Chestnut trees wasting my time?

Asked June 8, 2020, 9:03 AM EDT

We’ve been here 1 yr. previous owner planted 50 chestnut trees 3 yrs ago. I guess they all froze down to rootstock. Last year, I cleared area and applied mulch. They looked pretty good but again froze down to rootstock. I know I’m not growing the grafted variety it says, but it would be nice to have some trees in the field. My question is- am I wasting my time? I’m pruning each plant back to one good sprout. Is there anything else I can do to get them to grow into nice trees?

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

Hello. Since you have experienced the trees dying back all the way to the ground 2 seasons in a row it is doubtful they will become trees. Unless you know these plants are hardy in MI you will likely experience the same pattern each year. Also, if the rootstock has multiple sprouts that will likely continue each year. So you may not have the trees you are hoping for but possibly large shrubs. That looks like it was quite a planting project. If you leave them and observe what happens the next few years as they mature please take the white plastic off the stems so it doesn’t hinder stem growth.