Twigs are purple-brown and buds are red-brown and oval in shape. It's an A-Z tree guide in your pocket. American Chestnut Tree (Castanea dentate) American chestnut trees are large deciduous trees that … The leaves turn brown, but remain attached to the tree. The seeds develop inside the prickly, green seed cases.Identified in winter by: the bark which has fissures that spiral upwards around the tree. In general, the climate should be similar to viticulture. Examples can be seen particularly in the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden.  Their large genetic diversity and different cultivars are exploited for uses such as flour, boiling, roasting, drying, sweets or wood. The timber has a density of 560 kg per cubic meter, and due to its durability in ground contact is often used for external purposes such as fencing.  The fat content is very low and is dominated for the most part by unsaturated fatty acids. By coppicing the tree you force it to produce many hopefully, straight stems. The Sweet Chestnut has been planted in large quantities in the South East for charcoal manufacture.  Several Greek authors wrote about medicinal properties of the sweet chestnut, specifically as a remedy against lacerations of the lips and of the oesophagus. The tree likes Sun to half-shade at the location and the soil should be sandy to sandy – loamy. in Europe", "Projektstudie: Die Edelkastanie auf Obstwiesen - Eine Alternative zum Kirschanbau? In the past, its characteristic and nutritional components gave sweet chestnut an important role in human nutrition due to its beneficial health effects. The raw nuts, though edible, have a skin which is astringent and unpleasant to eat when still moist; after drying for a time the thin skin loses its astringency but is still better removed to reach the white fruit underneath. Chestnut leaves are single--only one per stem--and are narrow and elliptic in shape. They are 5 to 8 inches long.  Once cooked, chestnuts acquire a sweet flavour and a floury texture similar to the sweet potato. The nuts are a valuable food source for many mammals. However, the ancient Greeks dedicated the sweet chestnut to Zeus and its botanical name Castanea comes from Castonis, a Town in Thessaly in Greece where the tree was grown for its nuts. Absence of fruit formation leads to die back of the petal.  The maximal altitude is strongly dependent on the climate. The Latin sativa means "cultivated by humans".  Sweet chestnut is a good source for starch,; chestnuts of all varieties generally contain about the same amount of starch. A large number of micro-moths feed on the leaves and nuts. It is used to make furniture, barrels (sometimes used to age balsamic vinegar), and roof beams notably in southern Europe (for example in houses of the Alpujarra, Spain, in southern France and elsewhere). Horse chestnut cupules are thick and green, with small, short, wider spaced spikes, and generally contain only one larger rounded nut. It can live to more than 2,000 years of age in natural conditions, see the poetically-named "hundred-horse chestnut" in eastern Sicily for example. Certain types of chestnut trees are common only in certain areas as mentioned in the descriptions above. The bark resembles a large twisted steel cable. Long, yellow catkins of mostly male flowers, with female flowers at the base. The twigs are purple-brown and buds are plum, red-brown and oval in shape. Chestnut trees can also be treated in the same way from just a few feet away determine "Sick or not sick". Chestnut trees require well-drained soils on the acidic side of the pH scale. These trees have toothed leaves, and smooth gray bark. Sweet chestnut trees live to an age of 500 to 600 years.  Pollen data indicates that the first spreading of C. sativa due to human activity started around 2100-2050 B.C. However, high sugar amounts seem to have a negative impact on the fiber content. 301, 643 CE). The flowers provide an important source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, while red squirrels eat the nuts. . In others, falling branches or uprooted trees injure nearby horses. Chestnut trees are attractive, with reddish-brown or grey bark, smooth when the trees are young, but furrowed with age. The Woodland Trust and Woodland Trust Nature Detectives logos are registered trademarks. The four major species of chestnut trees are the American chestnuts, European chestnuts, Japanese chestnuts and Chinese chestnuts. In southeast England, sweet chestnut is coppiced to produce poles.Unlike the nuts of the horse chestnut, those of the sweet chestnut are edible to humans and can be roasted and used in a variety of recipes, including stuffing for poultry, cake fillings, nut roasts and much more. Mechanical: The fruits are collected with a machine that works similarly to a vacuum cleaner. The world’s oldest known chestnut tree grows on Mount Etna in Sicily and has a circumference of 190 feet. It has a straight grain when young, but this spirals in older trees.  As an alternative to water curing, hot water treatment is also commercially used. They can also be used in confections, puddings, desserts and cakes. Flora Europaea: Learn how and when to remove this template message, List of Lepidoptera that feed on chestnut trees, colonisation of the Italian peninsula by the Greeks, "The Chestnut: A Multipurpose Resource for the New Millennium", "Ink disease in chestnuts: impact on the European chestnut", "The Cultivation of Castanea sativa (Mill.) The underside of the leaves will be covered with many small dots and the twigs will be slender, smooth, and hairless. They are used for flour, bread making, a cereal substitute, coffee substitute, a thickener in soups and other cookery uses, as well as for fattening stock. They belong to the same family as oaks and beeches.  In cultivation they may even grow as old as 1000 years or more. Furthermore, this characteristic is valuable in cases of celiac diseases as well as reducing coronary heart diseases and cancer rates. Regarding mineral content, the chestnut provides a good source for Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn and K. Its sugar content ranges from 14% to 20% dry weight depending on the cultivar; which is very important, since the sensory appeal of sweet chestnut is correlated with its sugar content. Discover our recent challenges and successes and how you can help. A tree grown from seed may take 20 years or more before it bears fruits, but a grafted cultivar such as 'Marron de Lyon' or 'Paragon' may start production within five years of being planted. The leaves are a fresh green, darker on the top than the bottom. Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp – Causes buds & leaves to swell, stunting Sweet Chestnut tree growth over time. The most widespread treatment before storage is water curing, a process in which the sweet chestnuts are immersed in water for nine days. We want to make sure everyone in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. The cooked nuts can be used for stuffing poultry, as a vegetable or in nut roasts. It is thought to have survived the last Ice Age in several refuges in southern Europe, on the southern coast of the Black Sea with a main centre on the southern slope of the Caucasus and in the region of north-western Syria, possibly extending into Lebanon. Chestnut tree: (Hebrews 'armon; i.e., "naked"), mentioned in connection with Jacob's artifice regarding the cattle (Genesis 30:37).It is one of the trees of which, because of its strength and beauty, the Assyrian empire is likened (Ezek. The sugar content is also affected by the high temperatures. Introduced by the Romans and a roasted winter treat. Instead, fructose is mostly responsible for the sweet taste.  The first charcoal remains of sweet chestnut only date from around 850-950 B.C., making it very difficult to infer a precise origin history.  Heat appears to be the most influencing factor when it comes to decreasing the organic acid content. Castanea sativa, the sweet chestnut, Spanish chestnut or just chestnut, is a species of tree in the family Fagaceae, native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor, and widely cultivated throughout the temperate world. It ranged from Maine and southern Ontario to Mississippi, and from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio Valley. Credit: Martin Fowler / Alamy Stock Photo. Download our free Tree ID app for Android and iPhone to identify the UK's native and non-native trees. Harnessing the properties of sweet chestnut tree leaves.  It is also a good fuel, though not favoured for open fires as it tends to spit.  Compared to other crops, the sweet chestnut was probably of relatively minor importance and distributed very heterogeneously throughout these regions.  The nut itself is composed of two skins: an external, shiny brown part, and an internal skin adhering to the fruit. Then, gradually remove.  Organic acids are also affected by high temperatures: their content decreases about 50% after frying, and 15% after boiling.  Before planting, seeds must be stratified at 2-3 °C so germination can start 30–40 days later.  Responsible for the aromatic characteristics of cooked chestnuts is the effect of degradation of saccharides, proteins and lipids, the caramelization of saccharides and the maillard reaction that is reducing sugar and amino acids. The flowers of both sexes are borne in 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long, upright catkins, the male flowers in the upper part and female flowers in the lower part. A sugar can be extracted from them. 8 no.  While the husks of sweet chestnuts, dated to the third or early fourth century, have been identified from the bottom of a Roman well at Great Holts Farm, Boreham, UK; this deposit includes remains of other exotic food plants and provides no evidence that any of them originated locally. Look at where the trees are located and examine their leaves: Horse chestnut trees are found in cities, parks, alleys and schoolyards... while sweet chestnut trees grow in woods, forests or orchards; The trees begin to bear fruit when they are around 25 years old.  Contrary to that notion, other scientists found no indication of the Romans spreading C. sativa before the fifth century. Sweet chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmas, whilst in the kitchen preparations are under way in making chestnut stuffing. Other common names include "Spanish chestnut", or "marron" (French for "chestnut").  The energy value per 100 g (3.5 oz) of C. sativa amounts to 891 kJ (213 kcal). Both cultivars bear fruits with a single large kernel, rather than the usual two to four smaller kernels. The raw nuts, though edible, have a skin which is astringent and unpleasant to eat when still moist; after drying for a time the thin skin loses its astringency but is still better removed to reach the white fruit underneath. , Sweet chestnut is suited for human nutrition. It is thought to have been introduced to the British Isles by the Romans and today can be found commonly throughout the UK in woods and copses, especially in parts of southern England where it is still managed to form large areas of coppice. , Similar to the introduction of grape vine and olive cultivation to the Latin world, C. sativa is thought to have been introduced during the colonisation of the Italian peninsula by the Greeks.  Nonetheless, until the end of the pre-Christian era, the spread and use of the chestnut in Italy remained limited. Its naturally high concentration of organic acids is a key factor influencing the organoleptic characteristics of fruits and vegetables, namely flavor. The leaves also contain tannin. There are three harvesting techniques: The total world chestnut harvest was 1,17 Mio Tons in 2006, but only 151 000 Tons were C. The underside is a lighter shade of green. The sweet chestnut species planted in Europe and America are very sensitive to these pathogens. Chestnuts are traditionally roasted in their tough brown husks after removing the spiny cupules in which they grow on the tree, the husks being peeled off and discarded and the hot chestnuts dipped in salt before eating them. It is said to be between 2,000 and 4,000 years old. The flowers of Sourwood can be mistaken for chestnut at a distance. In contrast to a cold storage system, where the fruits are stored at low temperatures in untreated air, the controlled environment method avoids flesh hardening which negatively impacts the processability of the product.. Roman soldiers were given chestnut porridge before going into battle. There is very little mythology surrounding the sweet chestnut in the UK, probably because it was introduced. For as long as I can remember, sweet chestnuts have been a staple of autumn and winter evenings on our high streets. Leaves are oblong with a pointed tip and toothed or serrated edge. VAT No.  Organic acids are thought to play an important role against diseases as an antioxidant. The trunk is mostly straight with branching starting at low heights. The leaves are completely different, with sweet chestnut having single, long, serrated leaves and Chestnuts are traditionally roasted in their tough brown husks after removing the spiny cupules in which they grow on the tree, the husks being peeled off and discarded and the hot chestnuts dipped in salt before eating them. The bark often has a net-shaped (retiform) pattern with deep furrows or fissures running spirally in both directions up the trunk. Your mulch layer should be two to three inches deep and be kept two to three inches away from the trunk of the sapling in the case of natural mulches.  In North America as well as in Southern Europe Cryphonectria parasitica destroyed most of the chestnut population in the 20th century. But the younger chestnut tree has a smoother bark. Their high level of starch is similar to that of wheat and twice as high as the potato. The ink disease is named after the black exudates at the base of the trunk. Sweet chestnut has been found to be susceptible to fungal diseases. Transform your home into a woodland wonderland this Christmas with our easy ideas for festive, foraged home decor. The skin of raw peeled chestnuts can be relatively easily removed by quickly blanching the nuts after scoring them by a cross slit at the tufted end. The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 30 m (99 ft) high. Potato leafhopper feeding damage to chestnut causing leaf … The leaves of the horse chestnut are palmately compound--with five leaflets radiating from the center of the stalk--and have fine-toothed margins. But the gravest dangers arise with the few tree species that are toxic enough to sicken or kill horses. Chestnut is one of the world’s most popular and unique nut-bearing trees. Names of Sweet Chestnut in various languages of the world are also given. Figure A. These trees can develop vast girths of up to 2m in diameter. Images © protected Woodland Trust. Registered office: Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL. The other native trees that bloom late in the year around the same time as American chestnuts are Black Locust and Sourwood. Look out for: widely spaced teeth around the edges of leaves. ), because the bark has no obvious discriminating features until the tree is at least twenty years old, when the first surface fissures begin to appear. , Sweet chestnut has been listed as one of the 38 substances used to prepare Bach flower remedies, a kind of alternative medicine promoted for its supposed effect on health.  Like Theophrastus, Latin authors are sceptical of the sweet chestnut as a fruit, and Pliny the Elder even goes as far as admiring how well nature has hidden this fruit of apparently so little value.  On the other hand, the consumer must consider that roasting, boiling or frying has a big impact on the nutritional profile of chestnut.  A hair shampoo can be made from infusing leaves and fruit husks. Severely infested shoots produce small, bunched leaves with reduced photosynthetic capacity (Figure A). With biological control, the population of the sweet chestnut is not threatened anymore by the chestnut blight and is regenerating. Side-by-side gallery of Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) versus Castanea sativa (sweet chestnut). Approximately 300 trees obtained from a supplier in France had been planted for nut production in 2007, and infection become apparent in about half of the plants.A second outbreak was later found at a smaller nut orchard in East Sussex with 30 recently planted trees obtained from the same French supplier. You can find both old and new sweet chestnut coppicing in various areas of Britain. Those backcross hybrid trees (15/16th hybrids) which leaf out and bloom earlier than native KY American … , The ornamental cultivar C. sativa 'Albomarginata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, Media related to Castanea sativa at Wikimedia Commons, The examples and perspective in this article. The species is widely cultivated for its edible seeds (also called nuts) and for its wood. Woodland Trust (Enterprises) Limited, registered in England (No. Cooking dry in an oven or fire normally helps remove this skin.  Nowadays, sweet chestnut production is sometimes seen at a turning point again, because the development of high-value sweet chestnut products combined with changing needs of an urban society is leading to a revival in C. sativa cultivation.  In the mid-seventh-century Lombard laws a composition of one solidi is set for felling a chestnut tree (or, also, hazel, pear or apple) belonging to another person (Edictus Rothari, No. What is Chestnut Leaves Like?  The Corsican variety of polenta (called pulenta) is made with sweet chestnut flour. They also have long pointed buds. Cooking dry in an oven or fire normally helps remove this skin.  Nowadays there are cultivars that are resistant to the ink disease. Of the non-ornamental native trees, the most deserving of the skull-and-crossbones warning are those that produce cyanide in their wilted leaves. The chestnut tree produces clusters of edible nuts. A substantial, long-lived deciduous tree, it produces an edible seed, the chestnut, which has been used in cooking since ancient times.  Some cultivars only produce one large seed per cupule, while others produce up to three seeds. The tree's huge population was due to a combination of rapid gro… The tree is to be distinguished from the horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum, to which it is only distantly related. Delivery is free. Chinese chestnuts bloom earlier than American chestnuts. The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. , Clues in art and literature indicate a dislike of the sweet chestnut by the Roman aristocracy. The female flowers eventually form a spiky sheath that deters predators from the seed. cultivation in Roman times: New data from ancient Campania", "Distribution and economic potential of the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) Sweet chestnut is a deciduous tree which can reach 35m when mature and live for up to 700 years. Keep in touch with the nature you love without having to leave the house. Its seed, bark, flower, and leaves are used to make medicine. Types of mushroom in the UK: common identification guide, Woodland Walks podcast with Adam Shaw and Dan Snow, Foraging for natural Christmas decorations.  C. sativa is characterized by high moisture content which ranges from 41% to 59 % and a considerable level of starch (≈40 g 100 g−1 dry matter). C. dentata was once one of the most common trees in the Northeastern United States.  The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 16–28 cm (6–11 in) long and 5–9 cm (2–4 in) broad. About 16–28 cm long, 5–9 cm wide and oblong with a pointed tip and a serrated or toothed edge. All these photos are taken from the Tree Guide UK app. It can be used for carpentry, joinery and furniture. In Switzerland, it is often served as Vermicelles.  Harvest time is between middle of September and middle of November. After pollination by insects, female flowers develop into shiny, red-brown fruits wrapped in a green, spiky case. The bark is radially crossed as it ascends the trunk. Registered in England No. Four processes are decisive for the degrading process of sugar while cooking: hydrolysis of starch to oligosaccharide and monosaccharide, decomposition of sucrose to glucose and fructose, caramelization of sugars and degradation of sugars. Most sweet chestnut is consumed in processed form, which has an impact on the nutrient composition. European chestnut trees have dark green leaves that are slightly furry. The leaves are quite glossy and there are about 20 pairs of prominent parallel veins. Emory University is now seeking to patent the extract for commercial and medicinal use, including the treatment of MRSA in human patients, a spray to. Since the beginning of the 20th century, due to depopulation of the countryside and the abandonment of the sweet chestnut as a staple food as well as the spread of chestnut blight and ink disease, C. sativa cultivation has dramatically decreased. 100 g ( 3.5 oz ) of C. sativa attains a height 20–35... 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