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Why no nuts at the fruit show?
312 Posts
March 28, 2019 - 11:11 pm

I'm curious why there are never any nuts to taste at the fruit show.  I would like to start doing some chestnut grafting, but I would like to peel and taste the roasted nuts first.

I forage a lot of chestnuts, and have found that their flavors and other characteristics vary greatly.

Vancouver SW Washington
686 Posts
March 30, 2019 - 1:13 pm

When I planned my landscape I wanted a chestnut tree but opted for a turkish tree hazel instead. The reason was because I found out there are delayed grafting compatibilities with chestnuts. To avoid the chances of grafts failing over time you need to select the offsprings from the mother cultivar. Turkish tree hazel also has been reported a similar problem when converting to hazelnuts. But Peter Svenith had hazelnuts that were grafted as such in tree hazels on Vashon Island that were still very good and producing well as of 25 years ago. So you probably can't believe everthing you read from books. And I opted to not graft hazels due to the amounts of tree rats (squirrels) around here.

I hope somebody has an opinion to help you discover better chestnuts.

John S
2593 Posts
April 4, 2019 - 11:19 pm

You don't have to buy filberts.  Squirrels will plant them for you, but then they want the nuts. They don't purchase the property or pay taxes. 

I have read that walnuts are very hard to graft. 

I don't grow chestnuts because I don't have acreage, but I have heard that the PNW is a great place to grow them. 

John S

84 Posts
October 30, 2019 - 2:37 pm

I like trees a lot, but I sometimes find that I lack space.

A few years ago, I gave away a couple of "Colossal" Chestnut trees. 

Within just a few years, the trees were bursting with fruit.  Drat.

In my neighborhood, squirrels abound.  They gorge on my fruit trees, and they steal apples off of my front porch when times get tough.  In fact, when my stored apples lose their mojo, I put them out on the porch, to be purloined.

Once upon a time, my neighbor's Walnut trees, dropped large annual loads of walnuts onto the street.   Those times are long past.  Nowadays, ripe walnuts never hit the ground.  Squirrels poach them half-ripe, and only chips fall from the trees.

So, there it is!  If you want to eat your own walnuts, you may have to isolate your trees, to keep the squirrels out.

Given the opportunity, the tree rats will eat every single one.

Oh, yeah.  I'm in Portland, Oregon.

Clark County, WA
519 Posts
November 7, 2019 - 7:02 am

With chestnuts, you need at least two trees, about 25 to 50 feet apart, different cultivars or seedlings.  Otherwise you get husks containing no nuts.

They do grow large, like a maple tree.

Grafted ones bear several years earlier than seedlings.  I got tastes from two of mine two years after planting, one is yet to bear but had male flowers in its third year.  The others had male flowers the year before any female flowers, so maybe that one will produce a couple of nuts next year.   I also have a seedling, no flowers in its third year.  I read seedlings can take six or eight years to start bearing.  You have to read the fine print - sometimes they state the cultivar name but it's a seedling from that cultivar.  Also, some are pollen sterile.  You don't want that because that means the other won't have nuts.  I plant too many trees so no more chestnuts.  No one knows about the acorns I planted, yet.

I think Euro chestnuts have better flavor than Chinese chestnuts but Euro have smaller nuts.  Mine are EuroxJapanese chestnut hybrids from France, Marigoule, Marivale, and Precose Migoule.   I have a seedling from Marrisard which was a mistake, I really meant to get a grafted tree.

Seedlings take much longer to bear than grafted trees.  


I think Chinese chestnuts are not as large a tree as European, the nuts are larger, but I think European have better flavor.

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