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Small chestnuts

 
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Hi All,
I found a small chestnut tree growing in the park! More of a bush than a tree. I noticed it only because it had burrs on it. I took a few burrs home, and they had nuts, but very small and not filled out. What would cause this?
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chestnit pips
 
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Could they be chinquapins?
 
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what did the husk look like? Did you pull it from the tree? Was it still green? Was the husk round or triangular?

what was the shape of the leaves?
 
Lori Ziemba
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Jd Gonzalez wrote:Could they be chinquapins?



I don't think so. This isn't their natural range, and the nuts don't look at all like acorns.
 
Lori Ziemba
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Jay Grace wrote:what did the husk look like? Did you pull it from the tree? Was it still green? Was the husk round or triangular?

what was the shape of the leaves?



Here's a picture of an unopened husk. Seemed pretty round to me. This one is greenish, but I saw some on the tree that had already opened, and also had very small nuts. I put my finger in so you can see size.
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husk
 
Jd Gonzalez
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/oikostreecrops/4403791431/in/photostream

Chinquapin Hybrid Chestnut — Castanea pumila hybrida.

Kind of looks similar.
 
Jay Grace
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I know the leaves on the Chinese chestnut trees I'm familiar with are more serrated along the edges and the leaf it's self doesn't come to a point that fast.

Could this be an actual native chestnut tree? I've never seen one in person so I have nothing to compare it to.

Never the less I believe if you can find some of the nuts fully formed it would be worthwhile to plant them and get a few seedlings. Never know that could be a naturally blight resistant native chestnut. But that would be like winning the lottery without ever buying a ticket.

 
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Those chestnuts did not get pollinated. That is why they made blank shriveled empty nuts.
 
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Lori Ziemba wrote:

Jay Grace wrote:what did the husk look like? Did you pull it from the tree? Was it still green? Was the husk round or triangular?

what was the shape of the leaves?



Here's a picture of an unopened husk. Seemed pretty round to me. This one is greenish, but I saw some on the tree that had already opened, and also had very small nuts. I put my finger in so you can see size.



That is an American Chestnut, small shriveled nuts indicate several things; 1) not enough water got to the roots during the growing of the nuts and 2) there was not sufficient pollinator activity.
If you see large, almost base ball sized burrs those will have good nuts in them, usually only one will develop fully per burr. Burrs generally have four nuts available for pollination but only one will grow to full size.
If you find some full sized nuts, and you want to grow a tree from them, you would need to stratify the seeds in moist peat moss at a temp of 40-36 degrees for 120 days then plant one inch deep and water. The seed should be laid on its side, not like you would plant any other seed.
 
Lori Ziemba
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Jd Gonzalez wrote:https://www.flickr.com/photos/oikostreecrops/4403791431/in/photostream

Chinquapin Hybrid Chestnut — Castanea pumila hybrida.

Kind of looks similar.



Wow, you're right! It does look like it! Do "real" chestnuts have that little feathery topknot?
 
Lori Ziemba
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I went back yesterday to take more pictures. Good thing I did, almost all the burrs are gone.
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Lori Ziemba
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more pix:
20151005_172658.jpg
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Lori Ziemba
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And a few more:
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Lori Ziemba
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I found a small stand of 5-6, much larger chestnuts growing around a lake.  Same deal as above, the nuts are small and not filled out.  Why are they not being pollinated?   Shouldn't 6 trees be enough for cross pollination?   This mystery is killing me!
 
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Could it be that the trees are not receiving enough water?
 
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chestnut project
 
Lori Ziemba
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Marlo Mattson wrote:Could it be that the trees are not receiving enough water?



Well, they're growing right on the edge of a lake, so I don't think water is a problem.  

Are they self fertile?   Could it be that they are clones, so there is no cross pollination?
 
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My American chestnuts will usually have 2 filled out nuts and one little sliver like that.  Between the squirrels and the deer, I usually only find the husk and the little sliver with the meaty nuts long gone.
 
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I read this whole thread.  I have a couple chestnut trees in my yard.  one of the trees has copious amounts of the smaller chestnut, and the second has larger chestnuts.  Both have the three chestnuts inside, and both produce the small shriveled chestnuts.  Occasionally I will find a nice healthy puffed out chestnut (1/500), but mostly  shriveled.  I would love to have producing chestnuts, but I have no idea how to make that happen.  

Given what I read, it's either pollination or water.  Since i have the occasional plump one (very occasional), is it more likely water or pollination?  
 
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my guess is pollination.
 
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it could have something to do with weather and how much rain or moisture tree gets while nuts are growing. I read in earlier post about bushy chestnut tree, my Chinese chestnut trees are very bushy compared to the Dustan Hybrids Ive got growing.
hopefully in next year or 2 I'll have a bit of a crop. Ive become almost obsessed with chestnut trees after learning about how important a role they played with Native American and  pioneer live here in eastern United States and always look for more information on them.
hopefully this winter I can get some of the latest American chestnut blight resistant trees that have been developed.
 
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