Latin: Castanea dentata
Other common names: American Chestnut
Mature Height: 100 ft.
Soil / Climate: Chestnuts prefer moderately acid, sandy loam soil and sunshine and require a well-drained location. The morning sun is much better than afternoon sun, which can cause the bark to crack (making an opening for the blight fungus) in winter when temperatures warm up by afternoon then drop rapidly below freezing at night. At present, American chestnut plantings have better chances at altitudes below 2,500 feet. For maximum protection from frost, plant on the high ground on sloping land. Avoid known frost pockets, wet spots, and limestone based or heavy clay soil.
Notes: This species is the true native American Chestnut and is not blight resistant. Rounded, wide spreading crown, massive branches. Best sited in parks or forest land. Large, sweet edible nuts. Important wildlife value. The American Chestnut was a very important tree for wildlife, providing much of the fall mast for species such as White-tailed Deer and Wild Turkey and, formerly, the Passenger Pigeon. Black Bears were also known to eat the nuts to fatten up for the winter. Being rich in tannins, the wood was highly resistant to decay and therefore used for a variety of purposes, including furniture.