Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut)
|Price £ each (ex. VAT)|
Bareroot from November to April
The prices above are offered as a guide and may be subject to fluctuation dependant upon the time of season and supply. We recommend that contact is made with the office for larger orders, a quotation and to check availability Alternatively please contact us to enquire about opening a wholesale account.
Sorry, we are sold out of Sweet Chestnut for the 2012/2013 season.
Often known as the Spanish Chestnut, this tree is thought to have been introduced into Britain from Southern Europe by the Romans. A handsome, fast-growing large tree, it is most often seen as an ornamental in parks and large gardens, but is also coppiced for its young timber which is used for stakes and fences. The large toothed glossy leaves are very striking, and the deeply fissured bark is very distinctive.
Site and soil
The Sweet Chestnut will thrive on any well-drained soil. Late spring and early autumn frosts can affect fruiting.
Height and spread
After 10 years: 8m x 4m
After 20 years: 14m x 8m
Leaf and bark
Oblong, sharply toothed glossy dark green leaves can reach 20cm long. They turn yellow, then brown before leaf fall in autumn. The bark is silvery grey on young trees, becoming deeply fissured with age, assuming a spiralling pattern on mature specimens.
Flower, seed and fruit
The Sweet Chestnut produces clusters of long yellowish catkins between 10-20cm long. The female flowers are at the base of the catkin. The flowers are followed by spiny round seed cases containing 1-2 shiny round nuts.
Parkland, woodland, specimen tree, coppicing. The Sweet Chestnut is also grown as a food crop, the nuts being used in cooking, or sold as roast chestnuts during the winter. The nuts have also been used as animal fodder. The coppiced wood is used for stakes and fencing, and older wood is used in buildings and barrel-making. The leaves were formerly made into a preparation to treat convulsive coughs.
The nuts are eaten by small mammals in autumn.
Sweet Chestnut should be cut back over winter for coppicing every 10-12 years.