I am looking for guilding ideas for Chestnuts in SE Michigan. We are in zone 5b with sandy to sandy loam soil. I haven't tested PH yet, but I assume we are slightly acidic given the natural growth. I intended to use goumi berry and black locust for nitrogen fixing, but other than that I am at a lost for ideas. If anyone knows of items important to ensuring success of these trees, I would greatly appreciate it.
If you have Gaia's Garden, you might want to review his sample guilds. He specifically mentions the possibility of replacing an Oak in a guild with a Chestnut because the trees are in the same family of plants. Looking at what he chose there it was smaller fruiting trees, shrubs and hazelnuts.
Also following that reasoning, you might be able to find existing gardens or plant communities under local oaks to look to for suggestions. Are there any wild foods that are common in your local woods? Even if it's barely palatable, there's probably a domesticated relative that would make a good alternative.