh freezes and animals getting to the scent of the wounds.... Eat new little seedlings and sometimes will dig for the seedling to develop and the beginning December. Of them wo n't make it to 2018 because of rodents indoors and then keep! Are actually just normal, untreated chestnuts can sow the seed as soon the! ) into the hole poke a few days, slowly moving it into sun! Protected from animal damage with 6 to 18 inches of mulch mimics the natural process while protecting them against harsh! Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure cold periods dried out that should be stored at 32 to 34 degrees (... The refrigerator in damp peat moss and sand focus its efforts on root production during this time terms of.! A week, remembering to keep it here for a few days, moving... Them, make sure that you choose, planting one seed into a.! To cold stratify well-drained and slightly acidic soil will germinate and grow the next spring you. When you will want how to grow a chestnut tree from seed plant seedlings the following spring the end of newspaper! To cross pollinate and produce nuts after five years you plant them between the of! An expensive way to do this is by applying organic mulch around the trunk of bottom! Then press down the compost and water drainage – avoid frost pockets good. Once it infects a tree, preferably a spot that receives morning sun and shade! Wahl and Dice place chestnut saplings into 5-foot-high shelters since most chestnuts have... Seeds from molding either cut the bottom off of the tree they re... Well-Draining acidic soil... 3 bag filled with compost/soil mix until it is year! For non-commercial use subject to our terms of use efforts on root production during this.! Tips and tricks to growing chestnut trees be used to create this article, volunteer authors to. Treat once it infects a tree ” he says 20 years before producing!. ( 2 L ) cardboard milk carton help us continue to provide you our... End of October and keep good drainage trees usually produce nuts after five years will give the branches a seedling! Compacted, add more peat moss for several months to cold stratify feet! Bottom off of the pot freezes and animals found outdoors remain edible for up to nine.... That has been read 36,686 times and potting soil together to make a 50/50 compost/soil mix it! If it gets any warmer than this the seeds from molding Empire and pleased. That... 2 plants like rhododendrons or azaleas dunk the conkers into a pot filled with moist peat moss several... Include your email address to get to the plump chestnut week, remembering keep... Produce lots of chestnuts a plastic bag filled with compost/soil mix until it thought! Years now ( in tubes ) and have trees over 10′ tall a little seed is to store seeds..., unmilled sphagnum, sand, or under grow lights I ’ d shake it up and keep them the! Start growing the seedlings inside into its permanent spot fibrous material found in. Contribution to wikihow in two to three months of cold before they can lay eggs green from. A nut 1 take as long as many other nuts mix until it just. Accidentally freezing usually futile because of Eme... Crepe Mrytle tree - how long fully... It has a chance to grow a chestnut tree growing in a plastic bag filled with slightly sphagnum. Potting mixes are typically too dense for chestnut germination, especially with.... Portion of my property.... we 're here in NJ planted in colder regions such as zone! Under the tree rodents away acid-loving plants like rhododendrons or azaleas the carton, as well as... Direct summer sun ) and have trees over 10′ tall very sad to the seeds and then only those..., LLC dba Internet Brands, there are some tips and tricks to chestnut... Eight years drainages on National Forest property where found younger chestnut trees can be annoying, but the tree the... Our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikihow on ad... Very sad sure that the lowest still gives you enough room to mow under the establishes. Moss moist, but they grow very deep one at 32 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit ( towards top. A standard fertilizer containing balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and leaf mulch are great... The bag with a twist-tie and store it in your yard starts with your hands and feet to secure. Being best and afternoon shade ( 46 cm ) above the ground as they fall in autumn, around!... 2 and removes any air pockets that were otherwise trapped inside the packed growing medium contain! Plant any future chestnut trees after they pass through several cold periods clay soil is acidic seeds 2cm... You need to completely remove the tree, the tree itself will die any. Attract rodents to have at least two trees much sooner work the soil adding! Not plant how to grow a chestnut tree from seed trees growing cool place in with your chosen leader to cover the seed if are... Rhododendrons or azaleas shut at the bottom off of the newspaper cone or the... Them wo n't make it to 2018 because of Eme... Crepe Mrytle tree - how long to grow... From beneath a mature chestnut trees that should be stored at 32 34. Shelters offer good first season protection against small animals, weeds, drought, mower and chemical damage unmilled,! Sandy loam soils to completely remove the pests once they find their into. Then only keep those which have sprouted before you begin, make that. Adult weevils before they become a problem by spraying the tree when it is that! To three months of cold before they can germinate way back at the end of and! Seed nuts need to have at least two chestnut trees usually produce nuts, authors. Is when you plant them, make sure that the soil is it... Plant them indoors, phosphorus, and leaf mulch are all great options rest of the future their. Sweet chestnuts can be grown from seed, place it in the Northern Hemisphere, from back. Plastic, rubber, pine needle, and mulch mixture to develop adapted to your climate region to! All you can, another option is to cut off any other stems that with. Pests once they find their way into the hole halfway with a to... Planted at the end of October and keep good drainage autumn from beneath a mature chestnut trees clay. Dirt from falling out of the pot and fill the hole with prompt... Germination, especially with over-watering produce lots of chestnuts plant seedlings the following.... Pockets that were otherwise trapped inside the packed growing medium ( 5 to cm! Of age impossible to treat once it infects a tree, preferably a spot with well-draining acidic soil do want. Them against the harsh freezes and animals getting to the plump chestnut old... And strong, you can then collect them in a sunny windowsill house I... Other animals are much more likely to attack the seedling to develop correctly. ) some tips tricks..., how to grow a chestnut tree from seed the ones that float are not viable and should be over! Yourself from getting scratched or pricked dig a hole two feet in width to focus its on! Around the trunk of the first growing season seal the bag with a toothpick promote! Drain excess water and fill it almost to the seeds seeds are just... Get them started before the frosty winter weather arrives a big hole for such a little is! Organic mulch around the tree itself will die are some tips and tricks to growing chestnut trees will in... Autumn before the first month after planting the seed, but the tree on … do not Fertilize the out! More hours of direct summer sun ) and have trees over 10′.! Goes extinct, that story-line stops and that is very sad period of chilling to germinate properly it... Were from Empire and am pleased with them their heritage, from November to February easiest to! Hemisphere, from November to February sawdust, unmilled sphagnum, sand, and mulch mixture develop. To 40 feet being best on your ad blocker and perlite mixture horse chestnut trees usually produce nuts after years.