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Anyone in Michigan or a zone 4 region having any success with these? I was looking at some from Morse Nursery and thinking about trying them. I’ve gotten fruit trees from them and will say their estimates of fruiting times are rather optimistic. My property is quite dry for 8+ months a year, and also deer density is very high. Would theses be a viable option or am I just wasting money?
There's good news on the horizon for the American chestnut that doesn't involve hybrids. there are a few experimental oxo trees, one in particular, the darling 58 I've read of that are modified American chestnuts that are blight resistant. The pollen can help existing chestnuts also become bight resistant. I know this doesn't answer your question, but it may give you better options in the not too distant future.
I wouldn't buy Morse trees anyway. Check out allthingshabitat.com alot of chestnut threads
Tried planting Dunstan blight resistant trees 8-10 years ago. These were 4 ft. tall at planting, 12 trees, two different locations. Some are 12 ft tall now and not a nut yet. They are kinda neat as they keep their leaves all winter.
I planted around 30 Dunstans about 10-12 years ago, as well. About half of them haven’t grown all that much, but the other ones have done pretty well, and have produced viable mast the past 3-4 years. Some of the other ones will produce nuts, but they are all shriveled up. My understanding is that they need to be cross pollinated, and I’m not sure that’s happening where the shriveled ones is concerned. I sent a hat full of nuts to another Bowsiter for a propagating project that he does with his school students (I believe). Looking forward to see if they work out for them.
I don’t get scads of them, but if anyone is interested in some nuts to have to try and propagate themselves, shoot me a PM. I’d be happy to gather up some next fall, and send some of them to try.
Bozz…………Any links to the info on the resistant strain trees you spoke of?
I planted Dunstans the first year that Realtree began selling them at Walmart 10+ years ago. Just got first viable nut off one this past fall. Otherwise. I get burs with shriveled up contents. Trees are just a few yards apart so not sure how they aren't cross pollinating.
I should mention that all the trees I later started from seed have surpassed everything I ever purchased bare root or potted.
Buckdeer, Is this it? https://habitat-talk.com/
I planted about a dozen Chestnut trees I bought off a guy near Onalaska probably 3yrs ago. I put them all in tubes. They are probably 6ft tall now so growing well. Also all have survived. I'm not sure how long I should leave the tubes on. Anyone here have experience with that? I'm thinking I won't get any nuts with the tunes on because they would block pollen, maybe not.
These do seem to be healthy trees, glad I planted them
To you guys that have chestnuts, are your deer eating the nuts? My neighbor has 2 mature Chinese chestnuts that drop loads of nuts every fall, and I've never seen a deer eating them.
Bfisherman- I would get the tubes off and cage them. Tubes are wasp magnets and trees can grow too spindly to support themselves. You will probably need to add a stake to support the trunk.
Ground is always torn up under mine when they start dropping. Trail cameras show turkeys and deer eating them. I also have some small infertile nuts on mine. I moved a large one closer this fall hoping to enhance pollination. Most are 10-12 years old
Here’s a pic I took this morning, of one of my better growing trees. If you look close, you can see several of the prickly nut clusters on the ground. I broke a bunch of them open this morning. On the vast majority of them, there were either shriveled up nuts, or what looked to possibly be nuts that had decayed. I did find a couple of viable nuts. Personally I haven’t seen any deer or turkeys eating the nuts.
This is a 3 year old Dunstan with chestnuts. I have over 12 that produce a lot of nuts every year. They’re probably 6 years old now. The Wildlife Group is a great place to buy wildlife trees.
OTC,yes thats the site,good bunch of people
Buckeye, thanks iv been thinking it's time.
T-Roy very generously sent me quite a few Chestnuts this fall. They've been in cold storage until Tuesday. Now they are being grown by 9th grade biology students. The class has 4 flats of 18 cell Rootmakers; 2 flats of T-Roy's chestnuts, 1 of Sawtooth Oak, and 1 of Chinkapin Oak. These will be used as a control to compare the growth of their experimental pots. Students had to design and make pots based on the "4 inch rule" and how it relates to a tap roots being converted into a fibrous root system via pruning the inhibiting and branching hormone from the tip of a root through pruning. Some of the kids get pretty creative with this project. Afterwards they take the trees home to do what ever they want with. I always get quite a few moms and dads who ask for extras.
Thanks again T-Roy!
Pretty cool stuff. Do chestnuts typically produce every year or are they like oaks where they differ year to year? I guess weather can affect anything as also seen with fruit trees.
Good stuff, Jason! Glad I could help out a little bit. Should have plenty more this fall, as well. It would be interesting (to me at least) to see a thread on this project from start to finish. The nuts that I sent you were completely filled out and seemed to be fully formed. I know that guys have different ways to test viability on different seeds/nuts. Floating, etc. Did you do some type of testing on these nuts, and if so, what percentage of them were viable?
I float tested them. They all looked good. In the past I've had trouble with Chinese Chestnuts and germination. I traditionally get around 70% germination rate with them. Not that 70% is bad, but when working with students you want the highest rates you can get. Sawtooths typically fill this need with close to 100% germination every year. This year with the Dunstans that you gave me I was up front with the kids and explained to them if they picked Chestnuts that they are taking a risk. They sure look good though. I'm hopeful that they do well.
Toby won. They will produce yearly
Little update on T-roys donated chestnuts. Most have germinated and have started to leaf out. They're looking good!
I planted 6 Dunstans 8 years ago. 5 are still alive. They have grown well, but they have only produced 3 nuts.
I was wondering the other day, about what kind of results your kids were having, cat. Approximately what percentage of the nuts germinated?
28 out of 40 have germinated and are growing well. In my experience 70% germination rate is great for chestnuts. You sent us wonderful seed! Both the Chinkapin and Sawtooth that we planted are above 96% germination rates.
Good to hear. I’ll try and pick up more of them again this fall, in case you need more next spring. Also had a couple of other guys inquire about getting some, as well.
End of the class project! Most of the trees have been taken home or spoken for by students and staff. Several dads wanted a few more than their kids grew so some families ended up with 5-10 trees. I've kept a few for myself. I'll upsize pots, put them outside, and then let them harden/grow for the summer before putting them in their permanent spots this fall after dormancy.
The root pic is something we manipulate as part of the project. If left in a circular pot taproot trees will "circle" or "j-hook" their root. If you can prune the tap root it will grow a fibrous root system. My opinion is that if starting indoors and pot growing trees the fibrous root system is better than the circled taproot. If you can plant and grow the seed in it's permanent spot a taproot is better. It's amazing that the same species of tree has the genetics to grow two very different forms based on outside conditions.
And finally; the kids measured and track data for the length of the project. They spreadsheet their data and make graphs for comparisons. The graph on the left are trees grown in the student's homemade pots, the graph on the right is a control group planted in a 18 cell flats. Your nuts helped kids learn about genetics, economics, hormones, measurement and data collection, group collaboration, and experimental procedures. I can't thank you enough for collecting them and sharing them with us! We appreciate it!
I still get native chestnuts coming up in my woods. Some have gotten large enough to have nuts and then they die. My woods was full of chestnut trees when I was a kid but no more. Some of the stumps still can be found where they were logged 80 years ago.
Very nice, catscratch! Good to know that I might have had a small part in inspiring the next brilliant rocket surgeon ;-)
Be kinda cool to see how some of these trees are doing 5 years from now.
Shuteye, we get 'em but the blight eats them in 5 years or so. They make nice walking sticks ;-)