Edible chestnut – chestnut for sowing

(Castanea sativa); seed chestnut; Beech family (Fagaceae); seed chestnut 

Roasted chestnuts – roasted, gray smoke and aroma: we are immersed in the 19th century. Famous faces are familiar among the buyers: Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh… The tree has long fed those who could not afford exotic meat dishes. It turns out that it was not by chance that the chestnut was considered a hearty food. Its nuts contain a floury, sweet kernel with a high content of vitamins and iron.

Edible chestnut is a tree up to 40 m tall with a trunk diameter of 1.5-2 m. The crown of the plant is ovoid or oval. In dense stands, the trunks are straight and thin, and in open areas, the trees are low, with a thick tent-like crown. The bark of a mature tree is dark brown, with transverse cracks. The leaves are sharp-toothed, narrow-lanceolate, leathery, densely felted below, spirally arranged. The flowers are unisexual: male – white, with 8-12 stamens, in complex earrings, female – 1-7 each in a common envelope. Chestnut blossoms after leafing. Fruits from 5-10 years, in thickets – from 40-50 years, lives up to 500-1000 (sometimes up to 3000) years.

In Russia, it grows on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, mainly on shaded slopes, the main species of the so-called Kolkhida forests, it is found in Dagestan. Chestnut is also cultivated in the south of the European part of Russia. Heat-loving, mountain breed, usual for the seaside climate, but likes shaded places. It grows mainly on fertile and moist lands.

Does not tolerate limestone, dry and swampy soils. It usually grows with beech, oak, hornbeam, alder, ash and European fir.

Nuts are eaten raw and fried. The yield of 70-80-year-old trees is up to 1-3 tons of fruit from 1 hectare of plantations.

Edible chestnut wood is very strong, rot-resistant, and cracks little. It is used in shipbuilding, the furniture industry, for the production of musical instruments, turning products. All parts of the plant contain tannins (from 6 to 14%), they are used for tanning the best types of leather.

Bees collect pollen from male flowers, and a lot of nectar from female flowers. Bee colonies can collect up to 6 kg of honey from a flowering chestnut tree per day, and the honey productivity of the plant reaches 250 kg from 1 hectare. Honey of low quality, dark brown, runny, sometimes bitter.

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