Chestnut Tips

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Will Bollerman, one of the original members of our club, has fruit on her Sweet Chestnut – Castanea for the first time on her block at Sheldon Qld. No mean feat considering how difficult it is to grow in subtropical areas! It was grown from a nut/seed bought at the Cleveland market (for eating). The seedling is about 4.5m tall and has produced 30 or so large nuts, shown in the attached photograph. It is not deciduous as are most chestnuts. Her Sheldon block has a very hungry shale based soil and there is no water except for town water. Will is an exceptional gardener. (Ref: George Allen)
Sheryl:  I spoke to David McIntyre from Chestnuts Australia who is a grower and nurseryman in NE Victoria where most chestnuts are grown. He said it could certainly be a tree with crenata genes – large nut, big hilum and the leaves may be a bit crenate but hard to say as there is infinite variations. He said there’s a Japanese chestnut Castanea crenata which will tolerate more heat. He was in Hungary, at a Chestnut conference in 2013 where a Brazilian presented a paper on one small orchard of C. crenata planted by a Japanese man in Brazil which is tropical. The paper also commented that the trees were barely deciduous in the hills above Sao Paulo if I remember correctly. Here’s an excellent American site which compares the different chestnuts: