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bill_fleet42

So what's the deal with Dunstan Chestnuts?

Bill Fleet
4 months ago

I have to remove some half dead trees from my front yard, leaving a bit of open space. I'm feeling the urge to experiment with adding Chestnuts, and I keep hearing glowing reviews of the Dunstan hybrids. Then again, I hear that they are not the 'true American hybrid' they claim to be, and I suspect I am being hyped at.


I live in the Charlotte NC area, and the soil here is rich and well drained. I'm in zone 7B, with warm humid summers and occasional cold winters. Everything grows well here, and that includes every kind of fungus and blight one can think of. I've lost all my peaches and plums over the last decade to various rots. I'm taking out the last of the cherries and damsons, and what's left of the apples.


On the other hand, I have two Kieffer pears that gave me 12 bushels of pears this year, the figs are doing splendidly (Several hundred so far this year), and once I figured out how to hand-pollinate them, the paw paws are bearing nicely. So some things do very well here, provided they are resistant to most fungi.


So should I care about getting an Americanized chestnut like the Dunstan, or just fling up my hands and go with a Chinese-ish hybrid, provided they have large, sweet nuts and good resistance? A neighbor down the street from me had a number of very prolific Chinese chestnuts, but he took them out because he didn't want to deal with all the hulls, nuts and wildlife attacking his yard.


Also, where is a good place to buy these? Several heavily promoted nurseries for these varieties promise much, but have mixed reputations, to the point where I wonder if they are buying their good reviews.


I know, I ask too many questions. :P

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