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Castanea dentata

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
kas-TAN-nee-uh den-TAY-ta
Description

The American Chestnut was a stately and important tree found in mesic (moderate moisture) and xeric (dry) forests.  However, Chestnut blight has made this species nearly extinct in its natural habitat.  Typically in the wild, it sprouts easily from old stumps and roots, may reach 20 feet tall and produce a few nuts before succumbing to the blight again. Work is being done to produce a blight-resistant variety.

Due to its susceptibility to blight, this tree is not recommended for use in the home landscape.  Other varieties that do not have these issues can be chosen for use as shade trees.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Very susceptible to the blight Cryphonectria parasitica.  It is also susceptible to leaf spot and powdery mildew.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#NC native#deer resistant#larval host plant#rare#food source fall#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon#diseases
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#NC native#deer resistant#larval host plant#rare#food source fall#food source herbage#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#mammals#butterfly friendly#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#audubon#diseases
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Castanea
    Species:
    dentata
    Family:
    Fagaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Very decay-resistant wood was used for various purposes prior to the introduction of the chestnut blight in 1906. It was called the farmer's friend.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    E. Canada to N. Central & E. U.S.A
    Distribution:
    AL , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Larval host plant for butterflies
    Play Value:
    Shade
    Wildlife Larval Host
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat and drought tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Nuts from this species are edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 75 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 50 ft. 0 in. - 75 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Broad
    Dense
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a 2-2.5 inch wide prickly burr that opens about first frost. 2-3 sweet, edible nuts then drop to the ground in September to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Catkin
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Yellowish-white male flowers bloom from June to July on 4-8" long catkins. Female flowers are insignificant and appear on smaller catkins. Appear mid-summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    4-9 in. long and 1.5-3 in. wide dark green leaves are simple and alternate. Margins with coarse teeth that have bristly tips. Fall color yellow-gold.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Description:
    Light gray broad flat ridges often spiral around the trunk.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Brown to orange-brown or reddish-brown twigs are glabrous and covered with scattered white lenticel. Brown buds are smooth.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems