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Italian Chestnut Tree

 
                  
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My name is Brian and I am New Haven, CT.  My parents have an Italian Chestnut tree on their property.  It is in danger of being cut down and I would love to prevent it.  The tree is healthy and produces very well.  The squirrels are winning the battles most of the time, but when we get them, they taste fantastic.

Any advice would be welcome, especially if someone would be willing to take the tree.

Brian
 
Dave Bennett
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How big is it?  Moving a very large tree is extremely difficult but taking some of it to graft is a possibility.
 
                  
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The tree is fully grown.  Probably 20 feet tall and spans about 25 feet.  It's a great shade tree.  Never really thought about grafting.  Contact me if you know anybody who wants it - or a piece.
 
Jordan Lowery
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start growing the nuts if you cant save the parent tree. just know that the one tree could potentially become hundreds with your help.
 
Dave Bennett
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I will contact some "farmer" friends in the Hudson Valley.  I am in Va. and too far away but I grew up in the Catskills and have lots of "old hippie" friends that have been farming off the grid since the early 70's.  Can you imagine a 20ft. diameter root ball?  Holy crap!  Moving that entire tree would be difficult but I am pretty sure it can be grafted to Oak root stock.
 
                  
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Thanks for the great advice and help.  Look forward to hearing from ya'll soon.
 
Brenda Groth
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if you send me some viable nuts I'll plant them, we are about the same zone ..PM me for address if you want to send me some nuts to plant.
 
Dave Bennett
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I would like a few viable nuts too.
 
maikeru sumi-e
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Would you be willing to send a few nuts my way if I paid for postage?
 
Dave Bennett
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I can see it now........

Beneath the spreading Chestnut
this "old smithy" stands
A smith that once was mighty
with large and sinewy hands
though the muscles of once mighty arms
are now but rubber bands.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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How imminent is the danger of it being cut down?  Because it will be fall before the nuts are ripe, and they need to be planted very soon after they fall from the tree, before they dry out.  (Or get worms in them.) 

Over on the Oregon Coast where my family comes from, there are several OLD European Chestnuts.  My grandmother, who just died at the age of 97 (born in 1913), said the two parent trees were old when she was a little girl, so she had no idea who had planted them.  The area was settled (by whites) in the 1860's and 1870's, and she thought those two trees were older than that!  Anyway, when we moved over here, there had just been a really good crop of chestnuts from those trees, so I planted some nuts in pots and brought them over here.  Some survived for a couple of years (our winters are much harsher than at the Coast), but I doubt that they would have ever produced nuts here.

If that tree does get cut down, I hope someone is going to use the wood for something other than firewood!

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
How imminent is the danger of it being cut down?  Because it will be fall before the nuts are ripe, and they need to be planted very soon after they fall from the tree, before they dry out.  (Or get worms in them.) 

Over on the Oregon Coast where my family comes from, there are several OLD European Chestnuts.  My grandmother, who just died at the age of 97 (born in 1913), said the two parent trees were old when she was a little girl, so she had no idea who had planted them.  The area was settled (by whites) in the 1860's and 1870's, and she thought those two trees were older than that!  Anyway, when we moved over here, there had just been a really good crop of chestnuts from those trees, so I planted some nuts in pots and brought them over here.  Some survived for a couple of years (our winters are much harsher than at the Coast), but I doubt that they would have ever produced nuts here.

If that tree does get cut down, I hope someone is going to use the wood for something other than firewood!

Kathleen
That tells me that Italian chestnut trees aren't as hardy as American Chestnut trees before the blight kill almost all of them.  Connecticut get pretty cold winter although being so close to the coast they do have the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Yes, I'm pretty sure that the American Chestnut was a lot hardier than the European ones.  The Chinese Chestnut is hardier than the European, I think, but not as hardy as the American (nor does it have as good flavor).

I like the European Chestnuts, though.  They are good eating.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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I remember visiting relatives in New York City when I was a youngster in the early 50's and eating lots of roasted chestnuts from street vendors.
 
Burra Maluca
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Every village in Portugal has a 'Castanhas and Jeropiga' session in November or thereabouts, courtesy the local council.  This photo is from my village last year.



'Castanhas' are chestnuts, and 'jeropiga' is the local fortified wine, a bit like Port, generally served from used two litre plastic water bottles as far as I can tell.  The coca cola and orange stuff was because my son isn't 16 yet so isn't officially allowed the jeropiga.  For the bigger villages, the chestnuts are cooked in the village square using fires lit on the cobble stones, but last year our village had shrunk enough to make it not really worthwhile and the chestnuts were delivered ready-cooked in that giant lidded saucepan thing.

The little building they are gathered in front of is the community oven, complete with official notice board, and the other building is part of the village olive press.

Just thought I'd share...
 
Dave Bennett
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I want to live in Portugal.
 
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