Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees


Sweet Chestnut – Castanea Sativa.


The Sweet Chestnut is not related to the inedible Horse Chestnut called “Aesculus Hippoacastanum,” and although it is a native of Southern Europe has been widely planted. Taking many years before reaching maturity and fruiting the Sweet Chestnut will grow up to 30 metres. Both the Sweet and Horse Chestnut are similar in general appearance, but the Sweet Chestnut does not have the same showy flowers, instead having erect male catkins and the leaves are also longer and narrower on the Sweet.

Flowering in June/July the female flowers develop into the same sort of prickly seed case though, that generally holds between 1-3 nuts.

There have been many cultivars developed, but specimens are rarely seen on sale in British garden centres and newly planted young trees will take many years to produce harvestable nuts.

Chestnuts have been roasted on open fires for centuries and every year as the Winter arrives with Christmas drawing near, many shops have boxes of chestnuts on display.

From experience these nuts are relatively easy to germinate, if you sow them in pots outside, so long as they reasonably fresh. This has got to be a cheaper alternative and if the idea is to plant trees for your retirement, or for your children, it is a fun thing to do.

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