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Dunstan Chestnuts
Habitat Improvement
Messages posted to thread:
8YEW<|{|/\|@~ 28-Feb-15
cityhunter 28-Feb-15
CAS_HNTR 28-Feb-15
CAS_HNTR 28-Feb-15
CAS_HNTR 28-Feb-15
t-roy 28-Feb-15
t-roy 28-Feb-15
cityhunter 01-Mar-15
Boothill 01-Mar-15
lewis 01-Mar-15
BUCKeye 01-Mar-15
Boothill 01-Mar-15
JimG 01-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 01-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 01-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 01-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 01-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 01-Mar-15
Smtn10PT 02-Mar-15
cityhunter 02-Mar-15
lewis 02-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 02-Mar-15
t-roy 02-Mar-15
cityhunter 02-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 02-Mar-15
JimG 02-Mar-15
CAS_HNTR 03-Mar-15
wvbowbender 24-May-15
t-roy 24-May-15
nchunter 24-May-15
cityhunter 25-May-15
gobbler 25-May-15
CAS_HNTR 25-May-15
CAS_HNTR 25-May-15
turkulese 25-May-15
cityhunter 26-May-15
elkstabber 27-May-15
tonyo6302 27-May-15
r-man 27-May-15
cityhunter 28-May-15
t-roy 28-May-15
tonyo6302 28-May-15
r-man 28-May-15
jdrdeerslayer 29-May-15
brian e 14-Jun-15
r-man 15-Jun-15
Rayzor 16-Jun-15
turkulese 17-Jun-15
r-man 17-Jun-15
CAS_HNTR 17-Jun-15
r-man 17-Jun-15
CAS_HNTR 17-Jun-15
cityhunter 17-Jun-15
Rayzor 17-Jun-15
lewis 17-Jun-15
CAS_HNTR 19-Jun-15
wvbowbender 23-Jun-15
Active Shooter 24-Jun-15
swiggy 24-Jun-15
Thehunter 01-Apr-20
Dale06 01-Apr-20


Date:28-Feb-15

Hi all - I'm in the process of buying my first piece of dirt. I live in SW Ohio and the property I'm buying has a pretty significant amount of ash trees. I suspect they will be gone in the the next couple years with the emerald ash borer invasion. I'm looking for a long term replacement. Anyone know anything about Dustan Chestnuts? Anyone have experience with Chestnut Hill? Feedback? Thanks!

Date:28-Feb-15

cityhunter's embedded Photo

I Planted a bunch

Date:28-Feb-15

Im growing a bunch!

Date:28-Feb-15

CAS_HNTR's MOBILE embedded Photo

Date:28-Feb-15

I planted 20 last year and will likely put another 20 in this year......these are all in SE Ohio. I can't speak for producing yet but think they will do well. I wouldn't put all your eggs into one basket and would recommend you include oaks and some soft mast trees. Plus......don't overlook natural browse/cover for food if your woods are open.

By: t-roy
Date:28-Feb-15

I planted 25 of them last year & put them in tree tubes staked with steel or wooden posts. The deer tore better than half of them up by rubbing on the tubes! Plus they would browse on the tops as they grew out of the tops of the 5 ft. tubes.

I would recommend putting wire cages around them instead & staking them. I also put weed barrier & mulch around the bases. The #%[email protected]& coons tore the crap out of that too looking for grubs!

I will sure do things differently this year. I'm going to make my cages at least 6 feet in diameter, otherwise I think the deer will just keep browsing on them if they can reach them. I'm going to use woven hog wire 2 levels high. It was very disappointing to go to all of the work of planting, watering, etc. just to have the deer mess them up especially after they were really taking off:>(

Concrete mesh would work too.

By: t-roy
Date:28-Feb-15

t-roy's embedded Photo

This one is still in good shape.

Date:01-Mar-15

troy i had a bad grasshopper invasion on the farm ! i also noticed deer eating leaves off the trees.

CaS nice !!!

Date:01-Mar-15

5 ft tubes are a must or 6' wide fencing. I plant Chinese chestnuts and last year had 6 ft of new growth to 2 particular trees. ensure the trunk is protected at the ground base as rabbits will chew the new trees as well. full sun and use jobe feed spikes for fruit trees.

By: lewis
Date:01-Mar-15

Cas what do you have them planted in andI when will you transplant Lewis

Date:01-Mar-15

Be aware...They are a preferred browse by deer and Japanese beetles here. Much cheaper to start from seed yourself than buy potted trees. I suggest spending your time and money on fencing them.

Date:01-Mar-15

yes.......Japanese beetles....good point......get a bag a bug for near the trees.......Japanese beetles will put a hurting on chestnut leaves.

By: JimG
Date:01-Mar-15

Craig are those Dunstan or Chinese? What is you procedure for starting from the seed?

Thanks JimG

Date:01-Mar-15

Lewis......last year I waited until after frost to start them outside in pots (10 in each large pot). I then moved them from their tight spacing to what is show in the picture....1 gal root pouch bags. I kept them at home all summer in the 1 gal bags and watered them as needed. I ended up planting them in their final location in November after they were dormant. I have since upgraded my "system" and have started a lot indoors and they will then go right into the 1 gal pots near the last frost date....from them on the procedure will be the same.

JimG........the ones in the picture are all Dunstans. I have started both Chinese and Dunstans this year....close to 20 of each already (most 12-18" tall now)...will add another 10-20 if each by April.

The procedure basically is as follows...

1) Place in ziploc bag with some moisture in fridge for about 3 months as they must be cold stratified to germinate.

2) Either wait till after frost and plant outside or plant in propagation trays under lights if you want them to start earlier

3) Transplant into 1 gal root pouch/root trapper containers

4) Nurse all summer at your house!!

5) Transplant in final location in fall

I will be growing about 50-75 chestnuts this year (plus several hundred other things....oaks, persimmons, crabapples, etc) following the procedure above.....I won't use them all but will likely unload some to people who want them! I have to send several to "Forest bows" and "cityhunter" has spoken for some as well.

Its fun to grow them, but a good amount of work as they are very picky when just starting out! I have killed several already this year.

As mentioned....they MUST be protected from browse and other critters as they will be killed if not protected.

I will attach a variety of pictures of my process.

Date:01-Mar-15

CAS_HNTR's MOBILE embedded Photo

This was the beginning of the process last year.....way tight, but OK for starting them.

Date:01-Mar-15

CAS_HNTR's MOBILE embedded Photo

This is what the Dunstans look like right now in my basement.....I have Chinese on the back side about the same size (a bit shorter...seem less aggressive with upward growth)

Date:01-Mar-15

CAS_HNTR's MOBILE embedded Photo

Here is a pic of me planting them last year in fall.

Date:01-Mar-15

CAS_HNTR's MOBILE embedded Photo

I have some other pics somewhere.....but this is the best I could find now of the "final" plantings....basically a tree tube was used on each tree to protect them. I think they will be out the tube (4') by next fall.

Date:02-Mar-15

I have a bunch of chestnuts on the grow table right now. If time isn't of the essence I would buy a bunch of nuts next fall from chestnut ridge. You can get them pretty cheap and I have had great luck with them sprouting. If you want to get trees in the ground ASAP you can get decent sized trees from walmart in the spring.

Date:02-Mar-15

Craig take good care of my trees :>

By: lewis
Date:02-Mar-15

Cas where did you get the root trapper bags Lewis

Date:02-Mar-15

Lou, I've been watering them with that Busch Light....is that ok? Haha!

lewis....I ordered them online (Amazon I think). I ordered the Rootpouch bags instead of Roottrapper....cheaper and from what I can tell, work the same. I think they were around a dollar each and come in various quantities. I was buying the 25 packs I think for close to $30.

By: t-roy
Date:02-Mar-15

Craig

That might explain why some of them are leaning;>)

Date:02-Mar-15

nice work

Date:02-Mar-15

t-roy.....maybe it was the "planter" being "overwatered" while planting.....it's a toss up Ha

By: JimG
Date:02-Mar-15

Craig I would be interested in some chestnuts and crabapple. I live in North Central Kentucky so shipping wouldn't be too bad. Let me know the cost.

Thanks JimG

Date:03-Mar-15

JimG...Sent you a PM

Date:24-May-15

I just bought 2 trees at wal mart, 6/7'. Can I plant them now, or when should I plant? They will be planted at my house, so I can keep them watered.

Thanks, Bob

By: t-roy
Date:24-May-15

Bob, I would go ahead & plant them now. You should be fine.

Date:24-May-15

I went to Walmart last year to buy a dunstan chestnut to put in the back yard. I did everything Dunstan requested to make it grow. All summer I battled japanese beetles. It was looking good till early November. I returned from a bowhunt to find my tree had become a bucks favorite rubbing post. I had a feeling it would be killed even though I did cover the run with prune seal. It never leafed up at all this spring. The the area below the rub took off so I cut it down to a 1 foot tall chestnut bush. I came out the other day and 2 does had eaten every leaf off the plant. I have never seen a plant with so many animals dying to eat it.

Date:25-May-15

All my trees made it thru the winter look rough but alive .

Date:25-May-15

When my chestnut, apple, pear, and sawtooth oak finally got old and big enough to start producing the bears found them. For some reason they can't wait for the fruit and nut to drop naturally and they have to climb up the trees and chew the branches off while tearing the other limbs climbing up and out of the trees. It's frustrating waiting 12-15 years for a tree to start producing then to go out the next day only to find a 15-20 foot toothpick where your tree was.

I like bears and am happy to have them around but they can be destructive. We're getting a lot in WV. While some may be the same ones my buddy and I saw 9 bear during gobbler season this spring. Our farms are about 3 miles apart.

Date:25-May-15

An often overlooked part of tree planting is protection.....especially if you are only planting a few trees. Critters will destroy almost anything......even stuff they don't like, just cause.

Hate to see the time to plant and investment in trees get destroyed before they get going. In realty, the cost to protect the tree will be almost as much as the tree itself!

Date:25-May-15

.......and Im glad there aren't really any bears in Ohio! Hahah

Date:25-May-15

"In realty, the cost to protect the tree will be almost as much as the tree itself!"

Totally agree! Between grow tubes, cages, fence posts, and mulch I'll have at least the cost of the tree in protecting them. Befriend a farmer/rancher and see if they have any old posts lying around or a fence they want taken out. Took out a 1/2 mile of fence one year and got to keep all the posts... worth it.

My Dustan chestnut are having a difficult time, they are so expensive I've only planted about a dozen so far... think only 3 or 4 have lived despite my best efforts. I'm not real impressed with the root system when I get them from Chestnut Hill.

To cut down on costs of planting oak trees I plant the nuts rather than buying them, I've never tried planting chestnuts from seed... yet. Never had a source for the seed. Anyone know where to get some Dustan Chestnut seed? I'm also interested in some hazelnut seed if anyone knows where to get them.

Date:26-May-15

bugs did a number on me last summer , I wont buy any more from chestnut hill !

Date:27-May-15

For oaks they are very cheap when purchased as bareroot. Check your state's DOF website.

For chestnuts I just bought some Chinese chestnut bareroot trees from Empire Chestnut Company in Ohio. They came in great condition with great roots. Planted them with two shovels of compost each and they look great. Had to put cages around them that I made from fence material.

I'm told that the Dunstan is a Chinese chestnut.

There is no question that the compost, weed mat, tube/cage, etc costs more than the tree itself but it's necessary for the tree's survival.

Also, Empire Chestnut Company will sell you the nuts so that you can grow your own if you want to go that route.

Good luck!!!

Date:27-May-15
tonyo6302's Supporting Link

Story of the Dunston at the link.

http://www.chestnuthilltreefarm.com/store/pg/35-The-Dunstan-Chestnut.aspx

By: r-man
Date:27-May-15

I still have around 20 seeedlings , cant give them away here in SC. last year I went all all Jonny appleseed and planted them everywhere near where I hunt. If your in the lowcountry come get um free, I wont mail.

Date:28-May-15

has anybody seen a deer even eat a chestnut !!!

By: t-roy
Date:28-May-15

I've seen them eat the dang leaves!

Date:28-May-15

"has anybody seen a deer even eat a chestnut !!! "

Yes.

By: r-man
Date:28-May-15

yes, they eat them first time they saw them, I thought they would take some time to get used to them. after they got them the deer decided to come in to my yard and help them self. It them became a race between them and me who got them first.

Date:29-May-15

we have a property we hunt in ct that has 1/2 dozen old mature chestnuts. the deer hammer them when they drop.....problem is so don't the squirrels and they make a mess the old prickly shells last a year or 2 and add up....imo apples/pears etc make a better choice for deer. the chestnets taste good tho....haha

Date:14-Jun-15

brian e's embedded Photo

Gaffney South Carolina - I purchased 5 x 3 gal Dunstan Chestnuts in April. I planted all 5 in pH 5.7 / sandy loam soil. And, used 5' tall, 2.5' diameter cages staked in. I didn't think the tree tubes will be sturdy enough and the wire comes out at about $8.50/cage without stakes which you can make yourself. One tree immediately started dieing within 1 week. They said it was because of air pockets but I doubt this because I have planted 100s of trees in my life without this ever occurring. Chestnut Hill said it might come back out but I'm not sure. The other 4 look great and are putting on new growth. One Sawtooth oak (3 gal) bought and planted at the same time looks very impressive and has adjusted very quickly. The problem with the Dunstan Chestnuts is that the root system is inadequate duet to them using cheap pine bark and filler in their pots. They probably water these every day in Florida to keep them alive. Watering every day creates a weak root system. You should not have to water trees often which is what they recommend. I have been watering them the least amount possible because their root systems need to expand out more. Dunstan chestnuts are finicky and plant them near water so you can at least bucket water them every couple of weeks. Also, create a dirt well around the trees to more easily water them. Lastly, I might try to plant some band width trees in the Fall or Feb/March with cages because I think they might adjust better instead of waiting until April again. Walmart received the trees in late April which is getting late to plant trees in the south. Note, I will also try to locate native chestnuts but it looks like I will need to raise them from seed which will be difficult. Overall Review = Dunstan Chestnuts are finicky and I only recommend them for people who are familiar planting trees, can provide adequate fencing and can water them some the 1st year.

By: r-man
Date:15-Jun-15

water once a week and only if necessary. and don't use high ph water, use 7.0 or lower. don't prune down here except when growing, the tree will release feromones that attract borers. and yes some trees will return from the roots as a bushing looking thing.

By: Rayzor
Date:16-Jun-15

I do similar with sawtooth oaks and persimmons. I have been thinking about chestnuts since I know where there are a couple of trees that are heavy producers and can get plenty of nuts.

I know the thread is about Chestnuts but if anyone is interested and travels much some of my best sources for sawtooths has been rest areas. Quite a few have them planted. A few heavy producers are 1st I-70 East rest area east of I-81; I-77 South in South Carolina just below Charlotte. Several in Tennessee. I-75 South between Knoxville and Chattanooga and I-40 between Nashville and Memphis. If you are traveling in the early fall take a bag with stretch your legs and pick up some nuts.

Date:17-Jun-15

Good to add into the mix for variety, but Sawtooths are overrated in my opinion. I know deer like them... don't think they love them as much as a good ol' white oak. I also question their hardiness and disease resistance. I haven't had much luck with them once they get older. They hold onto their leaves way to long and I think that will be a disaster in an ice storm.... which we are prone to every once in a while in my area. I'll still always plant a few.

I'm really hoping that deer love chestnuts as much as everyone says. Any truth that they will walk past acorns to get to them?

By: r-man
Date:17-Jun-15

they eat them. as for walking past one food source for another, I don't believe that. if you have room on your property for fruit trees and nuts then plant them! apples, pears , and percimmon , deer like choices.

Date:17-Jun-15

r-man is right on........variety is key and the reason I am working on planting EVERYTHING! Ha!

White Oak

Red Oak

Nuttal Oak

Swamp White Oak

Chinkapin Oak

Concordia Oak

Dwarf Chinkapin Oak

Gambel Oak

Chinese Chestnut

Dunstan Chestnut

Allegheny Chinkapin

Chinese Chinkapin

Persimmon

Hazelnut

Crabapples

Apples (several varities)

Pears (several varities)

Plums

Paw Paw

....plus some others!

By: r-man
Date:17-Jun-15

don't forget grapes, are deer eat the fresh vines like candy to them, I had some nice bunch grapes, had is the key word.

Date:17-Jun-15

Not a bad idea.......then I could make some wine too! ;-)

Date:17-Jun-15

Rayzor u are right them rest stops one can pick up nuts pack heat lol

By: Rayzor
Date:17-Jun-15

True on that too cityhunter. Always, if its legal....packin' heat at a Maryland reststop would be a problem if noticed. I actually cringe when I cross into those states they don't recognize the right. Try to do go as little possible and leave as soon as possible.

The sawtooths surprised me. A couple of those rest stops mentioned were loaded with them. The one on I-77 has both the tree with the big nut trees and some with the smaller gobblers. I figure might as well pick some up an plant them. Some of them have down great, some OK and some not so great. The ones that are about 9 years old and in full sun really get loaded with nuts now. The bears trashed quite a few of the trees to get to them. Persimmons have been a big attactant through the years too. They produce pretty quick too. Last year was strange though. Although the trees were loaded with fruit, very little of it fell and it just died out on the tree. i had never seen that before. Hopefully this year isn't a repeat.

Walmart has been getting some Dunstan Chestnuts but if you aren't there when they get them they're gone pretty quick..

By: lewis
Date:17-Jun-15

Cas how long do you wait to remove the nut on the chestnuts my trees in the root pouches are close to 18-20 inches tall looking good got about 22 trees .Lewis

Date:19-Jun-15

You can remove the when they have a couple leaves.....youre good to go. I always remove them once they go outside becaue the chipmunk and squirrels like them!

Date:23-Jun-15

How long do you have to put up with these Japanese Beetles? They seem to be in full rut now!

Bob

Date:24-Jun-15

Recommendations for Pruning Dunstan’s.

Do you prune them like a fruit tree? Leave a leader and clean up around the bottoms? I planted 12 last year and they are taking off this year. I was planning on pruning them back a little this winter, but the information I find on the internet is vague and was just looking for some experience driven insight.

Tony

By: swiggy
Date:24-Jun-15

We had a early June frost with some of my Dunstans leaves half dead. Trees are coming back full. I wondered if chestnut crop is lost for this year due to that event?...I used Sevin for Japanese beetles, works great.

Date:01-Apr-20

Thehunter's embedded Photo

I know this is an old forum but I just received a bunch of dunstan chestnut seeds that are sprouting the root already. I had a question on one of the pics on here shows the chestnut seeds on top of the soil growing. Are they supposed to be covered with dirt or how deep are they supposed to be? This is for planting in pots starting indoors.

By: Dale06
Date:01-Apr-20

I bought land in Kansas in 2009. Planted apple, pear and other trees. The deer totaled every one of them, by eating and rubbing and these were not seedlings, they were $25+ 4-6 foot trees. The following year, I planted the same trees. But I bought 5’ wide 50’ long rolls of concrete reinforcement wire. It has about 6” square pattern. I cut that in to about 20’ pieces, rolled it up and made a 6’ or so diameter five foot tall cage. I staked that cage down, and put ground cloth inside the cage to stop weed growth and reduce water evaporation. All those trees have done well. It want the cheapest solution, but it worked perfectly.


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