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2 Posts
June 29, 2020 - 12:57 pm

Hello, this is my first post here, hopefully I found the right place. [Image Can Not Be Found]

I am propagating a few hundred seedling chestnuts, seeds gathered from trees planted and hybridized by Luther Burbank in Sebastopol, CA. Out of those seedlings, all of which are around eight months old, one of them is in the midst of flowering and has even set a young fruit. Being relatively new to seedling chestnut propagation, I am curious if anyone else out there has heard of or had a similar experience, or is this an anomaly? I can't think of another fruit or nut tree that would begin flowering in under a year from seed. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. See photo attached. 

Jackson County, OR (Zone 7b/8a)
34 Posts
June 30, 2020 - 3:52 pm

I am also a newbie to propagating chestnuts from seed so I don't know the answer to this question but I am excited to find out! I wonder if it will continue to flower every season from here on out? Out of the dozens of seedlings I have in their 2nd and 3rd season none have flowered, as expected. (from multiple sources, american, chinese and european as well as hybrids)

Vancouver SW Washington
684 Posts
June 30, 2020 - 6:57 pm

I googled around using the string "chestnut precocious" and the highest referenced link was google books. Which in itself landed on several pages in the midst of the book that discussed the Burbank hybrids and -that these (yours) are indeed selected for precocious bearing. 

I also read upon several chestnut patents. A few clones starting with "AU" in the name are trees of chestnuts granted for farm or wildlife animal feed. 

I think the idea of farming chestnuts around homes sounds great too so Keep going! The interest around Portland should be great as they grow so well here. By reading all the various forms that resulted from what you gained from Burbank ended up with (and now you) were described as some bushy forms and still large fruits. Precocious is a good start but will they taste good too(?). It's just amazing to learn all of what Burbank did when gorilla grafting too save space.

If what your doing is disclosure, which is the first step to a future patent  possibility then maybe it's a good idea to say so but keep your trees' location secret. Then it would also become easy for a patent team to follow your updates of these disclosures, a few times, like maybe a couple per year. The patents are accurately written documents describing how easy to propagate, how stable the invention is after grafting, and on and onto every last detail of the tree shape and fruits. I mean HOS can start a new 3rd subject on "patent work" if the organization wanted to.

2 Posts
July 2, 2020 - 9:55 am

Rooney, very interesting notes. Thanks! I'll do another more extensive round of seed propagation this year from the same Burbank hybrid chestnuts. In the meantime I'll definitely follow up on your leads regarding precocious / early bearing chestnut seedlings. I believe chestnuts have huge potential as a alternative / replacement crop for monoculture grains. Based on everything I've seen and read, they provide a similar nutritional profile as corn and others, similar per acre production, and best of all you can plant them once and they'll live for hundreds of years. This seems like a great forum. I'll keep you posted with updates. 

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