We tend to overlook the Native American Chestnut tree, which at one point proved to be one of the most important sources of industry in the US. Before the onset of the devastating chestnut blight that destroyed most of the chestnut tree population during the great depression, the American chestnut was a very common and much loved tree throughout the east. Grown for food and harvested for ideal, rot resistant lumber, the chestnut shouldered economies in the east for hundreds of years. Today, we have blight resistant chestnut trees, and the wild chestnut population is resurging and restoring its rightful place in the American east’s deciduous forests.
Chestnut trees have the same appeal as they did two hundred years ago. They are still a great producer of healthy, sweet tasting nuts in abundance. Producing well very early in life, they are also a very economic choice as a crop. The American chestnut was a staple food source of Native Americans and settlers, and is still a popular food source around the world. America is the only country in the world without a thriving chestnut industry, importing thousands of pounds of chestnuts each year.
In American fields and forests, chestnuts are still relied upon. One of the most common uses of this great tree includes food plots for hunting opportunities. American wildlife once relied on the chestnut as a significant source of food. Deer, pheasants, and squirrels for example relish chestnuts. While native oaks have been typically relied upon for food plotting, the chestnut has been proven to be a better alternative to oaks for this purpose. Deer most notably, prefer the chestnut to acorns and therefore make plotting with chestnuts a better value than acorns when targeting deer.
For humans, chestnuts are an extremely healthy food source. Specifically, our Fast Growing Chestnut Tree produces nuts that are sweet and abundant, perfect for roasting and enjoying whole or in recipes. Chestnuts are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain minerals and antioxidants that are hard to get from most other foods. These vitamins and minerals help improve brain function and reduce the risk of diseases of the connective tissues. They also have anti-aging properties.
In the landscape, Celestial chestnuts are highly ornamental and desirable. They have great shape and form, unusual leaf structure adding interest, and the nuts that form are interesting and fun to collect when it’s time to harvest. The bark on chestnut trees is often very interesting as well. Chestnuts are also hardy and happy in most growing conditions making them easy choices even in difficult to grow spots.
If you’re looking for a tree that is as close to ideal as you can get, try the amazing Celestial Chestnut Tree. With a wonderful history, this tree is sure to become close to your heart as it has for people throughout history.