The Chinese Chestnut, Castanea mollissima, is a medium size tree that produces large quantities of edible chestnuts. This tree can reach as high as 60 feet tall, but it takes a long time to get that tall because it only grows 12″ to 24″ per year in ideal conditions. It is very drought tolerant, likes full sun, acid soil, and prefers loamy soil but mine grows just fine in WV clay. The Chinese Chestnut is highly blight resistant so you won’t run into the blight issues that plagued the American Chestnut.
Chinese Chestnut does require cross pollination, so you will want to plant others close by. The trees can start to produce nuts as early as the fourth year and ripens mid-September through October. Usually there are three nuts encased in a prickly husk that opens when the seeds are ripe. The nuts are large and sweet, though not as sweet as an American Chestnut.
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