Edible Articles: Castanea

Fields: Chestnuts & Worms | Worms in my Chestnuts | Should I plant American Chestnut trees? | Chestnut Harvesting | american chestnut?

Chestnuts & Worms

From: nospam.chuck@cei.net (Chuck)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Chestnuts & Worms

Hi folks, Have several chestnut trees I inherited with my new farm. Last season we brought in all that didn't have any holes in them and after a day had worms digging through from the inside - out. Don't know how or when they got inside, but it sure messed up my appetite for roasted chestnuts.

Trying to keep the place organic, so chemical pesticides are not preferable, though I'll do whatever it takes.

Anybody have any ideas as to : 1. When to treat the trees to keep the critters out. 2. What to spray them with and/or another critter to use for control. 3. How often they must be treated

TIA Chuck

From: rrittgers@aol.com (RRittgers)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: Chestnuts & Worms

Sounds like chestnut weevils. Here's something I copied from a Great Lakes Chestnut Alliance web page about pests. Sounds like the most earth-friendly method is to pick up all the chestnuts that hit the ground .

PESTS Chestnuts are subject to attack by more than 15 insect species, though only a few present real problems. The chestnut weevil feeds on the nut, rendering it unmarketable. It is possible to control the chestnut weevil in a chestnut planting using insecticide sprays and/or clean cultural methods. As with many insect problems, it is easier to control an infestation in its early stages than a heavy infestation in later stages. Harvesting all the nuts and allowing none to remain on the ground breaks the life cycle of the chestnut weevil and controls this pest.

Nut curculio is a similar pest that can be controlled with a spray program and/or clean cultural methods. Filbert worms have been observed in chestnut trees, but with no apparent effect. On the West Coast, the navel orange worm may be a problem.

One of the most serious pests is the Oriental chestnut gall wasp. This insect attacks the vegetative buds and the formation of galls disrupts the shoot growth of the chestnut trees, suppressing shoot elongation and reducing fruiting. Trees with severe infestations lose their vigor and often die. This pest is a serious problem in Japan and South Korea and has been found in Georgia. It can be controlled by insecticide spray programs and/or cultural controls. To date, the gall wasp has remained isolated in the southernmost United States for many decades, perhaps unable to survive normal northern winters.

Several other pests affect the chestnut, such as the Asiatic oak weevil, mites, and leafminers. One positive note is that there are no large populations of insects waitng to infest newly planted orchards. Most growers to date use no insecticide sprays at all and remain confident that they will continue to be able to grow chestnuts organically.

Worms in my Chestnuts

From: "bill shoemaker" <wshoemak@inil.com>
Subject: Re: Worms in my Chestnuts
Newsgroups: alt.agriculture.fruit

You need to identify the insect associated with the worm, then determine when in it's life cycle it becomes a pest. It's probably a moth that lays an egg or eggs near the nut. The worms hatch out and bore in while very young. A spray of Bt (organic) at the appropriate time could work. You should contact your local Univ of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service office for help on details.


From: ribes60@aol.com (Ribes60)
Newsgroups: alt.agriculture.fruit
Subject: Re: Worms in my Chestnuts

These probably are from eggs laid in the "bloom" as it forms the fruit, the egg hatches in the nut, hence no entry hole, the worm lives in the nut until you see them exiting. Not to be concerned, it is just a skin full of chestnut.

Ed for PA Zone 5/6

Should I plant American Chestnut trees?

From: hank@netcom.com (Hank Roberts)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.ecosystems
Subject: Re: Should I plant American Chestnut trees?

The American Chestnut Foundation's current trees ARE blight-tolerant; last I heard, they are the original American Chestnut plus two genes from the Chinese variety for resistance -- appearance is entirely the original, tall "Redwood of the East" tree. I believe they're in southwestern Virginia, down near Blacksburg.

There's also the "woody agriculture" varieties, with decent resistance, but those are small bushy plants grown for coppice wood and machine or hand harvestable nuts, more a hedgerow tree.

I don't see the sense of propagating the non-resistant trees, and there is no way to be sure the fungus is not present in anything carried from one place to another. ===========

giovanni@physics.wayne.edu writes:

>In article <MOD$980507.5723@rec.gardens.ecosystems>,
> "dhs" <dhs@mit.edu> wrote:
>> Along the lines of "Should I cut my Elms?", (which I won't, I think), I
>> would like to know if there is a problem with re-introducing American
>> Chestnut trees in MA, where the trees have been wiped out by the blight. I
>> can find blight-free seedlings, I don't like Chinese Chestnuts (I have not
>> seen the Hybids), and I understand that the trees I woud plant now will get
>> the blight only in 20 years. That's fine with me.
>> Am I furthering the work of the blight by re-introducing food for it (i.e.
>> chestnut trees)? Is it better to wait until all signs of blight are gone
>> before re-introducing the tree? Am I prolongating the problem?
>> Thanks for your opinions Lisa in MA

>i can't see the problem. there are hybrids nowadays which are virtually
>equivalent to american chestnuts (ie, highest quality nuts), but blight
>resistant. check Edible Landscaping, or The Great Lakes Chestnut Alliance

Chestnut Harvesting

From: zvan@my-dejanews.com
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Chestnut Harvesting

horse chestnuts are round, normal chestnuts pointed with a bit of grey on the point. normal chestnuts are also sweet. eating a few horse c. will not harm you (they are indeed used for medicinal purposes) but a pound may kill you. the trees are also different, chestnut having waxier leaves and yellow flowers (h.c. not as waxy, white flowers), but not very different.

From: Oz <Oz@upthorpe.demon.co.uk>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: Chestnut Harvesting

Horse: The outer casing is covered in a few not-very-prickly spines and (typically) there is one seed per outer. The leaves are palmate, ie five (?) leaves emanating from a single bud. The flowers are large and showy, usually white or pink. The boughs are typically s-shaped: upwards at the trunk then curving down a little with the outer bit pointing upwards.

Sweet: The outer casing is totally covered in long thin and very sharp spines. There are typically three seeds per outer. The leaves come in single leaves where attached to stems. I don't remember what the flowers are like (possibly insignificant) the boughs slope typically upwards.

NB Completely from memory, did chestnuts at school when I was 8. :-)

Unless the US ones are very different to the UK ones.

-- Oz

american chestnut?

From: "Bill VanRemmen" <billy@frontiernet.net>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: american chestnut?

Can someone point me to a source for American Chestnut nuts? I want to try sprouting a couple for transplantation in the spring. I am aware of the chestnut blight, so if there is a source of blight-resistant strains, I would prefer that, else I'll just have to take my chances.

Is there a FAQ for this group? Where?


-Bill VanRemmen, KA2WFJ

My opinions. No one in their right mind would claim otherwise. ============================================================ "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty
when the government's purposes are beneficient . . . the greatest
dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well
meaning but without understanding."
Justice Louis Brandeis
Olmstead vs. United States,
United States Supreme Court, 1928 ============================================================

From: "Ed Greenwell" <ceengr@usit.net>
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: american chestnut?

Dear Bill, You may want to check out my WebPages at http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/1436/ . It has information about different organizations involved in restoration as well as sources of American Chestnut seednuts and saplings. The American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation (ACCF) at Virginia Tech University makes it possible for the layman to actively participate in American Chestnut restoration by distributing seednuts to those interested. ACCF uses pure American Chestnuts (not hybrids) that exhibit some resistance to blight in their breeding program. Their homepage linked from my page, has information about starting chestnuts from seed, blight and detailed information about restoration. They also have seedlings at $1.00 per tree in bundles of 25. Ed helpachestnut@geocities.com

From: pollinator@aol.com (Pollinator)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: american chestnut?

From: nene22@webtv.net (Anita Dingman)

>I have an American Chestnut growing on my property. It currently is
>about 30 feet tall and always has lots of burrs under it in the fall but
>there are never nuts in the burrs. Could this be a problem of

Yup, chestnuts are mostly self-sterile and must have a pollenizer. Although chestnut pollen can be carried by wind, abundant bees are a better guarantee as pollinators.

Your tree could be extremely valuable. If you don't have a pollenizer tree nearby, I urge you to find one before the next bloom season and try some hand pollination

You can get more info on chestnut pollination from McGregor's pollination "bible" at; www.airoot.com

There is a chestnut preservation society. I'm sure they'd be glad to find out about your tree, and would be helpful in locating the closest "daddy" plant for your hand pollination. I don't have the address handy; maybe someone else can chip in, or you might find it via a search engine or DeJa News.

Pollinator@aol.com Dave Green Hemingway, SC USA The Pollination Scene: http://users.aol.com/pollinator/polpage1.html

Jan's Sweetness and Light Shop (Varietal Honeys and Beeswax Candles) http://users.aol.com/SweetnessL/sweetlit.htm

From: ckrause@duckharbor.com (Chuck Krause)
Newsgroups: rec.gardens.edible
Subject: Re: american chestnut? Reply-To: ckrause@NOSPAM.duckharbor.com

Take a look at http://chestnut.acf.org/


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