Cross pollination

Asked October 27, 2017, 2:28 PM EDT

Can edible chestnuts be planted in close proximity to non edible chestnuts? Will they cross pollinate and spoil the edible variety?

Michigan nut trees

1 Response

Hi There,

I am not aware on any inedible chestnuts. If you are talking about Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) it is in the soapberry and lychee family Sapindaceae and not the Fagaeae family as true chestnuts are. In fact they are not even related in any significant way.

Horse chestnut (not true chestnuts) pollination and flower fertilizations takes place in the spring, true chestnuts shed pollen and are receptive in the summer, so in addition to cross species pollen incompatibility they are not receptive at the same time.

You can read more here http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/whats_the_difference_between_horse_chestnuts_and_sweet_chestnuts

Please contact me directly to follow up if you have more questions at taylo548@msu.edu