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Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
15m
Max height
12m
Max spread
20 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Castanea sativa

Other names

Sweet chestnut, Sardian nut, European chestnut, Spanish chestnut, Common chestnut, Eurasian chestnut

Genus

Castanea Castanea

Species

C. sativa - C. sativa is a large fast-growing tree with grooved bark and glossy, serrated, oblong leaves. Yellow catkins in autumn followed by spiny fruits containing edible nuts.


Castanea sativa is: Deciduous

Tree shape

Rounded to broadly spreading

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)

Flower

Pale-yellow, Insignificant or absent in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Leaf spot Leaf spot

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation

Sow seed in a seedbed as soon as ripe.

Propagation methods

Grafting, Seed


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Where to grow

Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Drought Tolerant, Foliage only

Cultivation

Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Castanea sativa

Other names

Sweet chestnut, Sardian nut, European chestnut, Spanish chestnut, Common chestnut, Eurasian chestnut

Genus

Castanea Castanea

Species

C. sativa - C. sativa is a large fast-growing tree with grooved bark and glossy, serrated, oblong leaves. Yellow catkins in autumn followed by spiny fruits containing edible nuts.

Foliage

Deciduous

Tree shape

Rounded to broadly spreading

Awards

RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)


Colour

Flower

Pale-yellow, Insignificant or absent in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific diseases

Leaf spot

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation

Sow seed in a seedbed as soon as ripe.

Propagation methods

Grafting, Seed


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut) will reach a height of 15m and a spread of 12m after 20 years.

Suggested uses

Architectural, Drought Tolerant, Foliage only

Cultivation

Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Neutral

Light

Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut)

Common pest name

Apple root knot nematode

Scientific pest name

Meloidogyne mali

Type

Nematode

Current status in UK

Unknown

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

UK (along with certain other European countries) received potentially infested trees in 1992; but these were destroyed at the end of the trial period and targeted surveillance has failed to find any trace of the nematode. Main impacts are on elm; apple and mulberry and industry should source such material carefully.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut)

Common pest name

Japanese swift moth

Scientific pest name

Endoclita excrescens

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

2

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous moth pest whose larvae feed off a range of herbaceous and woody hosts. Native to East Asia where substantial impacts have been observed; and current import requirements do not fully mitigate the risk of introduction. A PRA will help to assess the level of risk more fully.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut)

Common pest name

Black timber bark beetle; Smaller alnus bark beetle; tea root borer

Scientific pest name

Xylosandrus germanus

Type

Insect

Current status in UK

Present (Limited)

Likelihood to spread in UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Ambrosia beetle affecting a wide range of trees and woody hosts. Widespread in Europe and elsewhere and now present in the south of England. Impacts can be reduced by good silvicultural practices. Surveillance is being carried out to better determine distribution.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Castanea sativa

The brown nuts form inside green husks that look a little like spiny hedgehogs. Sweet chestnut is a beautiful tree but too large for most modern gardens. Chestnuts are commonly eaten around Christmas… read more

There are 2 active discussions about Castanea sativa (Sweet chestnut)

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