Castanea mollissima, Chinese Chestnut
Zone
5a/4
Pollination
self-sterile (monoecious) spp
Ripens
3.5 - 5 months spp
pH
5.5 to 6.5 spp

Chinese chestnuts are native to East Asia. The exact region of origin is unknown, but it has been cultivated throughout most of China as well as Korea and Taiwan. They should be able tolerate a wide range of climates, provided they aren't too extreme on one end or another.




Castanea sativa, European Chestnut
Zone
5b
Pollination
self-sterile (monoecious) spp
Ripens
3.5 - 5 months spp
pH
5.5 to 6.5 spp

European chestnuts are native to Southern Europe, northern Turkey, and Caucasia. Most of the area experiences dry mediterranean summers, while the Caucasian region receives up to 2" of rainfall per month.




Castanea crenata, Japanese Chestnut
Zone
5b
Pollination
self-sterile (monoecious) spp
Ripens
3.5 - 5 months spp
pH
5.5 to 6.5 spp

Japanese chestnuts are native to Japan and South Korea. Much of the region receives 3" to 6" of rainfall per month during spring and summer, but a significant portion can experience around 10" of rainfall or more for a few months.




Castanea dentata, American Chestnut
Zone
4a
Pollination
self-sterile (monoecious) spp
Ripens
3.5 - 5 months spp
pH
5.5 to 6.5 spp

American chestnuts are native to the Appalachian region of the United States. The area receives 3" to 4" of rainfall per month.

American chestnuts dominated the Appalachian region until an asian chestnut blight made its way to North America in the early 1900's. Over 3 billion trees were destroyed within a few decades, and only a handful had survived. Some now believe phytopthora root rot played a fairly significant role in the destruction of the American chestnut as well.

American chestnuts are unlike the other chestnut species in that they grow very fast in a timber form.




Castanea spp, Chestnut
  (additional notes)
Chinese chestnuts, and various hybrids, are highly resistant to chestnut blight. European and Japanese chestnuts are somewhat susceptible and are best grown in drier climates, where blight is hardly an issue. American chestnuts are highly susceptible to chestnut blight, however, decades of backcrossing, along with the gene responsible for blight resistance, has created highly resistant American chestnut trees.

Chestnuts tolerate dry conditions fairly well, but water stress will reduce nut size and yield. Wet soils will encourage phytopthora crown and root rot. Keep the soil as dry as possible around the trunk of susceptible trees. Chinese chestnuts are supposedly resistant to phytopthora root rot, but there appears to be another strain in the US that kills them. Im not sure if those labeled as resistant are resistant to the most common phytopthora strain or both. Those that are labeled tend to be C. crenata x C. sativa hybrids, so I'm assuming Japanese chestnuts (C. crenata) have some resistance since European chestnuts tend to be susceptible.

Pollen production begins around 10 weeks after bud break. The flowers become receptive a few days later and lasts for one or two weeks. Pollen from a tree that produces larger nuts may increase the nut size of the tree that is being pollinated (metaxenia). This is not typical for fruits and nuts.

Chestnuts are unlike other nuts in that they are low in protein (2% to 4.5% as compared to 9% for pecans, 15% for hazelnuts and english walnuts, 21% for almonds, and 24% for black walnuts) and fairly high in carbs and water content. For this reason, they have a short shelf-life if they are not dried or refrigerated properly.

Transplant shock can cause graft failure. They are best planted in the spring.



Read More

hybrid Chestnut
Castanea spp

AU Homestead

buy
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Size
:
27-35 nuts/pound (453.6 grams)

Wind storms may cause large burrs to drop early.

Belle Epine

buy
C. crenata x C. sativa. Originated in France.
Zone
:
5b? (6a)
Blooms
:
mid-late
Ripens
:
late - one of the last to drop its nuts.
Size
:
22 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to phytopthora root rot. Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

nuts fall in the burr, protecting them from wildlife.

Big Euro

buy
C. sativa x C. mollissima. Originated in California.
Zone
:
5a
Blooms
:
mid
Ripens
:
mid-late
Size
:
24 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Probably resistant or somewhat resistant to chestnut blight.

Bisalta 2

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in Italy.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
mid - poor pollen production
Ripens
:
mid
Size
:
20-26 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to phytopthora root rot. Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Bisalta 3

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in Italy.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
mid - one source claims it's pollen sterile, but two claim it produces pollen.
Ripens
:
mid - does well in cool summer climates.
Size
:
24-30 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to phytopthora root rot. Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

stores well

Bouche de Betizac

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in France.
Zone
:
5b? (4a)
Blooms
:
mid - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
mid - does well in cool summer climates.
Size
:
16-30 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to gall wasp, leaf anthracnose, and phytopthora root rot. Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

timber form with vigorous growth? stores well

Colossal

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Developed in California over 100 years ago.
Zone
:
4b
Blooms
:
early - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
early
Size
:
12-30 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Colossal suffers from nut decay when pollinated by Benton Harbor and possibly other chinese chestnuts. Peels poorly and has an inferior flavor when eaten raw.

Eaton

buy
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Size
:
32-35 nuts/pound

stores well

Gillet

buy
C. sativa (Colossal?) x C. crenata
Zone
:
4a
Ripens
:
mid?
Size
:
12 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Layeroka

buy
C. mollissima x C. sativa
Zone
:
4
Blooms
:
? - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
early?
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight.

timber form with vigorous growth

Luvall's Monster

buy
C. mollissima x C. crenata x C. dentata
Zone
:
4a (3)
Blooms
:
? - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
early?
Afflictions
:
Resistant or somewhat resistant to chestnut blight.

nuts are more likely to split

Maraval

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in France.
Zone
:
5b (4a)
Blooms
:
early - produces an immense amount of pollen
Ripens
:
mid-late
Size
:
18-22 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight and phytopthora root rot.

stores well

Marigoule

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in France.
Zone
:
4a
Blooms
:
mid
Ripens
:
mid
Size
:
24-30 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to phytopthora root rot. Somewhat resistant to chestnut blight.

Marigoule nuts fall in the burr. stores well

Marissard

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in Italy.
Zone
:
6a (5b)
Blooms
:
mid - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
mid-late
Size
:
10-24 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to phytopthora root rot. Somewhat resistant or somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight?

Marsol

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in France.
Zone
:
5b (4a)
Blooms
:
early-mid
Ripens
:
mid
Size
:
22-28 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to phytopthora root rot. Resistant or somewhat resistant to chestnut blight?

Nevada

buy
Zone
:
5
Ripens
:
mid-late

self-fertile?

Okie

buy
C. crenata x C. pumila. Developed in California.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
early-mid
Ripens
:
mid - nuts may struggle to fill in cool summer climates.
Size
:
17 nuts/pound

Okie has more of an issue with nut split than most other cultivars.

Precoce Migoule

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Originated in France.
Zone
:
5a
Blooms
:
early-mid
Ripens
:
very early - does well in cool summer climates.
Size
:
24-32 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
At least somewhat resistant to phytopthora root rot.

Precoce Migoule has inferior nuts and may overproduce some years (smaller nuts if they are not quickly thinned out). timber form with vigorous growth? stores well

Regina Montis

buy
C. sativa x C. crenata. Developed in Washington.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
mid
Ripens
:
mid
Size
:
22 nuts/pound

Skookum

buy
Zone
:
5
Blooms
:
? - pollen sterile
Afflictions
:
Susceptible or somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

timber form with vigorous growth. peels poorly

Sleeping Giant

buy
C. mollissima x C. dentata
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Size
:
28-35 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight.

timber form

Szego

buy
C. sativa x C. mollissima x C. crenata. Originated in California.
Zone
:
4b
Blooms
:
mid
Ripens
:
mid-late
Size
:
22 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Probably resistant or somewhat resistant to chestnut blight.

Torakuri

buy
Colossal x C. crenata.
Ripens
:
mid-late? (late)
Size
:
15 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Chinese Chestnut
Castanea mollissima

Benton Harbor

buy
Selected in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Zone
:
5a?
Blooms
:
? - starts producing pollen early July in Michigan.
Size
:
34-38 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight.

Everfresh

buy
Zone
:
5a?
Blooms
:
? - at a similar time as the C. mollissima cultivar "Peach", which supposedly blooms early July in Michigan.
Ripens
:
? - later than Colossal
Size
:
36-40 nuts/pound

Everfresh nuts have a long shelf life (roughly 1 year or more is implied when stored properly).

Gideon

buy
Zone
:
5a? More cold hardy than many other Chinese cultivars?
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Size
:
28-38 nuts/pound

Jenny

buy
Zone
:
4
Ripens
:
early? possibly sooner than most other chinese chestnuts

Jenny produces some of the largest, pure chinese chestnuts in the US. Grows taller and more vigorously than most other chinese chestnuts.

Peach

buy
Selected in Carrollton, Ohio.
Zone
:
5a?
Blooms
:
? - first week of July in Michigan
Ripens
:
early-mid? later than Colossal
Size
:
23-38 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight.

Peach has more of an issue with nut split than most other cultivars, and its flavor is considered to be average or inferior.

Qing

buy
Zone
:
5a? (5b)
Ripens
:
early-mid?
Size
:
21-35 nuts/pound

Qing may overproduce some years. Delayed graft failure has been a problem, even on Chinese chestnut rootstock (most closely related species). Doesn't go into detail, but Qing could be a hybrid. Failure may be amplified the closer you get to its hardiness zone limit. stores well

European Chestnut
Castanea sativa

Bracalla

buy
Originated in Italy.
Zone
:
5b?
Ripens
:
mid? does well in cool summer climates.

Marron di Comballe

buy
Originated in France.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
mid - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
early? does well in cool summer climates.
Size
:
24-32 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Marrone di Marradi

buy
Originated in Italy.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
mid
Ripens
:
mid-late
Size
:
22-26 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Marrone di Susa

buy
Originated in Italy.
Zone
:
5b
Blooms
:
late - pollen sterile
Ripens
:
late
Size
:
22-26 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Somewhat susceptible to chestnut blight.

Marrone di Susa nuts fall in the burr. stores well

Japanese Chestnut
Castanea crenata

Labor Day

buy
C. crenata or only partially. Selected in Perry, Michigan.
Zone
:
5b?
Blooms
:
early - sheds pollen for 3 weeks
Ripens
:
very early
Size
:
32-40 nuts/pound
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight.

Yooma

buy
Originated in Korea (I'm assuming it's a C. crenata).
Zone
:
5b?
Blooms
:
early-mid?
Ripens
:
? - does well in cool summer climates.
Afflictions
:
Resistant to chestnut blight.