Chestnut - Castanea sativa


About 10-15 species of trees belong to the chestnut genus, the species C. sativa - chestnut is the most common in Italy and in Europe, with some cultivars among which the most famous is brown.
This tree is native to the Mediterranean area, is very long-lived and can reach imposing dimensions, up to 30-35 m in height and 8-10 in diameter of the trunk. The young plants have smooth brown bark, with the years the trunk assumes a rough and rough appearance. The foliage is broad, of dimensions close to half of the total height of the plant. The leaves are lanceolate, with a serrated edge, with the upper page bright green and the lower page lighter and pubescent; in autumn they take on a yellow-orange color before falling. In June it produces flowers, male and female on the same plant, which in autumn give rise to large woody and thorny curls, inside which you can find 2-3 large seeds, called chestnuts, consumed cooked or used to produce a tasty flour. The flowers of the same plant are usually incompatible with each other, so in order to obtain the fruits it is necessary to have more than one specimen of chestnut.


As far as the exposure of this type of plant is concerned, chestnut trees love sunny areas where they can receive a few hours of direct radiation per day and hilly or mid-mountain soils, possibly placed in full sun; they do not vegetate well in the plain because they do not like summers that are too hot and dry, just as they do not like too harsh climates.
It is good to consider this aspect if you intend to cultivate this variety in order to be able to reap the benefits.


For a good growth and the best development, these trees need a sandy, very well drained soil, they adapt without problems both to acid soils and to alkaline soils. Poorly tolerate drought, preferring rather damp soils; very young specimens need regular watering, especially in the summer months, otherwise it is likely that they remain simple bushes, without ever developing a tree bearing.
However, it is a rather rustic and resistant tree, so it can adapt to land that is not exactly optimal.


The multiplication of this kind of tree occurs by seed, using freshly picked chestnuts in autumn. These are placed in a container filled with a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, which should be kept in a cool place, but away from frost, and always damp. The chestnut seedlings are cultivated in pots for a few years before they can be planted, so as to allow them to reach the right degree of strength, before being planted in the ground.

Chestnut: Pests and diseases

Aphids often ruin buds and flowers, producing a sticky patina on which mold and fungus easily take root. Some chestnut plants can be affected by cypress cancer, which is a disease that affects the tissues of the wood and is caused by a fungus.
It is a good idea to carefully check your specimens and intervene promptly in the presence of signs of pests or diseases.