American Chestnut in the Lower Mainland?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Daniel Mosquin, May 17, 2004.

  1. Jake Sherlock

    Jake Sherlock New Member

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    Has anyone positively ID'd the chestnut trees in Surrey's Redwood park? I recently learned about a grove there. The Website for Redwood Park refers to the grove as Chinese but elsewhere I saw reference to Sativa. I've never been there...yet. Just curious as usual.
     
  2. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    I don’t know about Surrey - but in the spirit of your quest - I asked someone (at a distance electronically) in Gibsons recently what their old farm chestnut is — I recall it fr long ago visits — and no it is not American - I think he said horse ch

    I know for sure it has the “sea urchin” fruit / nuts

    I estimate it is 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide with a pleasing tree shape (like how kids draw deciduous trees - a trunk and a bubble on top —- in this case it is an oblong bubble!)

    I estimate it is 50 yrs old. It has never had any special care - and - most fortunately - never any awful power line hair cuts and other bad brutal pruning practices.
     
  3. Jake Sherlock

    Jake Sherlock New Member

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    Last fall I bought an aging bale of local straw for mulching my garden. While there ,I noted a large tree I mistakenly took to be walnut.It was in fact a butternut.Beautiful tree allowed to mature in an open field setting.It has a nice round canopy and is very nice to look at. I scooped up a few from the ground and stratified them alongside my chestnuts. Four of five sprouted and are in pots...I have a mature butternut here but in has had to fight its way up. Not as nice a shape but its canopy looks nice just the same.
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Sorry, that doesn't count. :) Different family entirely. Do you remember the leaves? You can look up Castanea (chestnut) and Aesculus (horse chestnut) leaves and see if you recognize which it is. The horse chestnut leaves are palmately compound.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    So in May 2004 - someone emailed and one of the admins posted the start of the conversation that continues today here!

    I often wonder why someone would particularly want an American chestnut out in Vancouver - Fraser Valley (Agassiz research stn)

    Is it for the harvest?
    ———-
    Meanwhile - i am on the quest —— a friend sent these pix fr Sunshine Coast area recently.

    The leaf is approx 8 inches long down the middle

    The tree is near the ocean beach and rarely watered - and thankfully no powerline pruning .... Or the usual ocean view « improvement » pruning

    It is approx 60 feet tall and maybe 40 wide with branches that tend to droop down

    The overall shape is oval if not ovoid ( slightly wider closer to lawn)

    You can see on photos the spiked fruit (term?) forming and they are approx 1 inch diameter now but mature to about 2 or 3 inch if one include spikes.

    The crows harvest and somehow extricate the nut fr the spikes and spread future trees around the neighborhood.

    Identification of this tree in pix please?

    ÉDIT - i forgot to ask for picture of trunk bark - if it helps - I can get one
     

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  7. Jake Sherlock

    Jake Sherlock New Member

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    I will chime in and say that the leaves in your pics differ quite a bit from the ones I collected last fall. On Google images I found a good pic similar to the examples I had under "Illinois Wildflowers". This is , imo, a good example of C.D. leaf.
     
  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Hello Jake - can you post a link to exactly what you cite as an American chestnut ...

    Then I know what to keep an eye out for.

    I think there is an orchard somewhere south of Okanagan Falls BC (just north of Oliver BC) that grows edible chestnuts ... I imagine the European type but I will see if I can find out on internet.

    EDIT - I think this is Illinois website cited by Jake, above
    American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  9. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Further to my prev post - here is an old blog article about Okanagan Falls chestnuts

    Maybe the trees are still there and viable / productive — I have asked someone in the area to look and let me know out of curiosity (this locale is very close to major Hwy 97)
    Okanagan Chestnuts
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    There is one at VanDusen, inside the garden but visible from the north side of the driveway at the Oak Street entrance - there is a kind of service gate there, and as you face the gate, it is on the right, inside the gate.
     
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Thank you - as these days I am nowhere near (tho have visited) van Dusen - it seems you posted way back in this thread a photo of the Van Dusen tree?

    If yes - can you link or re-post?

    Maybe my imagination - dreaming of chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Well maybe not today in wildfire season :)

    I found the Illinois website Jake spoke of above - I put together a little collage for comparison (I personally need comparisons)

    The Illinois and Missouri say they are American chestnuts

    The Sunshine Coast one is edible by humans - and crows! - (according to property owner)
     

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  12. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Yes, found it in this thread, posting #30.
     
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  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    ——————-
    Perhaps this is of interest to thread participant Jake ...

    I posted on June 15/20 about the huge walnut behind Molly’s Reach in Gibsons BC

    Today - coincidentally - I was reading a heritage report prepared for the Town of Gibsons by consultants in 2006 - and the tree is included!

    The consultants claim this very tree was planted by the son of original white settler George Gibson (statue by Jack Harmon on small park across from Molly’s Reach)

    Pls see attached jpg

    Link to report:
    https://gibsons.civicweb.net/document/5574
     

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  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    ————-
    Further to my post on Aug 11/20 in this thread

    I now have a couple of recent pix of what we assume to be a bird or squirrel gardener’s work

    A 3 foot tall chestnut located approx 100 linear feet from the large parent tree

    I have attached 2 pix of the SAPLING leaves back and front (and the earlier comparison pic for convenience)

    The leaf is approx 5 inches long

    The owner of parent tree says it’s approx 50 yrs old and the chestnuts are edible by humans

    Is it European edible or the Native American chestnut?

    Thé comparison picture attached shows what is labelled as American Chestnut in both Illinois and Missouri

    And the mystery edible chestnut on Sunshine Coast.
     

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  15. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Ron B gave a comparison of both in posting #23. He said the American nuts were dinky. I assume that means edible but no point bothering with them (for humans), not like what you'd find sold on the streets of New York (and I think I remember them on street corners in Philadelphia, back when I wasn't interested in them).
     
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  16. Jake Sherlock

    Jake Sherlock New Member

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    I notice in the above comparison photos that the Sunshine Coast labeled leaves seem only to have tiny points as opposed to "hooks". Some (not all) of the leaf samples I collected last year were very long and narrow ,tapering gradually to the stem. No acute angles to the stem. I had maybe a dozen to look at....kept them for months until they were all brown and crispy. IMG_0673.jpg IMG_0674.jpg IMG_0677.jpg IMG_0678.jpg IMG_0679.jpg IMG_0680.jpg IMG_0681.jpg First two pics are in my composted soil. 3 and 4 are suffering in the potting soil still. Shots 5 and 6 of all of my "growing trees". Shot 7 is of six types of Salix under way as I am also growing them for basketry.
     
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  17. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that is an impressive farm, Jake!

    Are those concrete raised bed containers made for a different industry by chance?

    (Some might assume septic tanks in the countryside — I have seen articles about coffin enclosures for those who choose that final route (root??))

    I really like curly willow for floral ... with leaves or not - it looks great. I bet you could weave some in to artistic baskets too. Just do not plant near drain or fresh water pipe! I grew mine in a big heavy plastic bucket of water with moss and other happy plants. I like the height it adds to a garden.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Jake Sherlock, Is this a cottage industry Jake ? Or is this a hobby that has just grown as they all so often do.
    Totally agree with Georgia, 'very impressive'.
     
  19. Kurt Schneider

    Kurt Schneider Member

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    For what its worth, when I was talking a hort. course a half a decade ago, we were shown an "American chestnut" in the Riverview grounds in Coquitlam (the old psych. hospital along the Lougheed hwy).
     

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