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Chestnuts, photo courtesy of R. Creation/Getty Images
Chestnuts, photo courtesy of R. Creation/Getty Images

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Zones 2-9, 14-17
Full Sun
Regular Water

Castanea sp.

Deciduous, Edible fruit, Trees

Where space allows, these dense, large shade trees bring lush beauty and delicious nuts into the landscape. They just need to be sited where their litter and rank-smelling pollen won’t be too obtrusive. All have handsome green leaves, and small, 8’10-in., creamy white catkins that appear in summer. Prickly burs enclose large nuts that fall when ripe. Gather daily, remove from burs, and let dry in the sun (shade in hot climates). Plant two trees to ensure cross-pollination; unpollinated single trees bear little or nothing. Give occasional deep irrigation.

Chestnut blight has made American chestnut (Castanea dentata) nearly extinct, but other species and hybrids are available.

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