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start Chinese chestnut from seed

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start Chinese chestnut from seed

Old 10-01-2009, 05:07 PM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 200
Default start Chinese chestnut from seed

start Chinese chestnut from seed. Iím no expert on the subject and all the info I posted can be found in the links at the bottom of the page. As far as where I get my nuts for seed I have and know of many trees that I use for seed. For those who donít have access to free seed check the grocery store most including Wal-Mart carry them . Give it a try at the very least they wont grow at best you will create a honey hole for yourself

Though not in this article I prefer to heat treat chestnuts before overwintering the procedure is detailed below
As soon as possible after harvest, treat nuts by putting them in 120'F water for 20 minutes. This process
kills the Chestnut Weevil egg/small larvae but does not affect the germinability of the seed. If the temperature is too low
(less than 117'F), the weevil will not be killed. Too hot, and you kill the embryo and, thus, the seed.


Growing Chestnut Trees from Seed
Frederick V. Hebard, Philip A. Rutter

Growing chestnut from seed is easy. If you can germinate one avocado in twenty tries, you will be able to germinate at least fifteen chestnuts. The nuts are relatively big, and seedlings grow fast, so most survive the rigors of their first winter. The six essentials are proper storage before planting, an appropriate potting mix for planting, adequate protection from rodents and deer, no weeds, good fertilization, and watering.

Storing Nuts
Chestnuts may be planted in the fall, as soon as they drop, or stored over winter in a refrigerator.
If freshly husked nuts are wet on the outside, they should be dried at room temperature for no more than 2 to 3 days after harvest. Then they should be placed in moist, but not wet, peat moss in plastic bags or buckets. Moisten dried, milled peat moss with 2 to 3 cups of water to 1 gallon of moss. Numerous holes should be placed in the plastic bag with a toothpick so the nuts can breathe. Each nut should be completely surrounded by peat moss, not touching other nuts or the sides of the bag. The moss keeps the nuts moist and retards spoilage. The bagged nuts can be stored at 32 F (near the top of the refrigerator) for 2 to 3 years. They require 2-3 months of cold before they will germinate.

Planting Nuts Outdoors
Like potted seed, nuts should be planted outdoors 1/2 to 1 inch deep, on their sides. They must be protected from rodents.

Seedbeds. As mentioned above, nuts may be planted outdoors in the fall, right after harvest. The main danger of this method is freeze-killing of nuts during cold winter weather. Chestnuts die at temperatures much below freezing. Fall seed-beds should be covered with 6 to 18 inches of mulch to keep them warm. The covering mulch should be removed in April.

Moist peat moss (see "Storing Nuts" above) or compost are good seedbed soils. You can economize on their use by planting chestnuts in rows spaced 3 to 6 feet apart. Line the bottoms of trenches with an inch or two of moss or compost, lay the nuts 6 to 12 inches apart and cover with a half inch of moss or compost. Cover the moss or compost with soil and pack it down to prevent it from being blown away by wind or heaved by frost. You want the top of the trench to be level with the surrounding soil. To ensure proper aeration, it is necessary to place the seed-bed in well drained soil or to raise it. However raised seedbeds can be vulnerable to freezing, especially along the edges.

Seedbeds can be protected from rodents by fencing them with quarter-inch mesh hardware cloth, sunk 6 to 12 inches into the soil. Hardware cloth also can be laid on top of the beds, but it must be removed before germlings become immeshed in it. Enterprising rodents may still tunnel underneath. If birds raid a seedbed, it must be covered with hard-ware cloth or netting.
Seedlings are generally transplanted from seedbeds after one or two years.

Direct Seeding. At the farm in southern Virginia, we sow most nuts directly at orchard spacing. We will plant more than 2000 nuts next year, and other methods are not feasible with our limited resources, especially if we have to water transplants during pollinating season.
In order to avoid deep winter freezes, we start planting in mid-February. In our climate, there can be significant root development beginning in the latter half of March. Because of those deep roots, seedlings of February-planted nuts that emerge in mid-May can tolerate drought well. We try to plant before March, before nuts germinate, as ungerminated nuts seem to develop better seedlings. But nuts can be planted successfully until mid June.
At Meadowview we plow, disk and fertilize orchards before planting. More details follow.
Watering and Transplanting
It is best to dig a hole at least twice as wide as the root system of the transplant, and to mix 1 part of compost or peat moss with 3 to 4 parts of soil. This promotes healthy roots and reduces watering needs.
Water transplants immediately after setting them. During dry periods, soak the soil around the tree once a week. It is best to keep watering for four years after transplanting. Watering needs vary, of course, with the weather. Soil conditions also influence watering needs.
A 10 by 15 foot spacing of transplants is suitable if space is tight. Wider spacing, such as 10 by 20 or 20 by 20 feet can facilitate artificial pollination when trees mature. Old orchards of Chinese chestnut probably should be spaced at 40 by 40 feet. Frequently, growers will start such orchards at 20 by 20 foot spacing, then thin later to 40 by 40 feet. Doing so increases yields during the early years.

Table 1
Chestnut Potting Mix

Ingredients: peat moss, vermiculite
and perlite. Lime to pH 6.

12 quarts perlite
12 quarts vermiculite
12 quarts ground peat moss
2 ounces (114 cup) lime

Mix well in a wheelbarrow with a shovel.
Sprinkle the lime over the mix to insure even
distribution, and mix well. Moisten with water if
dust is a problem during mixing.

Some more very usefull links full of inormaion
bowhunter2117 is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 03:40 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,879

Thanks for posting that info. I have been looking for a way to kill the weevils both for nuts we eat and those we use for planting. I have ten trees that are bearing and at least another ten that are at various stages and I wish I would have planted more. But, I am still planting more trees even though I might not live long enough to see them bear nuts.

Because we have so many acorns this year the deer and squirrels aren't feeding on the nuts like they do most years. That means I will have a lot of small nuts that I will just stick in the ground this fall and hope that some grow.
bluebird2 is offline  

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