where should I plant a chestnut tree?
I just bought 2 chestnut trees and I'm trying to figure out where on our property to plant them. I don't have a good understanding of how much light or water they need. We have 2 potential spots - both with good morning sunlight, but shaded afternoon/evening light and on spot is wet in the winter and one would be dryer. Both of these areas are relatively near where doug fir has been planted. Is there any concern about planting in and around the doug fir minus any shading problems? How far should I plant it from other fir or fruit trees?
Benton County Oregon
Hello and thank you for using ‘Ask an Expert’. Below is a link from the Center for Agroforestry that talks about planting chestnuts in the backyard up to creating an orchard. Here is some planting information that for chestnut trees. They need loamy soil well drained soil. They are susceptible to getting root rot diseases. Recommended tree spacing between chestnuts varied between sources. Range of 25-40 feet to 40-50 feet apart is recommended. Plant in soil ranging from pH 5.5-6.5. Chestnuts do not tolerate clay soils well, but you may be successful if planting them on a slope that improves drainage. Flowers are sensitive to late spring frosts, so care should be taken not to plant them in a frost pocket. They tolerate light shade but for good nut production you need to plant them in full sun. Planting near a Douglas fir is not the best idea as it will eventually shade the chestnuts. Plant bareroot trees in March and container grown trees in late March or October. Supplemental water is needed especially in August and September for best nut production. Finally, young chestnut tree bark is susceptible to sunscald and should be painted with a 50/50 mixture of white paint to protect it. The American Chestnut tree was all but wiped out by a blight and the most common type of chestnut now available is the Chinese Chestnut. Chinese Chestnut trees nuts have very prickly husks, so my final recommendation is to plant them where the husks will not be encountered by pets or small children. Here is the link I promised, good luck. http://www.centerforagroforestry.org/pubs/chestnut.pdf