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Castanea sativa

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Tree

Habit

Spreading / Branched

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Pale Yellow in Summer

Fruit

Brown in Spring and Summer
Brown and Green in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

Higher than 12 metres

Ultimate spread

wider than 8 metres

Time to ultimate height

20-50 years


Preferred common name

sweet chestnut

Family

Fagaceae


Castanea are fast-growing and large deciduous trees or large shrubs, with long, toothed leaves and conspicuous yellow catkins followed by spiny fruits

C. sativa is a large vigorous deciduous tree with rugged, grooved bark and glossy, serrate, oblong-lanceolate leaves to 20cm in length. Male catkins to 15cm in length, yellowish, followed by spiny fruits containing edible nuts

Other common names

  • common chestnut
  • Eurasian chestnut
  • European chestnut
  • Sardian nut
  • Spanish chestnut

Synonym(s)

  • Castanea vesca
  • Castanea vulgaris

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • North-facing, East-facing, South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in full sun

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Acid or Neutral
  • Loam or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed or grafting

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Drought Resistant or Architectural


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

A canker caused by Phytophthora and a leaf spot can be a problem. Susceptible to Chestnut blight.