November 16, 2020
Nice job on the graft. I will be grafting quite a few next year for a project and intend to use whip and tongue. Have you tried chip budding, I was curious if that worked.
A great resource for information on PNW Chestnuts is Washington Chestnut Company: Washington Chestnut Company Cultivars Page. They have info on all the major cultivars and extensive info on cold hardiness, pollination, soil, irrigation, etc. One caution for backyard growers is that Colossal and Bouche de Betizac (the most common commercial varieties) are both pollen sterile.
While there may be individuals with chestnut blight in the pnw or it may have been here in the past, I don't think the disease does well here and there are many old true American chestnuts that are blight free. You can grow pure European varieties (no blight resistance) without issue. Most varieties will be some hybrid between European and Japanese with moderate blight resistant. The midwest also grows a lot of Chinese Chestnuts which are very blight resistant.
I think they are really tasty, although a bit of a chore to prepare. I like to cut a big slash in them, boil them for just a minute then roast them on my bbq. They also have a lot of potential as a livestock feed overstory for a silvopasture type animal system. They have no fat and are more close to a whole grain in composition. Tree grains, sounds like something our planet could use!
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