Before 1900 American chestnut was one of the most important deciduous trees in the eastern U.S. The arrow-straight rot-resistant wood was used for everything from mine timbers to musical instruments. Delicious sweet nuts were an important food for wildlife and humans.
Chestnut blight, an Asian fungus Cryphonectria parasitica, showed up in Brooklyn in 1904; within 50 years it killed virtually every chestnut tree in the eastern U.S. The blight does not kill the roots however, and rare stands of mature trees can still be found.
In July 2015, the tallest American chestnut in North America was discovered right here in Maine by researchers who spotted the profuse white blossoms from the air.
The trees we offer are not immune but are likely to thrive in a suitable site for 10-30 years without blight. Fast growing and straight trunked with a wide-branching magnificent rounded crown. Fragrant white blooms in July. Ribbed sharp-toothed lustrous dark green foliage. Yellow fall color.
Prefers loamy well-drained acidic soil and full sun. Two or more needed for pollination but will cross-pollinate with Asian, European and hybrid chestnuts. Precocious, bearing heavy crops of nuts in 10 years. From each American chestnut purchase, Fedco will donate $3 to support the American Chestnut Foundation Maine Chapter's traditional breeding program. Z4. Maine Grown. (1-3' bare-root trees)
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