I'm in zone 6. I've been trying to do an edible hedge type gardening system using some permaculture principles. I'd like to try my hand at Allegheny chinquapin ( Castanea pumila) , but information on backyard culture is scarce.
The main question I have is are they worth growing? I've read accounts of people getting bountiful heaps of sweet-tasting, easily shelled nuts from them, and others saying they don't produce well at all.
Old post but here goes. I grow them, got 2 trees. One produces lots of nuts, other one is younger. I highly recommend them, even better, grow butternuts. Butternuts taste wonderful, but beware them thorns.
They aren't hard to find in the ozarks, they are distinct once you know what they look like.
In Stamet's book Mycelium Running, there is an interesting account of the Chaga fungus being used to innoculate the American Chestnut against the blight. If you search inside the book on google books this can be read. If you read this and have more questions, post them here and PM me. I've been reading a bit about this lately and have gathered some seed that are not resistant. I can also point you to where to find wild, unresistant germplasm. All in all, its a good idea to get some seeds from the foundation mentioned above. Its worth noting they are the size of acorns and are a smaller tree so they will have a slightly different niche compared to a larger chestnut imo.
I have them going in little pots in my basement. I can second what those links said about keeping the soil somewhat on the dry side. I had a pot that held water and the chinquapin's hated it. I purchased my seeds from empire chestnut. They were about $15. You'll need to wait until the fall to get more. When I received mine they were already sprouting. Kind of interesting that they don't wait until spring to get going. I've been wondering when I should start moving them outside.