Sometimes in botany it happens that completely different plants are hidden behind one name. Let's try to figure out which plant belongs to real chestnuts and how the chestnut root system differs from the roots of other trees.
- Horse chestnut and edible chestnut
- Chestnut root system
- Some species of the genus Chestnut
Horse chestnut and edible chestnut
The genus Horse chestnut, which is most often used in urban landscaping, belongs to the Sapindov family and has nothing to do with "real" chestnuts. It got its name because of the similarity of the fruits with the fruits of plants from the Chestnut genus, the Beech family. Horse chestnuts are not eaten. This tree has beautiful palmate-compound leaves of 5-7 leaves.
It is these plants that release fragrant candles of inflorescences in May and they are mentioned in the song about the Odessa sailor Kostya. No matter how decorative the horse chestnut looks, it has nothing to do with real chestnuts with edible fruits from the Chestnut genus.
Almost all types of trees and shrubs from the Chestnut genus have edible fruits. These plants are distinguished by long, up to 28 cm lanceolate leaves with serrated edges.
On root shoots, the length of the leaves can reach 0.6-0.7 m with a width of 10 cm. Flowers are collected in spike-shaped inflorescences. Both female and male flowers are located on the same rod. The fruit is a nut. In one shell - a plush, there can be 1-3, less often up to 7 nuts.
At the end of ripening, usually at the end of September - beginning of October, the cupule opens up and the fruits-nuts spill out of it. The fruits of the present chestnut are used as a valuable food product. There is an opinion that people began to eat chestnuts long before the grain. Before deciding to plant and grow a chestnut on the site, you need to know about the special structure of its roots.
Chestnut root system
The first feature of the root system of an adult chestnut is that it is difficult to determine the size of the root system and understand where it ends from the size of the crown of these trees. This is important for planting other plants near the chestnut tree. It turns out that the projection of the crown is very often several times less than the projection of the root system.
If the projection area of the crown is about 3 square meters, then the projected area of the roots exceeds 20 square meters. Thus, not only under the crown of a tree, but also four to five meters from its borders, it is unlikely that it will grow well, because powerful roots will draw out all useful substances from the soil. Therefore, most types of chestnuts can be recommended for spacious medium to large areas.
The root system of an adult chestnut consists of:
- roots of the first and second order
- horizontal roots
- vertical branches from horizontal roots
The taproot goes three or more meters deep. OH has lateral branching of the first and second order. A well-growing tree has two times as many second-order roots as first-order roots. Some of the horizontal roots are located superficially and extend parallel to the surface.
The other part goes into the soil at an angle, in an oblique-vertical direction. In adult chestnuts, these roots are so well developed that they make the main taproot almost invisible. Thus, the chestnut root system can be described as wide-spread, deep.
This root system makes this tree wind-resistant. In addition, it is not afraid of drought, since the root system develops space well and provides the plant with moisture. Due to the structure of the root system, chestnuts protect the soil from being blown out and washed away.
If the choice is made in favor of chestnut, then you should know that if the roots of an adult tree are very strong, then in young plants they are rather fragile. In the first year after germination, the seedling forms a long taproot, up to 40 cm. The length of the root at a young age is 2-4 times the height of the ground shoot.
When choosing a chestnut seedling, you need to give preference to a specimen in a container, since it is very easy to damage the taproot during planting. Chestnuts are also easy to grow from seeds. For chestnuts, you need a spacious planting pit up to 0.8 cm deep and 0.6 m wide.Immediately after planting, the plant should be well shed with water. In the future, the plant needs to be regularly watered in the year of planting.
Some species of the genus Chestnut
When choosing plants from the Chestnut genus, you need to take into account their winter hardiness. Here, not only temperature indicators are important, but also the depth of soil freezing, thaws, and humidity. Edible chestnuts include:
- crenate or Japanese, withstands frosts down to - 20 - 25 degrees, bears fruit for 4 years, has many large-fruited varieties
- sowing or edible - can only grow in mild warm climates, begins to bear fruit at the age of 15
- American toothed - one of the most frost-resistant species, can be recommended for growing in regions where winter temperatures drop to 27 degrees below zero, begins to bear fruit from 18 to 20 years
- undersized - cold-resistant and drought-resistant species, can grow as a shrub 2-3 meters high
In addition to the above species, there are many hybrids and varieties that are quite successfully cultivated in regions with a temperate climate. Chestnuts are real long-livers, they live from 300 to 1000 years. When planting it in the garden, you can hope that the fifth or sixth generation of descendants will see the fruits of your labor.
Chestnut root system video: