Shrub species of chestnut found throughout eastern North America from Florida to Maine. Chinquapin is rarely cultivated to any extent partly due to propagation issues with the highly perishable seeds but also the tiny nuts which are a fraction of the size of a Chinese chestnut. This species flowers earlier than other chestnuts so make sure you have two chinquapins for fruit set as it does not cross with other chestnuts. Ours are grown from seeds from our planting in pots and are well rooted.The shrub is quite vigorous and will grow 18 inches per year.
Another great aspect of this shrub is its low height reaching only 5-10 ft. and with the small acorn shaped nuts stick on the outside of the husk making harvesting very easy as they fall off into your hand. The sweet nuts ripen in late August and begin producing on small trees usually 2-4 years after planting. There is some interest about commercializing this species and growing it like hazelnuts in orchards. Our strain originally came from an Ohio grower. Although not blight immune these shrubs are resistant enough to produce nuts in spite of the blight. Older trunks will fade with time but new sprouts constantly supply you with future branches for nut production. Productive branches will grow and produce up to 15 years at our farm. We have had very good production here in southern Michigan. They are not practical to husk so we just chew them up like non-shelled sunflower seeds and then spit out the outer husk. No shipment to CA, OR, WA.
|Genus & Species||Castanea pumila|