American Chestnut 6-12" Seedlings

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American Chestnut 6-12" Seedlings

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American Chestnut

Castanea dentata

The American Chestnut is a large, broad tree that produces an edible chestnut. Large leaves turn yellow and brown in autumn. At least two American Chestnuts planted no more than 200' apart are required for producing chestnuts.  This tree was very common before blight wiped out most of them in the early 1900's.  For more information on the blight resistance of these trees, please see the "More Info" tab below.  Help do your part to return this native species to glory!

  • Zones
    4 to 8
  • Soil Type
    Clay, Loamy and Sandy soils
  • Site Selection
    Full Sun
  • Mature Height & Width
    60-80' Height and 30-40' Spread
  • Growth Rate
    Medium to Fast - 18-24"+ per year is common
  • Moisture Requirements
    Average to moist but well drained soils

Product questions

  • Brandon Stockli
    Apr 9, 2020, 12:37


    Are these seedlings grown from seed or are they made from cuttings taken from the parent trees?


    Apr 9, 2020, 17:51

    The American Chestnut are grown from seed collected from very old parent trees.

  • Gary Senn
    Feb 17, 2018, 14:15

    Do deer browse the American Chestnut seedlings?

    Feb 19, 2018, 10:27

    Deer will definitely browse American Chestnut seedlings, as they are quite tasty! We strongly recommend either 6' tubing , caging, or fencing for American Chestnut seedlings.

  • WRLC
    Dec 6, 2017, 09:30

    Are these pure American Chestnut trees or American Chestnut Hybrids?

    Dec 6, 2017, 10:14

    Our American Chestnut seedlings are not hybrids. They are Castanea dentata, the pure, native American Chestnut.

  • Dan
    Nov 8, 2017, 11:04

    Is the American Chestnut incompatible with the American Black Walnut? If so, what is the minimum distance of separation?

    Nov 8, 2017, 11:33

    The American Chestnut is juglone tolerant, so you may plant it in the vicinity of a Black Walnut tree. When considering plants which are not tolerant to juglone, bear in mind that the toxic effects of a mature Black Walnut tree can extend up to 80 feet from the trunk of the tree. The greatest toxicity occurs within the tree’s dripline. All parts of a Black Walnut tree contain juglone. Fortunately, you do not need to concern yourself with juglone toxicity when planting the American Chestnut.

Important information on blight resistance:

Once an important hardwood timber tree, nearly 4 billion American Chestnut trees were nearly wiped out between 1900 and 1940.  This was due to what is known as the Chestnut blight.  The blight is caused by an Asian bark fungus accidentally introduced into North America on imported Asiatic chestnut trees. 

Our pure American Chestnuts come from mature parents who have survived the blight and are producing chestnut seeds.  For now, the possibility of American Chestnuts getting the blight sometime in their life is a real possibility.  These seedlings are grown from chestnuts collected from a large orchard of very old American Chestnut trees which have never displayed symptoms of the blight even though the blight has affected all the other trees in the region.  It is uncommon to see this happen and leads us to believe that the parents may have some natural built in blight resistance. 

At this time, there are no blight proof American Chestnut seedlings available for commercial sale.  There is a great deal of work being done to develop highly blight resistant American Chestnuts.  However, it takes time to cross breed the trees with alternative chestnuts like the Chinese Chestnut or other American Chestnuts which have shown blight resistance.  Work is also being done in an attempt to inoculate American Chestnut trees to give them built in resistance.  We will offer the highly resistant types as soon as they are available.  For now, these are about as good as they get commercially.

Common uses for the American Chestnut:

  • Large shade tree
  • Produces and edible chestnut
  • Chestnut provides an excellent source of food for wildlife

The American Chestnut produces a nut which many types of wildlife enjoy.  The chestnut is a valuable food source for deer, black bear, raccoon, chipmunk, hares, squirrels turkey, grouse and quail.

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