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D Hunter
10-12-2010, 04:30 AM
A local nursery has some of these. They are supposed to be a cross between the american and chinese varieties. They are supposed to make a 50- 60 foot tree. At maturity 1000-2000 lbs of nuts. Pretty expensive at $40 per tree. Anyone with experience with them? Thanks, "D"

criggster
10-12-2010, 08:21 AM
The only thing I experienced with your post was sticker shock!:eek: Take a look at some of the chestnut foundations and see if that interests you. I gathered some chinese chestnuts from a neighbors tree. Hopefully I can get a few seedlings to grow from them. I may also buy a few seedlings just in case.

brushpile
10-12-2010, 08:48 AM
Stuart referred me to this nursery, which has grafted Chinese, Japanese, European and American Chestnuts for Fall planting. The grafted trees are $20. I bought a good selection with varied drop times, and the folks at the nursery were helpful in making my selections.

Chestnuts grow fast. The 12-18 inch bare root seedlings I planted in the Spring are out the top of 4' tubes, and the tallest are about 6'; despite being planted in a drought year. Their chestnut seedlings are only $3.50.

http://www.burntridgenursery.com/nutTrees/index_product.asp?dept=53&parent=

robsulm
10-12-2010, 09:57 AM
D Hunter,

Is that 1000-2000 lbs per tree or per acre? And if per acre, how many trees per acre are needed?

D Hunter
10-12-2010, 10:05 AM
The search on line gave me a website for the producer. It said per TREE. "Your milage may vary", likely applies. Others with experience of this tree? "D"

brushpile
10-12-2010, 11:09 AM
D Hunter, I just went right to the source and talked to Dr Dunstan's grandson. It was very informative, and I will be changing my chestnut order to plant Dunstan Chestnuts.

Standby for all you will ever want to know about Dunstan Chestnuts, as Dr Dunstan's grandson is about to join us on the forum.:)

This about to turn into a very good thread.

http://www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/Chestnuts.html

letemgrow
10-12-2010, 11:52 AM
I want some of those chestnuts or scion wood off that original American tree from the 50's ;)

criggster
10-12-2010, 12:06 PM
Thanks Brushpile. That pricing sounds better; I am interested in these trees. I do have a question for Mr. Dunston's grandson. How do these trees production compare to chinese chestnuts at ten years of age? I was looking at planting some chinese chestnuts, but these trees may be more worthwhile. Also, are seedlings the only option or are seeds available too?

brushpile
10-12-2010, 12:07 PM
I want some of those chestnuts or scion wood off that original American tree from the 50's ;)

While we're waiting for Dr. Dunstan's grandson to post...

ChestnutHill removes 2-3 foot potted trees from the pots, and ships bareroot in March. The trees can come into production in 3-4 years, and will not get blight. The Dunstan Chestnut is possibly the best deer attraction that can be planted. One farm leases a grove of Dunstan Chestnuts for $1500 a week!

I'll definately be buying this tree. I was told that 60 Dunstan Chestnuts will produce 400-500 pounds of sweet chestnuts in 10 years.

I forgot to ask about spacing and drop times.

smsmith
10-12-2010, 12:30 PM
My work connection is blocking access to their site. Stupid.........

I'd like to know about northern hardiness since they appear to be based in Florida?

chestnuthill
10-12-2010, 01:23 PM
The Dunstan Chestnuts were bred by noted plant breeder Dr. Robert Dunstan in the 1950s, by hybridizing an American chestnut found living in a grove of dead trees in Ohio, and Chinese Chestnuts. The American Chestnut was once the most common tree in the eastern hardwood forest - 25% of the trees - and were killed by a blight in the early 1900s. Chestnuts were a major food for game and wildlife as well as natives and settlers, and the loss of the chestnut, during the Great Depression, was a tremendous ecological disaster. The Dunstan Chestnuts make possible the re-establishment of chestnuts to America!

Dunstan Chestnuts have been grown all over the eastern US, from Florida to upstate NY, Maine, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, for the past 30 years. No Dunstan Chestnuts have ever died from the blight. They bear very large nuts (ave 25-35/lb), and begin to bear in 2-4 years, much earlier than most all oak species, and produce more pounds of food per acre. Ten year old trees can bear up to 800 lbs/acre (reported recently from a grower in CT), and full production is 1500-2000 lbs/acre (100 trees per acre). They bear annually, and are not subject to the on-year, off-year cycle of most oaks. They are easy to grow, and have few pests or problems. They are eaten by deer, bear, squirrel, turkey, hogs and other mammals.

Chestnut nuts are very high in carbohydrate and protein, and will produce as much carbohydrate per acre as a corn (without annual planting). In Europe, pigs are fed chestnuts because it makes the meat very sweet - Estremaduran pork is a delicacy in Spain.

Deer are the major problem for commercial chestnut orchardists in the U.S. because they eat so much of the crop. Dunstan Chestnuts should be a part of every wildlife planting. For more information, please visit:

www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/chestnuts.html

You can also email questions to chestnuthilltreefarm@gmail.com, or call 1-800-669-2067.

letemgrow
10-12-2010, 04:05 PM
The Dunstan Chestnuts were bred by noted plant breeder Dr. Robert Dunstan in the 1950s, by hybridizing an American chestnut found living in a grove of dead trees in Ohio, and Chinese Chestnuts. The American Chestnut was once the most common tree in the eastern hardwood forest - 25% of the trees - and were killed by a blight in the early 1900s. Chestnuts were a major food for game and wildlife as well as natives and settlers, and the loss of the chestnut, during the Great Depression, was a tremendous ecological disaster. The Dunstan Chestnuts make possible the re-establishment of chestnuts to America!

Dunstan Chestnuts have been grown all over the eastern US, from Florida to upstate NY, Maine, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, for the past 30 years. No Dunstan Chestnuts have ever died from the blight. They bear very large nuts (ave 25-35/lb), and begin to bear in 2-4 years, much earlier than most all oak species, and produce more pounds of food per acre. Ten year old trees can bear up to 800 lbs/acre (reported recently from a grower in CT), and full production is 1500-2000 lbs/acre (100 trees per acre). They bear annually, and are not subject to the on-year, off-year cycle of most oaks. They are easy to grow, and have few pests or problems. They are eaten by deer, bear, squirrel, turkey, hogs and other mammals.

Chestnut nuts are very high in carbohydrate and protein, and will produce as much carbohydrate per acre as a corn (without annual planting). In Europe, pigs are fed chestnuts because it makes the meat very sweet - Estremaduran pork is a delicacy in Spain.

Deer are the major problem for commercial chestnut orchardists in the U.S. because they eat so much of the crop. Dunstan Chestnuts should be a part of every wildlife planting. For more information, please visit:

www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/chestnuts.html

You can also email questions to chestnuthilltreefarm@gmail.com, or call 1-800-669-2067.

Is the original american chestnut still alive?

PA Mike
10-12-2010, 04:28 PM
Is the original american chestnut still alive?

I did a search and read that it was cut down along with the rest of the stand in the 60's. Shame.

letemgrow
10-12-2010, 04:30 PM
I did a search and read that it was cut down along with the rest of the stand in the 60's. Shame.

Boy the tree just can't catch a break!! :D

smsmith
10-12-2010, 06:58 PM
Debbi from Chestnut Hill just let me know that their trees are hardy to -25. Should be able to make it here where I am.

PassThru
10-12-2010, 08:28 PM
chestnuthill,

I've got a couple of surviving Dunstans that are a few years old, but are not producing yet. One flowered the year I planted it but hasn't flowered since (it didn't produce any nuts from the flowers). I've got a few questions and I'm hoping your answers will help me determine what I'm doing wrong.

1. I believe they (Dunstans) are grafted trees - Is that true? If true, will they self-pollinate, can they pollinate each other, or do they require another variety for pollination? If they require another variety, can you recommend a preferred variety? Will chinese do?

2. Do they require more sun to produce than chinese?

3. Any particular fertilizer I should be giving them?

Thanks!

PA Mike
10-12-2010, 08:38 PM
Boy the tree just can't catch a break!! :D

Here's the link, it's under History:

http://php.eos.net/jim/ArticleDB/Articles/NNGA/77th/77.7.html

smsmith
10-13-2010, 09:22 AM
Anybody have first hand experience with chestnuts and growing them near walnuts? I'm wondering if they are juglone resistant.

Jeager
10-13-2010, 10:04 AM
Stuart,

Apparently Chinese Chestnuts are not affected by juglone. I've got a Chinese chestnut that has been growing within 5 foot of a black walnut for at least 10 years and seems to be thriving. A squirrel evidently planted the chestnut there, I've got 2 chinese chestnut trees that's nearly 40 years old located about 40 yards away. I had planned on transplanting the chestnut when it was small and just never got around to doing it.

EDIT: Took a few pics, the Chinese Chestnut and Black Walnut is actually growing closer than 5' apart, more like a 1 foot. This may not be the case on all soils, but here Juglone obviously has no effect on the Chinese Chestnut.

http://i732.photobucket.com/albums/ww326/haystack_photos/100_2417.jpg

http://i732.photobucket.com/albums/ww326/haystack_photos/100_2419.jpg

http://i732.photobucket.com/albums/ww326/haystack_photos/100_2424.jpg

smsmith
10-13-2010, 12:07 PM
Thanks Jeager - I know juglone is variable in its effects but that's encouraging to see.

brushpile
10-13-2010, 03:11 PM
chestnuthill,

I've got a couple of surviving Dunstans that are a few years old, but are not producing yet. One flowered the year I planted it but hasn't flowered since (it didn't produce any nuts from the flowers). I've got a few questions and I'm hoping your answers will help me determine what I'm doing wrong.

1. I believe they (Dunstans) are grafted trees - Is that true? If true, will they self-pollinate, can they pollinate each other, or do they require another variety for pollination? If they require another variety, can you recommend a preferred variety? Will chinese do?

2. Do they require more sun to produce than chinese?

3. Any particular fertilizer I should be giving them?

Thanks!

Dustan Chestnuts are grown from seed, and not grafted. The primary reason chestnuts are grafted is to have all the trees drop nuts at the same time, which is the opposite of what we want as hunters.

hardwood11
10-13-2010, 04:43 PM
Dunstan Chestnuts are rated to what zone. I am zone 4 in MN, and have land in zone 5 (Iowa) ?

smsmith
10-13-2010, 05:18 PM
Dunstan Chestnuts are rated to what zone. I am zone 4 in MN, and have land in zone 5 (Iowa) ?

I contacted them the other day and they informed me they should be hardy to zone 4 or -25.

I'd plant them here at home, but I wouldn't plant them on our place north of here. It's still "zone 4" supposedly, but we get zone 3 temps more years than not. -25 usually happens before mid January there. -25 happens here infrequently - even though we're only an hour and a quarter south.

brushpile
10-13-2010, 05:48 PM
This thread has fortunately caused me to learn enough about Chestnuts that I don't waste time and money on trees that will die, and on high dollar grafted trees that won't produce any sooner than a bare root seedling. With few exceptions, Dunstan and Chinese are the only chestnuts that will grow in my area. Japanese and European Hybrids are not cold tolerant enough, and don't have a strong blight resistance. I talked to a guy today who lost 800 European hybrid chestnut trees, and now Dunstan is all he will plant.

There are several Chinese varieties that are blight resistant, and I would think trees from Northern China would grow in MN and WI.

smsmith
10-13-2010, 08:26 PM
I also asked about bareroot stock. When I was looking at their site I didn't see anything about it, looked like all potted stock. They do indeed ship bareroot in spring (April for my area), but then focus on potted stock for the rest of the year.

fshafly2
10-14-2010, 10:45 AM
DHunter
My 14 Dustans were planted in '96 and are doing very well. (A few trees that were horned while young are noticeably stunted. I took tree tents off the young trees in Feb one year - a big mistake!). The chestnut crop starts dropping in mid-Sept (when our bowseason starts), and deer/squirrels favor it - the trees are very productive.
I do very little maintenance - fertilize in early spring and knock out an occasional tent caterpillar nest during the summer.

-fsh

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a259/fshafly2/chestnuts6_2010_c.jpg

brushpile
10-14-2010, 12:47 PM
I also asked about bareroot stock. When I was looking at their site I didn't see anything about it, looked like all potted stock. They do indeed ship bareroot in spring (April for my area), but then focus on potted stock for the rest of the year.


Chestnut Hill's bareroot trees are fresh, and not cold storage. The trees are removed from pots, the dirt is shaken off the roots, then they're shipped.

E_308
10-14-2010, 01:04 PM
To bad they don't sell nuts for direct seeding. (Hint, Hint)

robsulm
10-14-2010, 01:15 PM
I wonder if we could get a "QDMA Discount" from Chestnut Tree Farm? What do you think, chestnuthill?

smsmith
10-14-2010, 03:51 PM
I wonder if we could get a "QDMA Discount" from Chestnut Tree Farm? What do you think, chestnuthill?

I don't know about that, but I do think the QDMA would find quite a few of us would be interested in some type of buying "consortium". Anybody that followed the Giant Miscanthus thread noticed that. We would have been buying around 10,000 rhizomes as a group - that was without the "spring rush" people adding a few hundred/thousand at the last minute. I think there is something there, I just have no idea how to make it happen.

NH Mountains
05-02-2011, 11:35 PM
Did anybody order and receive any of the Dunstan chestnut seedlings? If so, how'd they look?

brushpile
05-03-2011, 05:42 AM
Did anybody order and receive any of the Dunstan chestnut seedlings? If so, how'd they look?

I split an order of 10, so I planted 5. They had good roots, and were about 18 inches, not including the roots. All have leaves now, and I expect to see good growth, because they were in great shape when I got them.

I bought from Chestnut Hill.

letemgrow
05-03-2011, 09:14 AM
It will be interesting to see how fast they grow and how quickly they produce.

NH Mountains
05-04-2011, 07:30 AM
I split an order of 10, so I planted 5. They had good roots, and were about 18 inches, not including the roots. All have leaves now, and I expect to see good growth, because they were in great shape when I got them.

I bought from Chestnut Hill.

I purchased mine from chestnut Hill as well. The seedlings were in great shape with great roots except 3 of them had the main tap root compressed into a very tight S.

Chestnut hill said they should stretch out in time and would replace if there were problems.

Any thoughts???

brushpile
05-04-2011, 08:57 AM
I purchased mine from chestnut Hill as well. The seedlings were in great shape with great roots except 3 of them had the main tap root compressed into a very tight S.

Chestnut hill said they should stretch out in time and would replace if there were problems.

Any thoughts???

They're grown in pots, which prevents the taproot from going down, but the roots aren't damaged/cut/broken. It's my understanding that plants are removed from pots, the dirt is shaken off, and they're shipped fresh. I'm condident they'll grow.:)

Chestnut grows pretty fast, and is drought tolerant after the first year. Dunstan is a Chinese, American Chestnut cross. Chinese Chestnut is extremely hardy, and this has been my experience with them:

I planted some Chinese Chestnuts in 2009. They were dried out tiny things that came from a cataloge my wife ordered flowers from, and were shipped in clear plastic with no packing.

I figured they were dead, but the "boss" told me that I bought them so I would plant them, sheesh! So I walked out in the weeds and did a lousy job planting them, just to keep peace in the family. In 2010 I had severe drought, that killed off weeds, grass and small trees so that there was nothing green. Among the brown I saw one green plant, and wondered what could survive without water? It was one of the Chestnuts I'd planted the year before! I looked further and found all of them.

This Winter a buddy sent me Chinese Chestnuts from Florida that still had green leaves. I planted them in Jan-Feb, and a week after they were planted, the tempeture dropped to 18 degrees.:eek: All of them survived.

I planted some last year, and they cleared a 48" tube in one Summer, during a drought.

If Dunstan is half as hardy as Chinese, a disfigured root shouldn't be a problem.;)

Ducks'n'Bucks
05-04-2011, 12:38 PM
I wonder why they immediately went the hybrid route and didn't focus on bringing back a truly resistant American. Maybe I'm not understanding it but seems like they had it... and passed on it for a hybrid?

Interesting find...

letemgrow
05-04-2011, 12:41 PM
I wonder why they immediately went the hybrid route and didn't focus on bringing back a truly resistant American. Maybe I'm not understanding it but seems like they had it... and passed on it for a hybrid?

Interesting find...

They still have american chestnuts with blight resistance, its it just not a guarantee the resistance is passed down to most off spring.

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41079

brushpile
05-04-2011, 04:22 PM
I wonder why they immediately went the hybrid route and didn't focus on bringing back a truly resistant American. Maybe I'm not understanding it but seems like they had it... and passed on it for a hybrid?

Interesting find...

They wouldn't be true to seed, and theres the problem. Now, if the blight resistant American Chestnut could have been cloned from cuttings.:D Dr Dunstan couldn't clone it, so he grafted to Chinese Chestnut root stock, giving him an pure American Chestnut on Chinese roots. Because the blight resistant American wouldn't come true to seed, he crossed his grafted tree with a Chinese, producing a blight resistant Chestnut with American traits.

This type of work takes a lifetime. First he had to grow the grafted tree until it produced nuts... maybe 10 years. Then he had to cross it with Chinese, and grow it to production... lets say 10 years. Then he had to grow trees from those nuts to see if they were blight resistant...maybe 10 more years. After he produced the first Dunstan Chestnut tree, he had to plant an orchard so he would have enough seed to grow Dunstan Chestnut in quantity... another 5-10 years.

Not many people have the time to go through this process, and to date, Dunstan is the only American hybrid that's blight resistant. I'll probably plant more next year, because it produces hard mast fast.

worththewait
05-04-2011, 07:54 PM
I have a number of Chinese chestnut growing in NW Illinois. The biggest diameter is about 16 in.
I have even been getting a few self seeding and have planted a number of seeds with good luck if the tree rats don't get them.
They are a much larger nut than the American, seem to be blight resistant, taste very good, and deer just love them. They are not the native American tree but are a very excellent mast producer.

worththewait
05-04-2011, 08:26 PM
Anybody have first hand experience with chestnuts and growing them near walnuts? I'm wondering if they are juglone resistant.

I have chestnuts growing very near walnuts and pecan and don't seem to see any problem.

NH Mountains
05-04-2011, 09:16 PM
I have a number of Chinese chestnut growing in NW Illinois. The biggest diameter is about 16 in.
I have even been getting a few self seeding and have planted a number of seeds with good luck if the tree rats don't get them.
They are a much larger nut than the American, seem to be blight resistant, taste very good, and deer just love them. They are not the native American tree but are a very excellent mast producer.

How old are your trees? When did they start producing and approximately how many pounds per tree do you get now per tree?

Just trying to figure out a realistic time frame for down the road.

brushpile
05-04-2011, 09:36 PM
Don't know why people mess with exotic oaks, when Chinese and Dunstan Chestnuts produce earlier, have highly preferred nuts, and produce every year, without fail.

If you have chestnut mast, that's where deer will be until they're gone. They're the most preferred nut there is!

NH Mountains
05-05-2011, 07:06 AM
Brush,

Do the Dunstan's grow into a central leader on their own or do you have to prune them? I noticed on the seedlings I received they had leaf buds from top to bottom. I'm wondering whether to remove the lower ones now or wait till later?

brushpile
05-05-2011, 10:39 AM
Mine were planted this Spring, so I don't know what form they will take. My Chinese have a spreading crown, so I would think the Dunstans would also.

Why would you want to prune them? I hadn't considered pruning mine.:confused:

letemgrow
05-05-2011, 01:10 PM
If you have chestnut mast, that's where deer will be until they're gone. They're the most preferred nut there is!

Its a fact, I watched a pile of squirrels up at the estate across from the Nebraska State Arboretum eating the heck out of chinese chestnuts, there were white oak and bur oak acorns laying around, but they were not getting much action as opposed to the chestnuts.

NH Mountains
05-05-2011, 07:39 PM
Mine were planted this Spring, so I don't know what form they will take. My Chinese have a spreading crown, so I would think the Dunstans would also.

Why would you want to prune them? I hadn't considered pruning mine.:confused:

The orchard photos I saw on the Chestnut Hill website showed no branches below 5ft so I figured they must have pruned them at some point?

I'm debating whether to tube them or not because the bears knocked over or bent more than half the tubes I set out last year. I might just cage them.

I've got 100 Oikos chestnut seedlings started from seed that I'll be planting as well this fall. Hopefully will have some bearing trees in the next 5-7 years if I can keep the bears and moose off from them.

brushpile
05-05-2011, 09:40 PM
The orchard photos I saw on the Chestnut Hill website showed no branches below 5ft so I figured they must have pruned them at some point?

I'm debating whether to tube them or not because the bears knocked over or bent more than half the tubes I set out last year. I might just cage them.

I've got 100 Oikos chestnut seedlings started from seed that I'll be planting as well this fall. Hopefully will have some bearing trees in the next 5-7 years if I can keep the bears and moose off from them.

Bears and Moose... cool!

They're neat to have, but must cause unique challenges.

qdmohio
05-06-2011, 08:30 AM
Do your Dunstan's bear every year? Do your deer seem to prefer them over acorns, or at least like them equally well?

DHunter
My 14 Dustans were planted in '96 and are doing very well. (A few trees that were horned while young are noticeably stunted. I took tree tents off the young trees in Feb one year - a big mistake!). The chestnut crop starts dropping in mid-Sept (when our bowseason starts), and deer/squirrels favor it - the trees are very productive.
I do very little maintenance - fertilize in early spring and knock out an occasional tent caterpillar nest during the summer.

-fsh

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a259/fshafly2/chestnuts6_2010_c.jpg

fshafly2
05-06-2011, 08:50 AM
The chestnut crop is pretty consistent every year, and the deer/squirrels will consume it all. If I had to guess, I'd say that the deer do not necessarily favor chestnuts over acorns.

-fsh

brushpile
05-06-2011, 10:52 AM
The chestnut crop is pretty consistent every year, and the deer/squirrels will consume it all. If I had to guess, I'd say that the deer do not necessarily favor chestnuts over acorns.

-fsh

At what age did your Dunstans start production?

fshafly2
05-06-2011, 11:06 AM
I'm guessing - it was some time ago - maybe 3 or 4 yrs after planting.

-fsh

CrazyED
06-16-2011, 09:12 AM
I just put in an order for 2 of these trees. Not really sure if these trees will be able to survive in my climate but im going to roll the dice. Keep your fingers crossed for me!