Chestnut Trees Garden Guide

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Chestnut Trees Care At A Glance

Chestnut Trees Care At A Glance

  • Trees grow to an average size of 25 to 30 ft. high & wide.
  • Chestnuts are rated for planting in USDA zones 4-8.
  • Chestnuts require proper cross-pollination to produce fruit.
  • Reach maturity to bear in 3-5 years from planting.
  • Nut trees grow a tap root, which requires well-drained, organically rich & deep soils.

Planting Instructions

  • Follow the same planting instructions, as you would for other bareroot trees.
  • Amend existing soil appropriately with organic material to help improve drainage.
  • NOTE: Proper drainage is critical for fruit-bearing trees to do well long-term. Do not use potting soil.

  • Soak roots for 8-24 hrs. prior to planting.
  • NOTE: While the graft must stay above the natural soil grade, nut trees should be planted in shallow basins to help hold water and to collect beneficial rainfall when it occurs.

  • Tip prune the top of the main leader by 1/3 to 1/2, immediately after planting.
    • With clean pruners, cut at a slight angle, just above a visible bud.
  • New nut trees should get 2 inches of water per week for the first growing season.
    • 2 inches of water equates to about 5-7 gallons every 2-3 days.
    • Remove competitive grass & weeds to form a 3-4 ft. tree well and add 2-3 in. of compost or mulch.
  • Cage or wrap tree trunks to prevent predation from deer or rodents.
  • NOTE: DO NOT rely solely on rain events to provide enough moisture to newly planted trees.

Chinese Chestnut

  • Trees have moderate growth, to 30 ft. or more in ideal conditions.
  • They mature to bearing age in approx. 4-5 years from planting.
  • Plant in pairs of two for proper cross-pollination.
  • Chinese chestnuts have high resistance to chestnut blight.

'Colossal' Chestnut

  • Trees should be maintained at 20 to 25 ft. for nut production.
  • 'Colossal' flowers are self-sterile. Plant with other Chinese chestnut cultivars for cross-pollination.
  • 'Colossal' produces good quantities of med. to large nuts that have a sweet flavor when cured.
  • Trees reach bearing age 5-7 years from planting.


While chestnut trees require little to no pruning, any needed pruning is best done while trees are dormant in late winter to early spring. Follow basic fruit tree pruning techniques.


Light fertilizing can be done with balanced 10-10-10 all-purpose food starting the second season in the ground. Apply once annually in early spring. Just like other fruit-bearing trees, too much nitrogen fertilizer can inhibit flower production.