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2023 Mast Crop

Old 09-18-2023, 03:26 PM
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Fork Horn
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Default 2023 Mast Crop

Seems to be a better than normal year for acorns, etc. I went for a walk today and started thinking I should have been wearing a hard hat. The chestnut oak acorns were falling like crazy. Almost all of the pin oaks and red oaks have good crops as well. My one and only surviving American chestnut also had a pretty good crop of nuts. The are also lots of wild cherries this year. In some places the ground is nearly black with cherries. I've also found a few beachnuts and hickory nuts and two of the apples trees in my orchard are loaded.

On the downside I had only one pear and a handful of peaches and there doesn't seem to be any wild grapes.

Here's a photo of some of the chestnut oak acorns I picked up today as well as two bags of real chestnuts.
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Old 09-19-2023, 03:25 AM
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WOW! I would love to have a few chestnuts to try and grow. There’s very few chestnut trees left now..
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Old 01-01-2024, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil from Maine
WOW! I would love to have a few chestnuts to try and grow. There’s very few chestnut trees left now..
Phil. chestnut oaks are not chestnut trees, they are oak trees. For you info the University of New England and another University in NY state are working to restore the American chestnit tree in the US. A friend of mine is working with the university and my sportsman's club has about 7 trees that have been cross polinated with pollen from native chestnut trees that survived the blight and there are a grove of thes trees on a property that are abot 10 inches or more in diameter. The nuts from these trees and others around the countey are planted and the trees that gro are cross polinated back and forth until they have what can be considered an American chestnut tree. From what I have read they are almost to that point.
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Old 01-01-2024, 06:57 AM
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lots of american chestnut sprouts here, they get 4-10" in diameter, then die from blight. there are however a few trees that get to 20". We now think they are gradually developing immunity, but it must happen soon. the sprouts are coming up from root stock that has been in the ground over 100 years and will die soon. The blight cannot kill the roots due to a competing organism that will kill the blight as it goes below the surface.
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Old 01-01-2024, 07:18 AM
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Do those get big enough to produce chestnuts or do they die before they're producing any feed?

-Jake
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Old 01-01-2024, 07:53 AM
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I had a bunch of root sprout American chestnut trees on my state game lands in Lancaster Co. some were as big as 8 inch diameter, they produced chestnuts until they eventually died and then more sprouts would start and take their place. Most of the trees would grow along the dirt service roads. I would pick a few off the ground each year and take them home and roast them, the rest I left for the squirrels and the hope that some might sprout and make it. One year the PGC was task hiring a bunch of dim bulbs who had probably never been in the woods to do some daylighting along the service road, their foreman was supposed to have been an outdoors man. Two days after they were on the game lands I went up to patrol and every one of those trees that were producint chestnuts were cut down. I was so ticked off when I saw it I called my regional office and raised you know what. It was too late to do anything about the damage but at least after the Land management supervisor found out I was assuded it would not happen again.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 01-01-2024 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-01-2024, 08:15 AM
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Jake,
some do, but not many and not many years. Have not been to where they were abundant for many years but see a couple blooming along mountain roads every year but as they approach 8-10" in diameter signs of blight become evident. Once you see signs of blight, the tree is stressed and fruit becomes less and less with the passing of time till the tree dies. You should see them in pa as well, they were once the main mast crop in the eastern US.
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Old 01-01-2024, 09:49 AM
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Admittedly, I don't know trees. A major weakness in my outdoor knowledge.

We used to pickup and cook chestnuts from my uncle's farm. But I'm sure they were not the native ones.

-Jake
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Old 02-01-2024, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil from Maine
WOW! I would love to have a few chestnuts to try and grow. There’s very few chestnut trees left now..
I've tried planting American chestnuts from that same tree but so far no luck. It's been producing nuts for as long as I've owned this property which is about 11 1/2 years. There was another tree on the neighbor's property about 100 yards from my tree but it died about 5 years ago.

However, I have planted about 30 Chinese/American hybrid chestnut seedlings that I bought from Native Nurseries (Mossy Oak). So far none of those are big enough yet to produce any fruit.
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