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BilletHead

Project Chestnut

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A few years back I was gifted a handful of chestnut seeds by a friend. He said there was two varieties of blight resistant types. They needed a cold period before sprouting so I planted them in the Fall. Used small stovepipe sections about six to eight inches long for protection from rodents digging them up. Covered too with hardware cloth. Did fourteen plantings, two to three seeds per planting. I am trying to remember but I think this was Fall of 2012. Sure enough the next Spring all but one container had sprouted. Ok now what I thought. Let them grow and when leaves looked dry I watered. Man they grew fast. The Fall of the first year I thought maybe I should transplant. Got lazy and did not. deer did brose them some. Now to this past Spring. They leafed out big time. I had a grove of closely growing trees. Crap got to do something. I let them leaf out completely and late Spring, early Summer I had to do something. Dug up every other one and scattered them in the yard. During the transplant lots of water and bagged soil to the dug hole. They grew fine but deer brose still. I caged them, mulched too. Watered once each with a five gallon bucket full with a small hole so a dribble/ no waste system. Deer still reaching what they can but good growth. Worked over the original planting and enclosed with cattle panels. Right next to the asparagus so put them in there too. Now just have to do something with the little trunks/ stalks to keep bunnies from girdling them. Need to do that soon. Friend who gave me these seeds actually have some nuts on his planted the year before mine! We will see what happens,

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BilletHead

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I heard that the resistant seeds come from only a handful of trees that made it through the blight. Don't know how true that is. Thanks for sharing.

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Did you know that tens of thousands of chestnut roots still grow saplings to this day, but they quickly die after getting half a dozen inches tall. So amazing and sad at the same time.

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Can you imagine what it must have been like when there were miles and miles of them. The ecosystem that must of drove would be amazing to see.

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Wayne I did think about the chicken wire. Found something cheaper and easy to install. Went to town and got to prowling around the do all store. There it was a 24 foot hose kit for a sump pump. Inch and a quarter to an inch and a half pipe. Less than ten bucks. I snatched it up and when getting home I began to cut it up.

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I did a straight cut to one down the side and then a spiral cut around the pipe top to bottom,

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Photos of both test sections installed,

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I think it will work plus a bonus. Some folks tell us to make sure the mulch does not touch the tree trunk. Inviting bugs and disease. This will keep a healthy clearance. Also this set up is very close to what the seed catalogs send when you order trees.

BilletHead

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       Time to revisit "Project Chestnut",

Looking good here in BilletHeadville. Compare to August 2014 photos above. We have catkins on some of the original non transplanted trees. This means the first crop of nuts :). Some might say I may be gathering nuts like a squirrel, some may say I am squirrel. These are now right at 12' tall. The ones transplanted have grown some but are being browsed by the yard deer. The bases or trunk is getting thicker but tops are not so much. Today we bought some taller wire fencing. Larger all the way around the new cages will be. There will be updates as the nuts form that is if pollination takes,

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The original nut planting.

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Catkins where hopefully baby nuts will form.

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Transplanted trees browsed by yard deer.

    BilletHead feels like a new daddy again.

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  Thought I would make some order of the Chestnut project so far for this first season that has nuts.

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Catkins forming this Spring

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Blooms forming on the catkins

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Full bloom

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8-19-16   There can be more than one nut per spiky bundle. Some I have you can see their may be mutable nuts enclosed. These are crazy cool. The forming nut bundle or whatever you call it was real soft. The spikes now are hard and could hurt you. Guess Mother nature had a plan making sure the nuts make it to maturity,

BilletHead

 

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