Why plant Audubon® Native American Chestnut Treeling?
The majestic American Chestnut was once the dominant tree of our eastern forests. It provided food to wildlife in the form of chestnut crops so abundant, they could cover the forest floor a foot deep. In addition, the foliage hosts over 130 species of moth and butterfly caterpillars, providing essential protein to songbirds. In 1904, an imported blight fungus began destroying the vast majority of Chestnut Trees in this country. But not all! Survivors remain. You can grow a seedling from one of these survivors, and be a part of the effort to bring this noble native back to its former glory!
In the early days of the United States, millions of American Chestnut Trees grew across the land, from Michigan to Maine and south to Mississippi and northwestern Florida. The largest specimens were over 100 feet tall and had trunks 12 feet thick. The durable wood supplied people with the material to make furniture, railway ties, and utility poles. Then, in 1904, a deadly Chestnut blight from China appeared at the Bronx Zoo. By the time Nat King Cole was singing about roasting chestnuts in 1946, most of the country’s Chestnut Trees had fallen victim. We offer seedlings from mature, surviving Chestnut Trees in northwestern Illinois in an effort to help get this glorious species reestablished!
How to use Audubon® Native American Chestnut Treeling in the landscape?
As spring slips into summer, American Chestnut opens its showy blooms, which look like fuzzy, creamy-white ropes. They give off a musky-sweet fragrance that some people like and others don’t. If another seedling is nearby to cross pollinate the flowers, prickly fruits will form, with sweet-tasting chestnuts inside.
Hardiness Zone: 5-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native American Chestnut Treeling
American Chestnut appreciates good, rich, moist, well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine. Chestnuts are encased in prickly, sea urchin–like pods, so you’ll want to keep this tree away from patios, pools, sidewalks, and other places where bare feet may wander. In rural areas, semi-wild spaces are ideal, as local wildlife like turkeys, jays, and grouse will love to share in the bounty. Before planting, check with your local extension office about the presence of Chestnut blight in your area and the feasibility of planting Chestnuts on your property.
How To Water
Water twice weekly for the first 3-5 weeks; then water weekly for the remainder of the year until winter. When you water, water very slowly and very thoroughly. The water needs to reach to the bottom of the root ball and that takes time. Watering needs may be altered due to extreme weather conditions.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant Food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant Food granular form on an annual basis each fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.
How To Prune
If needed, pruning on the American Chestnut should be completed in late winter.
We did not receive any chestnut tree.
We are so sorry about the crop failure on our American Chestnuts! We, as well as our grower, understand the importance and relevance of the American Chestnut and we are working diligently to bring it back into American Landscapes! They hope to have a fresh and thriving crop available for us next year :) Your refund was processed, so if there are any issues there, please don't hesitate to let us know! Also, if you ever have any questions about the Honeylocust you received, just let us know!
- Bower & Branch Plant Whisperers
Hopefully they live !!!
Hi Linda -- thank you for your review! We want you to know that our Audubon® Native American Chestnut Treelings are grown from seeds that were collected from mature American Chestnuts that show improved resistance to Chestnut Blight. Our Grower of these classic native trees is working diligently to bring these beauties back to the American landscape! If you ever have any questions for us, please don't hesitate to ask!
- Bower & Branch Plant Whisperers