Often known as the Spanish Chestnut, this tree is thought to have been introduced into Britain from Southern Europe by the Romans. A handsome, fast-growing large tree, it is most often seen as an ornamental in parks and large gardens, but is also coppiced for its young timber which is used for stakes and fences. The large toothed glossy leaves are very striking, and the deeply fissured bark is very distinctive.
Site and soil
The Sweet Chestnut will thrive on any well-drained soil. Late spring and early autumn frosts can affect fruiting.
Height and spread
Below are the approximate stages of growth, assuming sited in suitable conditions for this species;
After 10 years: 8m x 4m After 20 years: 14m x 8m
Leaf and bark
Oblong, sharply toothed glossy dark green leaves can reach 20cm long. They turn yellow, then brown before leaf fall in autumn. The bark is silvery grey on young trees, becoming deeply fissured with age, assuming a spiralling pattern on mature specimens.
Flower, seed and fruit
The Sweet Chestnut produces clusters of long yellowish catkins between 10-20cm long. The female flowers are at the base of the catkin. The flowers are followed by spiny round seed cases containing 1-2 shiny round nuts.
Parkland, woodland, specimen tree, coppicing. The Sweet Chestnut is also grown as a food crop, the nuts being used in cooking, or sold as roast chestnuts during the winter. The nuts have also been used as animal fodder. The coppiced wood is used for stakes and fencing, and older wood is used in buildings and barrel-making. The leaves were formerly made into a preparation to treat convulsive coughs.
The main reasons for buying protection is to protect the plants against:
When it comes to deciding what protection to choose the golden rule is to choose the product dependent on which pest you are protecting against. The below will help you in deciding what height of protection you will need.
Vole, Mice 20cm
Roe Deer, Muntjac 1.20m
Fallow Deer 1.50m
Pest & Minimum Protection Height
Protection Type Where more than one size is listed, the wider diameter protection is recommended for taller, bushier plants.
Support Required Taller support is recommended for use in sandier, lighter soils and wider/stronger support should be used at exposed sites.