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Dbltree

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PDF files are available at the bottom of Dbltree's post showing the pictures he posted

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Chestnut trees

Unfortunately most of the nation’s chestnut trees succumbed to blight decades ago, but when these trees were common, they were highly favored wildlife mast. Whitetails especially love chestnuts so interest in growing blight resistant Chinese chestnuts and Chinese X American hybrid trees has grown. I have been started Timburr hybrid trees from seed purchased from Oikos Tree Crops. The chestnut seed are easy to start and grew rapidly in RootMaker cells and I planted them next to food plots and tubed them.





My first experience with chestnuts was a total failure (like many of my initial tries at anything) because I didn't tube or fence them. Rabbits and deer immediately ate all 200 trees to the dirt like they were candy, so I advise protecting your chestnuts if you plant them. My friend Walt purchased Dunstan chestnut trees from Walmart and Jess planted them in the spring 2013.




The trees survived the bitter cold Iowa winter and seem to do well, the only mortality came from a buck that tore the cage down and then demolished the tree. One tree produced a burr already so I expect these trees will pick up speed over the next few years and produce heavily in about the same time as dwarf fruit trees.





What I wouldn't give to walk my farm and check the trees I planted over the years but barring a miracle I'll never walk again. I would love to know if my chestnut trees survived but I never regret planting a single tree and I have planted 50,000 in my lifetime. Chestnuts will not grow everywhere especially in colder northern areas but if you live where they will grow I encourage you to add some in and around your food plots. A good friend of mine has a chestnut orchard and says the deer don't wait for them to fall but stand on their hind legs, knocking them to the ground. They pop open the spiny hulls and devour the sweet nuts one after another! Those are Chinese chestnuts and deer couldn’t eat them fast enough so no reason to spend money on a certain brand.



Jesse has helped me plant trees since he was a child, we always worked together but now he carries the weight of world solely on his shoulders. While he shares my passion for creating wildlife habitat he also has to run the business which often means 16 hour days and little time for pictures. I hope someday however, he will walk this farm with his children and say "look at these chestnut trees, your grandfather and I planted these years ago"


It's never to late to plant a tree and chestnuts will be bringing in whitetails quicker than you might think ;)

Many thanks to chickenlittle for rescuing Pauls pictures.

PDF's of the this thread with Dlbtree's photobucket images included.
 

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Dbltree

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Thanks for posting Paul...we're going to find out if chestnuts survive in central MN ;)
Cool! Anything special or just ordinary chestnuts?
 
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Dbltree

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Thanks for the feedback fellas! I am told chestnuts do better in either cages or over size /double tubes so you might experiment with that. ;)
 

huntall

5 year old buck +
Paul....I love seeing your passion for habitat! I have planted between 3-4 thousand trees with my two older boys over about a four year span.
My boys was 7 and 10 four years ago when i started planting a large variety of oaks.
I also planted an orchard of mainly pears and Japanese persimmon with a few crab apples. My place is in the deep south of Mississippi so pear trees is king over apple's down here!
I only have 5 dunstan chestnut planted ,but gonna plant some Chinese chestnut trees this year.
Thanks for all your info I have read Paul!
 

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
I am surrounded by 10's of thousands of acres of hardwood timber in east central Mo and still I am hooked on planting mast trees on my newly purchased 287 acres. The pic below may look like just an ordinary chestnut to so many but not to me. To me this is the most beautiful chestnut in the world because it is my first chestnut on my farm from a dunstan I planted last fall. The tree produced 5 pods but only 1 was pollinated. My eyes lit up when I saw this baby on the ground! I pray my 3 young boys can enjoy the fruits for a very long time!
image1 (10).JPG
 

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
Here is a pick of the dunstan. I would guess it is a third leaf tree.
image (19).jpeg
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Thanks for the info, Paul. We don't have any chestnuts growing at my camp, but you've got me interested. I'll look into getting some Chinese chestnuts to plant. I'll wrap the trunks with aluminum window screen and cage them with concrete mesh. I guess you can't have too much variety when it comes to food / mast.
 
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Dbltree

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Thanks for the info, Paul. We don't have any chestnuts growing at my camp, but you've got me interested. I'll look into getting some Chinese chestnuts to plant. I'll wrap the trunks with aluminum window screen and cage them with concrete mesh. I guess you can't have too much variety when it comes to food / mast.
They do great in PA and I think your Fish & Game offers low /no cost seedlings
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Thanks, Paul. We have a couple spots along field edges and in some corners that get sun most of the day. There's thick cover within 20yds. of the potential chestnut spots. Apples and crabs right there too. Should be a good area for a 3 - mast buffet! Plots of Rye and WW another 20yds. out from the mast trees.

Gotta tell you, Paul. We're having another 3 or 4 acres logged this winter. It'll open up an otherwise open forest floor to sunlight. It's currently all pole-stage or mature timber - no cover. The cut will be N/S oriented for max sunlight, and we'll be planting Norway & white spruce, & hawthorn in the cut. White pine seeds itself in good numbers, plus we'll get some red & white oak, hickory and maple stump sprouting and seeding thru the cut. We're gonna try some hinging of some maples. We have plenty of those. We're learning !!!
 

phil@thesidehill

5 year old buck +
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They do great in PA and I think your Fish & Game offers low /no cost seedlings
PA used to be a very large producer of Chestnut. A very large finger ridge off the mountain i live on is called Chestnut Ridge.....no chestnuts anymore!

I do believe i saw last year that the PGC had Dunstans for sale produced in their nurseries.
 
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Dbltree

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Thanks, Paul. We have a couple spots along field edges and in some corners that get sun most of the day. There's thick cover within 20yds. of the potential chestnut spots. Apples and crabs right there too. Should be a good area for a 3 - mast buffet! Plots of Rye and WW another 20yds. out from the mast trees.

Gotta tell you, Paul. We're having another 3 or 4 acres logged this winter. It'll open up an otherwise open forest floor to sunlight. It's currently all pole-stage or mature timber - no cover. The cut will be N/S oriented for max sunlight, and we'll be planting Norway & white spruce, & hawthorn in the cut. White pine seeds itself in good numbers, plus we'll get some red & white oak, hickory and maple stump sprouting and seeding thru the cut. We're gonna try some hinging of some maples. We have plenty of those. We're learning !!!


Word of caution regarding hinging maples, it's very dangerous depending on variety! Soft maples split way up the tree, kickback over your head and the whole thing comes crashing down in a split second!

No deer is worth dying for so we notch and cut normally ;)
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Paul - Thanks for the heads-up on the maple danger. The ones we plan to hinge are in the 4 to 6" caliper range and aren't very tall. The BIG maples will be taken out by a timber co. The " hingers " are ones that are stunted by the taller canopy and with an established root system. So hopefully when we hinge them, and the canopy has been opened, they'll go crazy with new growth at ground level. They average 18 to 25 ft. tall.

I showed your thread on timber management for deer to some of my camp members and they really liked what they saw. They want to try some hinging up 4 ft. or so off the ground to make those " deer shelters " under the sloping hinge trees. We have a few spots where the trees are close enough to make a cluster of them and make a nice place for deer to bed under. The guys are fired up ! Thanks so much for all the info and expertise that you share with all of us !!!
 

Jordan Selsor

5 year old buck +
x2 i didnt know that about hingeing maples. Thanks
 
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