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tahir

Sprouting chestnuts

I have some of last year's chestnuts in a plastic bag in the fridge, these appear to be germinating. Earlier in the year I would have potted them up and grown them on, but is there any point now? Will they last till next spring?
gz

This might be worth a read...
http://magnonsmeanderings.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/marsol-success.html
Mistress Rose

It might be worth trying some of them if you can keep them somewhere frost free. If you plant some and keep some, with any luck you may get a few survivors to grow on.
tahir

It might be worth trying some of them if you can keep them somewhere frost free. If you plant some and keep some, with any luck you may get a few survivors to grow on.


Just worried that if they start into growth now there's not enough time for them to get some energy into their roots before leaf fall.

What do you think?

When I say germinating it's only the shortest skinniest tips of shoots yet.
tahir

This might be worth a read...
http://magnonsmeanderings.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/marsol-success.html


Thanks gz but they seem at least as clueless as me Smile
gz

I think the point of other varieties needing grafting may be relevant ? Nick

It might be worth trying some of them if you can keep them somewhere frost free. If you plant some and keep some, with any luck you may get a few survivors to grow on.

Just worried that if they start into growth now there's not enough time for them to get some energy into their roots before leaf fall.

What do you think?

When I say germinating it's only the shortest skinniest tips of shoots yet.

Some pots, some mud, 5 minutes of your life. What have you go to lose? Could have done it by now. Slacker.
tahir

I think the point of other varieties needing grafting may be relevant ?

Dunno, can't see why that would be the case. Named cultivars are usually propagated by root layering and species plants are either from seed or layered.

Grafting may happen in the USA where they have huge issues with a disease that has almost wiped out their native species, but not sure.
tahir

Some pots, some mud, 5 minutes of your life. What have you go to lose? Could have done it by now. Slacker.

Which 5 minutes? Come to think of it I could have done that while I was texting some slacker the other night...
Mistress Rose

That's why I suggested only sowing some of them. If they survive, great; you always have some in the fridge that might last through the winter if you haven't. Jam Lady

Not all seeds - tree or otherwise - produce root growth and shoot growth simultaneously. Root growth in the fall, shoot growth the following Spring is not uncommon.

Chestnuts apparently need a minimum 3 month stratification in slightly damp peat moss at refrigerator temperatures before germinating. After - as in your case - the roots are beginning to emerge they can then be potted up. After which they can remain in refrigerator temperatures and brought out in May.

Use something like a waxed cardboard milk carton or large metal can (I have used the ones from tomato juice) with both ends cut out to encourage roots to go down rather than wide. Close bottom with newspaper to keep soil from falling out. Check periodically, dampen as needed to avoid dry soil / root damage.

American chestnuts are a different species to the European edible chestnuts used for cooking. Ours were major component of forests. Delicious food for people, also mast for a wide range of wildlife. Excellent rot-resistant lumber. But had no resistance to a blight that came in from abroad.
gray_b

Chestnut blight—a devastating disease of the American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) that in the early 1900s nearly wiped out all of the population in the US. But it also affects the European Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa). But as with our ash dieback there are a number of resistant strains.

In my experience freshly harvested nuts can be sown directly into pots if they are kept in the greenhouse, and they shoot no problem. Watch out for mice. If the seeds are dried, as you go further into the year, they will not germinate. The fact that some are growing now (autumn) normally means they have been kept dampish and in the cool. Unless you can keep them in a greenhouse over the winter, they will die, as the stem will not have hardened.

The other thing to watch out for, is that any new leaves produced must be shaded from the sun, as you will get leaf burn.

If any one interested in different grafting methods of sweet chestnuts have a check at my blog at http://www.gb-online.co.uk/gb-wordpress/?p=1425
Mistress Rose

Although not a major problem yet, chestnut gall wasp has been found in several woods in Kent. In spite of attempts to eradicate it, it seems to be spreading a bit, so a potential problem for the future I am afraid.
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