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Prowl, I had some time last evening before I headed upstairs and I did a search on the American Chestnut tree (Castanea dentata). I read several articles and I learned more than I ever knew, but I also learned that my wife's stepdad had told me much of what I read about. There was one article by a fellow who said he was a naturalist and he came down pretty hard on whoever it was that introduced the Asian chestnut variety into this country in the very early 1900's. I recognize that it shouldn't have happened, but I have the benefit of hindsight and know what happened as the result. It was from those trees that the blight was introduced that destroyed the American Chestnut as they were known. My wife's stepdad was a nurseryman and raised nut trees including the Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima). I also saw where there were people that had young trees (American Chestnut) for sale that were taken as suckers from the roots of trees that had been lost to the blight. But they have been working on trying to save the American Chestnut for many years and so far any tree from roots of affected trees have also been afflicted with the blight and will die. There is a thing they are doing though with introducing some cells from the Chinese Chestnut which is blight resistant into the American Chestnut and this is showing some promise of success. The result will be a hybrid, but will almost be 100% American Chestnut.
Thank You for Taking the time to find this info... Interesting Reading....

Thingking Back my Question wasn't Very Clear...
Sweet Chestnut= Edible
Horse Chestnut= Conkers
Hope that makes a bit more Sense... so what are Yours Eating or Conkers? ***Wink***
I've never tried the "horse chestnut" as I was told they were not edible. But I sure did like the Chinese Chestnuts either roasted or not. I wish my wife's stepdad had lived long enough to know about that stand of healthy American Chestnut trees that were found in one of the Carolinas. That would have really pleased him.
I seem to remember also that they are either similar or the same as the 'buckeye'. That brings up the subject of football. My wife hails from Ohio and their football team, Ohio State University, will be playing the University of Oregon in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on New Year's Day. I'm not much of a football fan, but I may watch that game and root for Ohio State. MF's uncle played for them many years ago, just prior to WW2 and was the quarterback of the team when they beat the Unisversity of Southern California in the Rose Bowl. The Ohio State team is called the Buckeyes and Ohio is the Buckeye State.
How about Chinky pins..ever heard of those Randy? I remember as a child, walking through the woods with Mom (we did a lot of walking thru the woods looking for blue berries and black berries) and she'd pick from bushes, a nut that looked similiar to an acorn and cracked it for me. The meat was really good but I can't find them around my area anymore. Not many people know what I'm talking about when I mention a chinky pin.
As far as I know, I have never seen a Chinquapin, but I have heard of them. But that's also the extent of my knowledge. I wonder if Wes could shed any light on them. I'm going to look a little further though and see what I can find out about them. My memory is saying they are related to the chestnut, but of that I am not certain.
There is quite a bit of information out there about Chinquapins. There is also a Chinquapin Oak, but the ones that I had read about were in the same species as the chestnut (Castanea). But there are bushes, shruns, and trees that are all Chinquapins (also spelled Chinkapin). I can see how a local name could evolve into Chinky Pin. The bur on the Chinquapin will only have one nut in it as the chestnut will have three. The Chinquapins are also subject to the blight yet some specimens have been found that were totally immune and others were parially immune. I saw some photographs on one site of state champion Cinquapins. They were champions because of their immunity and size to which they had grown. See, at this point, I did not realize that the blight had affected any trees but the American Chestnut. By the way, in years past, our county of Yamhill provided 90% of the hazelnuts consumed in the United States. The market has been changing though due to foreign competition and a blight that has been affecting our hazelnut trees. The hazelnuts (filberts) resemble chestnuts, so I wonder if this blight affecting the trees here is the same blight that has affected the chestnut trees. If so, I would really be concerned about those two American Chestnut trees that I saw in the Hoyt Arboretum 20 to 25 years ago.
Thanks for the info Randy..I guess the blight would explain why they're no longer found in my area. What a shame..those things were good!
Yes, it would. In one of the articles I read, it stated how many millions of trees the CCC planted around the United States during the depression years. But there was not a single Chinquapin planted during that time. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) was an organization similar to the WPA (Works Progress Admistration) that came into existence during Franklin Roosevelt's administration as part of the "New Deal". Both projects did a lot of good and surely helped put the United States back on the road to recovery from the depression. The CCC hired boys and it was a quasi-military organization. The WPA was more into public works, such as libraries, road building, bridges, flood control (dams), and stuff like that.
Welll Randy, looks like you found the info. Chincquapins are a smallish shrub/tree that frows in the understories of the Appalachian mountains.... very often on the dry slopes and poorer soils. The nuts are much smaller than the Chestnut and are a favorite of surills and deer and a few birds too. When the husks open you need to be there or you lose out. Like the American Chestnut, the nuts are sweet as opposed to starchy like the Chinese varieties.

Several non-profits are working on conducting multi-generational back crosses trying to bring the resistance genes forward from the Chinese while re-developing the tall straight form of the American Chestnut. This approach is beginning to show some promise as 4th and 5th generation backcrosses are now emerging.

Another approach being tried is the development of avirulent strains of the blight fungus that is quite vigorous and out competes the virulent strains but doesn't kill the trees. This avenue began in France with the discovery of avirulent fungi in French chestnut orchards. Apparently though you need to develope new strain races for about every 10 miles you travel as the inherrent strains change over spatial distribution.
A friend has a horse chestnut tree, I wonder if I could grow one from the nut and how I would do it.
My guess is that you can do it. But since you can just pick up the seeds for nothing, give it a try.

Wes, I read about some of the efforts and successes they have been having and I wish my wife's stepdad had known about that before he passed away. He remembered the stands of chestnut trees as they once were and when he told of the blight and failures in stemming it, he was rather sad. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to