Chinese chestnut is resistant to chestnut blight which has almost wiped out the American chestnut. This non-native species produces spikes of creamy white flowers in summer. The edible nuts develop in sharp, spiny husks.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- May be difficult to find in nurseries,
- Messy fruit/plant parts
- Summer blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Edible fruit
Season of Interest:
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Small mammals
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun. Tolerant of heat and drought. Prefers acidic soil.
Disease, pests, and problems
Twig cankers are possible. The sharp, spiny husks surrounding the nuts can be hard to handle.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Resistant to chestnut blight.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to China and Korea.
Bark color and texture
Bark is gray-brown and ridged and furrowed.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Leaves elongated, alternate and simple, with coarsely toothed margins. Each tooth ends in a bristle tip.
Leaves dark green in summer. Fall color is yellow to yellow brown.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small white, male flowers on a pencil-thin spike (6 inches long).
Female flowers also small and white, in clusters near the base of the male flower spike.
Trees flower in July. The flowers have a musty odor.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Edible nuts in a husk covered with numerous sharp spines.