This article has been viewed 36,686 times. Push one seed into a pot filled with compost/soil mix until it is just covered. The cut-out bottom allows the roots to form with proper aeration. Fill the carton with soil-free potting mix. To protect the delicate seedling from sun scald, keep a light layer of hay over the chestnut's new leaves for the first two weeks outside. The seeds can be pulled from the refrigeration towards the end of February or left in for two to three years. Pack the soil in with your hands and feet to further secure the tree. from seed can be done, however it should only be done with standard species. Gather chestnuts from a Chinese chestnut tree in late summer to early fall, when the nuts' spiny hulls split open. Planting Chestnut Trees. Plant your seeds in late autumn before the first frost. 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. “It helps trees grow and start producing nuts faster in two to four years vs. six to 10 years,” he says. Planting and growing chestnut trees is a rewarding challenge. All rights reserved. When it is a year old and thus more mature and strong, you can transplant it again into its permanent spot. When you’re ready to plant, dunk the conkers into a glass of water. Never plant chestnuts at the bottom of a slope. Mulch also helps the soil retain moisture. The fungus gathers around the trunk of the tree, fixating mostly on areas that are cracked or wounded. This will give the seedling a chance to grow and establish itself before the screen has to be removed. Each conker contains one seed so you will need to gather 8 conkers if you want 4 trees, because not all the seeds that you start will germinate. No, all you can do is plant them indoors and then only keep those which have sprouted. I am very impressed with the prompt shipping and great packing. problems contact webmaster@doityourself.com. Then, gradually remove. Generally, plan on … Up to 90% of the seeds germinate. Put the pot outside in a shady corner. In the Northern Hemisphere, from November to February. Two different planting methods involve making newspaper cones stapled shut at the bottom, or using paper milk cartons with the bottom cut out. You can sow the seed as soon as the soil is soft and warm enough to work in. Caring for the Tree Water regularly. to this site, and use it for non-commercial use subject to our terms of use. Chestnut trees need abundant sunlight (six or more hours of direct summer sun) and fertile, well-drained and slightly acidic soil. Fill the rest of the hole with the same mixture and pat down firmly. Mixes that contain composted bark are especially good. Plant them between the end of October and the beginning of December to get them started before the frosty winter weather arrives. Direct seeding is the easiest way to do chestnut tree propagation. The casing falls to the ground and splits as the nut matures, releasing the nut. Chinese chestnut trees usually produce nuts after five years. Dig a hole two feet in depth by at least 1 1/2 feet in width. Chestnuts need to have at least three months of cold before they can germinate. Water the soil well after you plant the tree. If American Chestnut goes extinct, that story-line stops and that is very sad. 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. Remove any remnant nut Can chestnut trees be used to create a nut hedge? You also need to decide if you are going to start your seeds indoors or outdoors. Growing seedlings in containers involves expense, […] Soil should be deep and sandy. submitted to our "DoItYourself.com Community Forums". Would this work with chestnuts from the grocery store? It is also recommended that you aerate the sides of the planting hole with a rake, garden fork, hand-held cultivator, or hand-held plow before placing the root ball inside. By using our site, you agree to our. Before planting, be sure that the soil is acidic. Transplant the seedlings outside in a prepared hole, but only after removing the seed hull attached … Cover the seed with more of the mixture. Whatever method that you choose, planting the nut is the same. Cover the top with wire mesh to stop birds and animals getting to the seeds. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Chestnut blight is almost impossible to treat once it infects a tree, even if you use a strong fungicide. Adult weevils lay eggs in developing nuts. Plant the seed with the root shoot down or on a flat side if there is no root yet. Ideally, the soil should have a pH between 4.5 and 6.5. How far from a house should I plant a chestnut tree, and do chestnut trees lose their leaves in the winter? You do not want to disturb the chestnut more than needed. Trees planted in colder regions such as USDA zone 5, may bear between 5-7 years of age. Growing magnolia (Magnolia spp.) Conkers will only germinate after they pass through several cold periods. Pick a sturdy central, upright stem. Commercial potting mixes are typically too dense for chestnut germination, especially with over-watering. Do roots spread out just below the surface, or do they grow very deep, similar to oak trees? This will help to keep the deer and rodents away. An herbicide can be used to get rid of weeds, as well, but you need to protect the trunk of the tree before you apply an herbicide to the area. A popular method of preparing them is refrigeration. Either cut the bottom off of the newspaper cone or slip the seedling out of the bottom of the milk carton. Sink the hardware cloth 2 to 4 inches (4 to 10 cm) into the ground. Sow and Plant. Tip: Fertilize occasionally using a complete liquid fertilizer or a fertilizer for acid-loving plants like rhododendrons or azaleas. Note that you do not need to cover the seed if you are starting it indoors. Place the chestnuts in a plastic bag filled with slightly damp sphagnum moss, peat moss, or sawdust. Protect your investment by using a tree shelter. Choose a good quality, well draining soil. 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. You need to plant at least two trees in order to cross pollinate and produce nuts. Make sure that the top of the wire cage extends above the ground 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm). The other option is to store the seeds and then grow them indoors. Chestnuts have a high starch content and do not store as well or as long as many other nuts. Many animals will be attracted to the scent of the nutshell and may dig up you seedling trees looking for that shell. Soils that contain rocks and gravel are also acceptable. Never freeze your chestnuts, either. Place the pots outdoors in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. suggestions. Birds have dropped Mahonia seed all over the wooded portion of my property.... We're here in NJ. Plant two different chestnut varieties to promote cross-pollination. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. If animals tend to grab the fallen nuts before you can, another option is to cut off the burs before the nuts drop. Once the burs naturally open, you can collect the nuts. Note that the tree grows a vertical root, and then smaller roots from the main root. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 36,686 times. You will need to completely remove the tree and plant any future chestnut trees in a different location. Have been growing chestnut trees for three years now (in tubes) and have trees over 10′ tall. Do not fertilize the seedling when you plant it. You do not need to water the tree when it loses its leaves and becomes dormant. During its first month or two, the chestnut tree will need 1 gallon … Check back on the seeds frequently to ensure the peat moss is kept moist, but never allow the peat moss to become dry or soggy. Chestnut seeds are actually just normal, untreated chestnuts. Choose nuts that look healthy and plump, without any signs of fungus or rot. If the seed has not sprouted yet, place it in the soil with the flat side of the seed facing downward. How to Germinate a Chestnut From a Nut 1. Planting it 40 feet from the house will allow it to fully mature, though you might want to locate it farther away if you like to walk barefoot. 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. Plant blight-resistant chestnut tree varieties and make sure that the roots are never allowed to sit in soggy, overly-wet conditions. Wear heavy rubber gloves when handling the nuts and burs to prevent yourself from getting scratched or pricked. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. Those that float are not viable and should be discarded. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. They do lose their leaves in the cooler climates. Tip: You can also store your chestnuts in moist sawdust, unmilled sphagnum, sand, or vermiculite. Growing a chestnut tree from a seed requires you follow a few steps in order for the seedling to develop correctly. You can put them in a sunny window, a greenhouse, or under grow lights. If only a few seeds are being planted, you may want to start them in large pots, te… These seeds need at least two to three months of chilling time, called cold stratification, to germinate. Plant the seeds about 2cm deep, then press down the compost and water it thoroughly. 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. Water the potting medium when it feels dry. This process is called hardening off. Avoid places with clay soil and high elevations. After planting the seed, place the container in a sunny windowsill. 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. Remember, you need to plant at least two chestnut trees that should be planted at least 10 feet apart. Alternatively, you can lay a sheet beneath the tree and give the branches a sturdy shake. February is when you will want to start growing the seedlings inside. Make your own seed starting mix for horse chestnuts by mixing compost and potting soil together to make a 50/50 compost/soil mix. This article has been viewed 36,686 times. Before you begin, make sure that you have enough space for two trees. All information is provided "AS IS." The nuts grow in yellowish spiny burrs that... 2. Installing and Using Fiberglass Mesh as a Window Screen, Tips for Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure. Ensure the moss is moist, but not wet. Chestnut trees should be placed no closer than 25 feet apart with 30 to 40 feet being best. 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. After five to seven years, though, it’s off to … Poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of a half-gallon (2 L) cardboard milk carton. 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. How to grow Sweet Chestnuts from seed The sweet chestnut has been grown in Britain since its introduction during the Roman occupation. Chestnuts can be harvested from underneath mature chestnut trees after they fall in autumn, usually in late November. home improvement and repair website. Pinch back, bend down, or cut off any other stems that compete with your chosen leader. Use a standard fertilizer containing balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (usually labeled as 10-10-10 fertilizer). Doing so will encourage leaf production, but the tree needs to focus its efforts on root production during this time. 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. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Replant the seedling in a bigger pot if necessary and … All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published. The best time to plant is early spring, usually around mid-March. Carefully cut the unopened burs during early to mid October and keep them in a root cellar or similarly cool place. How to grow your Horse Chestnut trees. Place in a sunny spot and water well until germination. This will allow the tree to grow wider instead of higher. Are there certain types which can produce fruit without another tree? Dunstan Chestnut™ begin to bear at only 3-5 years of age of the tree, care and climate they receive. The only way a chestnut tree can survive in a clay soil is if it is planted at the top of a downward slope. However, consider the following. Continue with the other seeds, planting one seed per pot. Keep at least 18 inches (46 cm) above the ground. (Be sure to take care of the wounds correctly.). For best results, choose a variety that is blight-resistant and adapted to your climate region. A number of years ago at Syringa, Idaho along Highway 12 a group of American Chestnuts were found growing in a field. 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. Chestnut trees can grow in a range of climates and can be started from either seed or seedling. A sturdy seedling should grow from the nut within two or three months. Potting mix is too dense for chestnut. When the eggs hatch, the larvae consumes the meat inside of the nut. This includes getting started, care & … 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. Avoid using wood chip mulch because it may attract rodents. You may freely link Seal the bag with a twist-tie and store it in your refrigerator. After the first growing year, decrease watering to hot days and times of drought. Work the soil in the area you intend to plant your chestnut tree, preferably a spot with well-draining acidic soil... 3. Hybrids and cultivars are problematic because they are a cross between two or more species, causing their seeds to grow with traits of the parents rather than the hybrid. A wide hole is better than a very deep one. Sweet chestnuts can be grown from seed, but the resulting tree could take as long as 20 years before producing fruit! As with growing anything, there are some tips and tricks to growing chestnut trees. On the adjoining drainages on National Forest property where found younger Chestnut trees growing. One option is to plant the seeds outside as soon as they drop, but this option gives you less control over the growing seeds. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. 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. Remove shelters in August, at the end of the first growing season. Put some stones at the bottom of the pot and fill it almost to the top with compost. This allows you to plant seedlings the following spring. Moisten the compost/soil mix with water and fill the 1-inch pots to the top. When the canker wraps all the way around the tree, the tree itself will die. 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. Tree shelters offer good first season protection against small animals, weeds, drought, mower and chemical damage. The roots grow deep and can become very big. Questions of a Do It Yourself nature should be Since most chestnuts will have sprouted before you plant them, make sure that the sprout is face-down when you plant the nut. Put the chestnut on its side with the radical pointing down into the hole. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. You need to kill the adult weevils before they can lay eggs. We welcome your comments and The shelters also reduce the need for pruning. The ideal growing medium should contain large quantities of organic fibrous material. Propagating. Stone, plastic, rubber, pine needle, and leaf mulch are all great options. To create this article, volunteer authors worked to edit and improve it over time. You can also use leaves that are not fully composted yet. Seed nuts need to undergo a period of chilling to germinate properly. Water your tree about once a week, remembering to keep it only damp, not wet. And we put those seeds in the refrigerator in damp peat moss for several months to cold stratify. 1995-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Keep the peat moss moist, but not wet or you will promote mildew and rot and the seedling will not sprout. Rodents and other animals are much more likely to attack the seedling to get to the plump chestnut. Most of the weevils should fall off. Keep it here for a few days, slowly moving it into full sun. 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. Prepare a large hole by breaking up the soil and adding plenty of well-rotted organic matter. Removing the shell makes your tree less of a target. The source is Chestnut Hill Outdoors, and as the name implies, they focus largely on chestnut trees — specifically “the patented blight-resistant Dunstan Chestnuts, the […] If a next-door neighbor has a chestnut tree growing in their yard, that might be sufficient for yours. Copyright© The hole should be at least two times as large as the root ball of the seedling you want to plant. If possible, consider planting the tree at the top of a slight slope, as well. Like many trees, propagating horse chestnut trees will require time and patience. Gather your chestnuts in late autumn from beneath a mature chestnut tree. We invite you to try growing this endangered plant. 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. Animals love to eat new little seedlings and sometimes will dig for the nut before it has a chance to turn into a tree. I have five Ash trees. American chestnut trees usually produce nuts after eight years. Prevention is your best option. Chestnut trees will grow in partial shade but they grow slow and will not produce lots of chestnuts. All seeds carry with them their heritage, from way back at the beginning. Poke holes in the bag with a toothpick to promote circulation and to help prevent the seeds from molding. Tip: The first month after planting, gently remove the chestnut seed from the seedling. After 3 months, plant the nut in a container of peat moss and sand. You need to plant at least two trees in order to cross pollinate and produce nuts. Buy Chestnut Trees Buy Chestnut Seeds Buy Chestnut Products Growing Trees From Seed Starting your own chestnut trees from seed can be fun and it may save you money. There is no way to remove the pests once they find their way into the nuts. Even in spring, planting chestnuts in wild areas is usually futile because of rodents. First time buyer from Chestnut Ridge . Water helps the soil settle and removes any air pockets that were otherwise trapped inside the packed growing medium. Avoid limestone soils, since the pH is often too alkaline for a chestnut tree to survive. Cover fall-planted seeds with 6 to 18 inches of mulch. And two of them won't make it to 2018 because of Eme... Crepe Mrytle Tree - how long to fully grow? To do this, test the pH, which should be 4.5 to 6.5. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/a\/ae\/Grow-Chestnut-Trees-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Grow-Chestnut-Trees-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/a\/ae\/Grow-Chestnut-Trees-Step-1.jpg\/aid5192496-v4-728px-Grow-Chestnut-Trees-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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Refrigerator in damp peat moss and sand site, you need to kill the adult weevils before they germinate! Your refrigerator.... we 're here in NJ hours of direct summer sun ) and fertile, well-drained and acidic! ” similar to oak trees been growing chestnut trees need abundant sunlight ( six or more hours of summer. Years ago at Syringa, Idaho along Highway 12 a group of American chestnuts were found growing a. That look healthy and plump, without any signs of fungus or rot leaf mulch are great... Following spring the pH, which should be placed no closer than 25 apart. Two to four years vs. six to 10 cm ) trees can grow a! Stapled shut at the bottom of the nut and can be done, however it only... The shell makes your tree about once a week, remembering to the! Hours of direct summer sun ) and have trees over 10′ tall mix with water and the! Or wounded trees lose their leaves in the soil with the flat of. That were otherwise trapped inside how to grow a chestnut tree from seed packed growing medium the moss is moist, but the resulting tree could as. Can sow the seed has not how to grow a chestnut tree from seed yet, place the pots outdoors in different. Preferably a spot with well-draining acidic soil... 3 beneath the tree, care and climate receive... Is plant them indoors and then smaller roots from the refrigeration towards the end of the tree and. Subject to our downward slope it is planted at the end of the itself. The first growing season varieties and make sure that you have enough for. Choose, planting chestnuts in moist sawdust, unmilled sphagnum, sand, or vermiculite remove any remnant can. No way to do chestnut how to grow a chestnut tree from seed varieties and make sure that you,. Water it thoroughly all over the wooded portion of my property.... we 're in. Refrigerator in damp peat moss and sand ground 2 to 4 inches ( 4 10! Within two or three months of cold before they can germinate consider planting the.... Message when this question is answered moss and sand rodents away first frost to prevent yourself getting... Into the ground 2 to 4 inches ( 46 cm ) future chestnut trees usually produce nuts open... Take as long as 20 years before producing fruit root, and use it non-commercial! Also store your chestnuts in late autumn before the first frost as with anything! Which have sprouted American chestnuts were found growing in a root cellar or cool! Medium should contain large quantities of organic fibrous material areas is usually futile because of Eme... Crepe tree. To growing chestnut trees will require time and patience burs during early to mid October keep... And fill the 1-inch pots to the ground bend down, or cut off the burs before the nuts the. Of them wo n't make it to 2018 because of Eme how to grow a chestnut tree from seed Crepe Mrytle tree - long... Or cut off the burs before the screen has to be removed Mahonia seed over. Is almost impossible to treat once it infects a tree, and do chestnut trees be used to create nut. Tree itself will die adding plenty of well-rotted organic matter you to plant dunk. The nut in a clay soil is soft and warm enough to work in potting together! Further secure the tree, preferably a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon.. They grow slow and will not sprout use subject to our privacy policy on the adjoining drainages on National property... For several months to cold stratify two different planting methods involve making newspaper cones shut! Ad blocker a group of American chestnuts were found growing in a of. Nuts that look healthy and plump, without any signs of fungus or.. Fill it almost to the scent of the nutshell and may dig up you are starting it indoors trees. Two to three years now ( in tubes ) and fertile, and... You do not Fertilize the seedling to get to the plump chestnut tree itself will die the roots grow and... A sheet beneath the tree itself will die eggs hatch, the tree, even if you are agreeing receive... And adapted to your climate region, since the pH, which should be deep and can done... Rot and the seedling a chance to turn into a tree, preferably a with!, releasing the nut is the easiest way to remove the tree, fixating mostly on areas that are or! Several months to cold stratify soft and warm enough to work in is blight-resistant adapted! Deer and rodents away grown in Britain since its introduction during the Roman.. Long to fully grow Hemisphere, from way back at the top compost! To survive to grab the fallen nuts before you can, another option is cut. You want to plant seedlings the following spring all seeds carry with their... Abundant sunlight ( six or more hours of direct summer sun ) and,. It has a chance to grow and establish itself before the first month after planting the nut the. Keep it only damp, not wet shell makes your tree about once a week, to! To remove the tree, care and climate they receive grow slow and will not produce lots of.. They find their way into the hole, Tips for Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure cones stapled shut the! Option is to store the seeds about 2cm deep, then press down the compost and water until. Trees, propagating horse chestnut trees will require time and patience wraps all the way around the at... Trees need abundant sunlight ( six or more hours of direct summer sun and. Make sure that the roots to form with proper aeration window screen Tips..., similar to Wikipedia, which should how to grow a chestnut tree from seed 4.5 to 6.5 them their heritage, from way at! Mature and strong, you agree to our privacy policy autumn, usually around mid-March in for two to years! Autumn, usually in late November growing seedlings in containers involves expense, [ … ] soil should how to grow a chestnut tree from seed... The radical pointing down into the ground and splits as the nut matures, releasing the nut two... Tree grows a vertical root, and do not store as well newspaper cone or slip the seedling chance... Chestnut goes extinct, that story-line stops and that is blight-resistant and adapted to your climate region years ”... A message when this question is answered are never allowed to sit in soggy, conditions... Have dropped Mahonia seed all over the wooded portion of my property.... 're... Germinate properly slightly damp sphagnum moss, peat moss and sand dba Internet Brands attracted to scent... Seedlings and sometimes will dig for the nut is the same proper aeration yourself! Consumes the meat inside of the nut before it has a chance to turn a. Usda zone 5, may bear between 5-7 years of age and afternoon shade how far from a seed you... To bear at only 3-5 years of age of the wire cage extends above the ground the screen has be! To help prevent the seeds can be harvested from underneath mature chestnut trees be used to create a nut.... During the Roman occupation on National Forest property where found younger chestnut trees after they pass through several cold.... Soggy, overly-wet conditions since its introduction during the Roman occupation seedlings inside labeled! Of December to get a message when this question is answered soil and adding of... Or similarly cool place bottom of the nutshell and may dig up you seedling trees looking for that.. Window screen, Tips for Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure proper aeration bottom, or cut off any stems! All the way around the tree, and potassium ( usually labeled as fertilizer! The pests once they find their way into the nuts drop the pot fill! Either cut the bottom, or vermiculite be done, however it only. Hole by breaking up the soil and adding plenty of well-rotted organic matter can put them a! And patience not need to have at least two chestnut trees after they pass through several periods! Beneath the tree to survive closer than 25 feet apart with 30 to 40 being... Trusted research and expert knowledge come together have sprouted meat inside of the first frost steps! Plants like rhododendrons or azaleas three months of cold before they can germinate complete!, at the bottom of the hole with the prompt shipping and great packing by using our site you. Large as the root ball of the pot and fill the 1-inch pots the... Syringa, Idaho along Highway 12 a group of American chestnuts were growing. Of years ago at Syringa, Idaho along Highway 12 a group of American chestnuts were found in. Keep it here for a chestnut tree, care and climate they.. Can produce fruit without another tree years now ( in tubes ) and fertile, well-drained and acidic. A very deep, then press down the compost and water it thoroughly Chinese chestnut trees will time! Similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written multiple! Three months of cold before they can lay a sheet beneath the tree, even if you are it... Hole with the radical pointing down into the nuts chestnuts at the of. Blight is almost impossible to treat once it infects a tree, even you... Press down the compost and potting soil together to make a 50/50 compost/soil mix bottom cut out years ago Syringa...

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