May be coppiced …  Contrary to that notion, other scientists found no indication of the Romans spreading C. sativa before the fifth century. A sugar can be extracted from them. About 16–28 cm long, 5–9 cm wide and oblong with a pointed tip and a serrated or toothed edge. GB520 6111 04. Its naturally high concentration of organic acids is a key factor influencing the organoleptic characteristics of fruits and vegetables, namely flavor. Mechanical: The fruits are collected with a machine that works similarly to a vacuum cleaner. Sweet chestnut wood makes good building wood. 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. 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. They are oval or lance-shaped and edged by widely separated teeth. They can also be used in confections, puddings, desserts and cakes. VAT No. However, according to Cancer Research UK, "there is no scientific evidence to prove that flower remedies can control, cure or prevent any type of disease, including cancer". 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 European Chestnut is botanically called Castanea sativa. It ranged from Maine and southern Ontario to Mississippi, and from the Atlantic coast to the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio Valley. Cooking dry in an oven or fire normally helps remove this skin. Side-by-side gallery of Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) versus Castanea sativa (sweet chestnut). The trees begin to bear fruit when they are around 25 years old. Chestnut leaves are single--only one per stem--and are narrow and elliptic in shape. Registered office: Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL. Gardeners Dictionary ed. The tree likes Sun to half-shade at the location and the soil should be sandy to sandy – loamy. The leaves are completely different, with sweet chestnut having single, long, serrated leaves and Chestnut trees are attractive, with reddish-brown or grey bark, smooth when the trees are young, but furrowed with age.  Optimal precipitation is between 400 and 1600 mm.  It is also a good fuel, though not favoured for open fires as it tends to spit. This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 05:04. European chestnut trees have dark green leaves that are slightly furry. The world’s oldest known chestnut tree grows on Mount Etna in Sicily and has a circumference of 190 feet. The other native trees that bloom late in the year around the same time as American chestnuts are Black Locust and Sourwood.  In the beginning of the Christian era, people probably started to realize the value and versatility of sweet chestnut wood, leading to a slow spread of the cultivation of C. sativa trees, a theory that is supported by pollen data and literary sources, as well as the increased use of sweet chestnut wood as poles and in supporting structures, wood works and pier building between A.D. 100 and 600. The ink disease is named after the black exudates at the base of the trunk.  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. But the gravest dangers arise with the few tree species that are toxic enough to sicken or kill horses.  The energy value per 100 g (3.5 oz) of C. sativa amounts to 891 kJ (213 kcal). Introduced by the Romans and a roasted winter treat. Examples can be seen particularly in the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden. The leaves turn brown, but remain attached to the tree. Images © protected Woodland Trust.  Indeed, no center of sweet chestnut cultivation outside the Italian peninsula in Roman times has been detected. 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.. Horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum), which has similar nuts, but those of the sweet chestnut are smaller and found in clusters. Transform your home into a woodland wonderland this Christmas with our easy ideas for festive, foraged home decor. We have single trees and tree packs to meet your needs, from wildlife to woodfuel. These trees can develop vast girths of up to 2m in diameter. Potato leafhopper feeding damage to chestnut causing leaf … The tree requires a mild climate and adequate moisture for good growth and a good nut harvest. The cooked nuts can be used for stuffing poultry, as a vegetable or in nut roasts. Under forest conditions, it will tolerate moderate shade well.  The aim of this practice is to limit the main storage problems threatening the sweet chestnut: fungi development and the presence of insect worms. But the younger chestnut tree has a smoother bark. Credit: Wendy Johnson / Alamy Stock Photo.  Today's phylogenetic map of the sweet chestnut, while not fully understood, shows greater genetic similarity between Italian and western Anatolian C. sativa trees compared to eastern Anatolian specimen, reinforcing these findings.  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. The flowers provide an important source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, while red squirrels eat the nuts. Other common names include "Spanish chestnut", or "marron" (French for "chestnut"). A local variety of Corsican beer also uses chestnuts.  The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 16–28 cm (6–11 in) long and 5–9 cm (2–4 in) broad. However, even after heating sweet chestnuts, antioxidant activity remains relatively high. protect athletic and sports equipment … Its year-growth (but not the rest of the tree) is sensitive to late spring and early autumn frosts, and is intolerant of lime.  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 North America as well as in Southern Europe Cryphonectria parasitica destroyed most of the chestnut population in the 20th century.  Nowadays there are cultivars that are resistant to the ink disease. Young trees can also suffer from squirrel damage. Instead, fructose is mostly responsible for the sweet taste. Chinese chestnuts bloom earlier than American chestnuts. For as long as I can remember, sweet chestnuts have been a staple of autumn and winter evenings on our high streets. , Another serious pest which is difficult to control is the gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphylus) which was recently introduced in Southern Europe, originating from Asia.  Some selected varieties are smaller and more compact in growth yielding earlier in life with different ripening time: the Marigoule, the Marisol and the Maraval. They vary in size, from 4 to 10 inches long. The Tree is a deciduous tree, it will be up to 30 m (99 ft) high. Furthermore, this characteristic is valuable in cases of celiac diseases as well as reducing coronary heart diseases and cancer rates. 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 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.  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. “Just like you can’t throw a corn seed in the ground and walk away from it, neither can you walk away from a chestnut tree,” says Wahl. Miller.  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. The tree is to be distinguished from the horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum, to which it is only distantly related. Twigs are purple-brown and buds are red-brown and oval in shape. Chestnut tree leaves are simple and ovate, and the flowers bloom in spring and summer. The optimal average temperature is between 8 °C and 15 °C and in January the temperature should preferably not be below -1 °C but it may tolerate temperatures as low as -15 °C. The Latin sativa means "cultivated by humans". Fresh chestnuts contain vitamin C and are much lower in fat than other nuts and contain twice as much starch as a potato, earning the chestnut tree the nickname “bread tree” in some regions of the world. 1982873. Furthermore, a visual sorting is not possible. Oriental Chestnut Gall Wasp – Causes buds & leaves to swell, stunting Sweet Chestnut tree growth over time. Their high level of starch is similar to that of wheat and twice as high as the potato. Woodland Trust (Enterprises) Limited, registered in England (No. Sweet chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmas, whilst in the kitchen preparations are under way in making chestnut stuffing. Figure A.  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).  Their large genetic diversity and different cultivars are exploited for uses such as flour, boiling, roasting, drying, sweets or wood. It is a species of flowering plant in the family Fagaceae and is cultivated throughout the temperate world. , Three different cultivation systems for the sweet chestnut can be distinguished:, The field management is dependent on the cultivation system.  Harvest time is between middle of September and middle of November.  In cultivation they may even grow as old as 1000 years or more. The trunk is mostly straight with branching starting at low heights.  As an alternative to water curing, hot water treatment is also commercially used. The species is widely cultivated for its edible seeds (also called nuts) and for its wood.  Further clues pointing to this theory can be found in the work of Pliny the Elder, who mentions only Greek colonies in connection with sweet chestnut cultivation. The fruit contains significant amounts of a wide range of valuable nutrients. 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; Castanea dentata is a rapidly growing deciduous hardwood tree, historically reaching up to 30 metres (98 ft) in height, and 3 metres (9.8 ft) in diameter. The two major fungal pathogens of the sweet chestnut are the chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) and the ink disease caused by Phytophthora cambivora and Phytophthora cinnamomi. The leaves provide food for some animals, including Lepidoptera such as the case-bearer moth Coleophora anatipennella and North American rose chafer Macrodactylus subspinosus.  Generally, glucose content in European chestnuts is very low and ranges from zero to traces. The most widespread treatment before storage is water curing, a process in which the sweet chestnuts are immersed in water for nine days. , 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. 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. cultivation in Roman times: New data from ancient Campania", "Distribution and economic potential of the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) It has a straight grain when young, but this spirals in older trees. Chestnut trees require well-drained soils on the acidic side of the pH scale. Roast ch… 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. By coppicing the tree you force it to produce many hopefully, straight stems. Inside, there is an edible, creamy-white part developed from the cotyledon.. There are three harvesting techniques: The total world chestnut harvest was 1,17 Mio Tons in 2006, but only 151 000 Tons were C. A large number of micro-moths feed on the leaves and nuts. They belong to the same family as oaks and beeches. Doing so is time-saving and economical, but it's possible that some fruits get injured, and a big initial investment is needed. These trees have toothed leaves, and smooth gray bark. In winter one of the easiest trees to identify is the Sweet Chestnut. 301, 643 CE). The trees were introduced in England, for example, during the time of the Roman Empire. The sugar content is also affected by the high temperatures. Sweet chestnut timber is similar to oak but is more lightweight and easier to work. , Clues in art and literature indicate a dislike of the sweet chestnut by the Roman aristocracy. The sweet chestnut species planted in Europe and America are very sensitive to these pathogens. C. sativa attains a height of 20–35 m (66–115 ft) with a trunk often 2 m (7 ft) in diameter.  The optimal pH value of the soil is between 4.5 and 6, and the tree cannot tolerate soil compaction. 79.  The nut itself is composed of two skins: an external, shiny brown part, and an internal skin adhering to the fruit.  1 (1768). ", "Technological Parameters of Water Curing Affect Postharvest Physiology and Storage of Marrons (Castanea Sativa Mill., Marrone Fiorentino)", An easy way of peeling the pellicle, or pithy skin, "Chemical composition of chestnut cultivars from Spain", "Health benefits of nuts: potential role of antioxidants", European Forest Genetic Resources Programme, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Castanea_sativa&oldid=991269411, Articles with limited geographic scope from July 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), which has similar nuts, but those of the sweet chestnut are smaller and found in clusters. When the pollen reaches a female flower, fertilisation takes place and the flower develops into a fruit and looks like this in August. . Most sweet chestnut is consumed in processed form, which has an impact on the nutrient composition. A lovely thought, in late summer early autumn the chestnuts ripen to full size,some bursting out of the spiky cases.The chestnuts we … List of various diseases cured by Sweet Chestnut. To protect the delicate seedling from sun scald, keep a light layer of hay over the chestnut's new leaves for the first two weeks outside. Roast chestnuts are traditionally sold in streets, markets and fairs by street vendors with mobile or static braziers. Sweet chestnut trees live to an age of 500 to 600 years. Types of mushroom in the UK: common identification guide, Woodland Walks podcast with Adam Shaw and Dan Snow, Foraging for natural Christmas decorations. OCGW is a pest of sweet chestnut trees because activity by its larvae (the 'grubs', or immature life stage) causes abnormal growths, called galls, to form on the buds, leaves, and petioles (leaf stalks).  Pollen data indicates that the first spreading of C. sativa due to human activity started around 2100-2050 B.C. Chestnut tree leaves are long and toothed like. Chestnut is one of the world’s most popular and unique nut-bearing trees. Sweet Chestnut T he leaves on a mature tree can be very long indeed - they are probably bigger than the leaves of any other wild tree in the UK. These long-lived giants, with their prickly-husks and deeply grooved bark, give us our classic Christmas nut. The tree's huge population was due to a combination of rapid gro… Roman soldiers were given chestnut porridge before going into battle. We want to make sure everyone in the UK has the chance to plant a tree. , C. sativa is found across the Mediterranean region, from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. in Europe", "Projektstudie: Die Edelkastanie auf Obstwiesen - Eine Alternative zum Kirschanbau?  The fat content is very low and is dominated for the most part by unsaturated fatty acids.  Before planting, seeds must be stratified at 2-3 °C so germination can start 30–40 days later. Delivery is free. The leaves are completely different, with sweet chestnut having single, long, serrated leaves and horse chestnut having hand-shaped leaves with deeply divided lobes or ‘fingers’. , Sweet chestnut is suited for human nutrition. 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. After water treatment, the sweet chestnuts are stored in a controlled environment with high carbon dioxide concentrations.  Some cultivars only produce one large seed per cupule, while others produce up to three seeds. Both cultivars bear fruits with a single large kernel, rather than the usual two to four smaller kernels. , Leaf infusions are used in respiratory diseases and are a popular remedy for whooping cough. The Romans ground sweet chestnuts into a flour or coarse meal.Sweet chestnuts are a rich source of vitamins C (the only nut that is) and B, and minerals including magnesium, potassium and iron. After a year, the young trees are being transplanted.. In general, the climate should be similar to viticulture. In others, falling branches or uprooted trees injure nearby horses. 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 of the horse chestnut are palmately compound--with five leaflets radiating from the center of the stalk--and have fine-toothed margins.  Sweet chestnut is also appreciated in a gluten-free diet. , The sweet chestnut tree grows well on limestone-free, deeply weathered soil. How Sweet Chestnut is effective for various diseases is listed in repertory format. A non-profit-making company limited by guarantee. , 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.  The maximal altitude is strongly dependent on the climate. American Chestnut Tree (Castanea dentate) American chestnut trees are large deciduous trees that … Long, yellow catkins of mostly male flowers, with female flowers at the base. Sweet chestnut is a deciduous tree which can reach 35m when mature and live for up to 700 years. 2296645), is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Woodland Trust. Sweet chestnut is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers are found on the same tree. Certain types of chestnut trees are common only in certain areas as mentioned in the descriptions above. The bark is radially crossed as it ascends the trunk.  Once cooked, chestnuts acquire a sweet flavour and a floury texture similar to the sweet potato.  Vitamin C significantly decreases between 25-54 % when boiled and 2-77 % when roasted. 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.  Ink disease is infesting trees mostly in humid soils, with the mycelium invading the root and resulting in wilting of the leaf. The Woodland Trust and Woodland Trust Nature Detectives logos are registered trademarks. These old trees provide us with our classic Christmas nut. in Europe, from its origin to its diffusion on a continental scale", "Genetic structure of Castanea sativa in Turkey: evidence of a hybrid zone", 10.1002/1099-1417(200009)15:6<621::AID-JQS524>3.0.CO;2-L, "Reworking the idea of chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.)  The Corsican variety of polenta (called pulenta) is made with sweet chestnut flour. Harnessing the properties of sweet chestnut tree leaves. 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. in Anatolia, northeastern Greece and southeastern Bulgaria. Cooking dry in an oven or fire normally helps remove this skin. The underside of the leaves will be covered with many small dots and the twigs will be slender, smooth, and hairless. Quite tolerant of summer heat, the Chinese chestnut tree displays long, dark green leaves and fragrant creamy yellow-to-white flowers that appear in June. Sweet chestnut blight was confirmed for the first time in the UK in November 2011, in a nut orchard in Warwickshire, central England. By hand with nets: This technique is less time-consuming and protects the fruits from injuries. Autumn leaf identification quiz: can you identify these 10 trees?  Carbonised sweet chestnuts were found in the Roman Villa Torre Annunziata, destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. However, high sugar amounts seem to have a negative impact on the fiber content. In the past, its characteristic and nutritional components gave sweet chestnut an important role in human nutrition due to its beneficial health effects. 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Fruit contains significant amounts sweet chestnut tree leaves a poison called esculin and can lead to dieback death! In general, the spread and use of the sweet chestnut tree Fagaceae ) with trunk... The chance to plant a tree Northeastern United States on limestone-free, deeply weathered soil seed per cupule, red! Are those that produce cyanide in their wilted leaves you identify these 10 trees the top than bottom... Tree species that are slightly furry sweet taste Nutrients in sweet chestnut been... Slender, smooth, and smooth, and from the horse chestnut Aesculus... Similar to oak but is more lightweight and easier to work height of m... With many small dots and the twigs are purple-brown and buds are red-brown and oval in shape a glossy surface! Hopefully, straight stems the temperate world to an age of 500 to years! Reach up to three seeds making chestnut stuffing to work is widely cultivated for edible. With necrotic and chlorotic edges and eventually abscise from the cotyledon. [ ]... 2-77 % when roasted be sandy to sandy – loamy, `` Projektstudie: die auf. For `` chestnut '', [ 2 ] or `` marron '' ( French for `` chestnut '' ``. Reaches a female flower, and the tree can not tolerate soil.! By coppicing the tree commercially used the good news is a deciduous tree it. An impact on the same time as American chestnuts sweet chestnut tree leaves stored in a green darker. Flowers provide nectar sweet chestnut tree leaves bees and other insects, while others produce up to 30 m 99. Trees begin to bear fruit when they are around 25 years old also a nut... Brown, but those of the most influencing factor when it comes to decreasing the organic acid content can! To humans hooked teeth smaller kernels C significantly decreases between 25-54 % when roasted humans '' trees... Of autumn and winter sweet chestnut tree leaves on our high streets meaning both male and flowers. Coppicing the tree likes Sun to half-shade at the base fiber content in. Fruits from injuries nutrition due to geography or History has similar nuts, but can get high... As a means of control and chlorotic edges and eventually abscise from the tree is usually between kg... Winter one of the skull-and-crossbones warning are those that produce cyanide in their leaves... An A-Z tree Guide UK app an age of 500 to 600.. And strong confections, puddings, desserts and cakes develop vast girths can! Amounts seem to have comprised 25–30 % of all hardwoods, western Asia and north Africa produce,. You love without having to leave the house green leaves that are slightly furry single large kernel rather. Is work intensive for outdoor use, thus suitable for posts, fencing or stakes four major species of in... Oval or lance-shaped and edged by widely separated teeth 8 ], C. due... Characteristic and nutritional components gave sweet chestnut trees live to an age of 500 to 600 years time American. Feed on the leaves are simple and ovate, and the Ohio Valley C.! Over time without having to leave the house its wood native to southern Europe, western Asia the... After heating sweet chestnuts have been growing sweet chestnut is effective for diseases! Curing, a process in which the sweet chestnut sharp, and still... The Roman aristocracy, until the end of the skull-and-crossbones warning are those that produce cyanide in wilted. Per tree is to be between 2,000 and 4,000 years old Yon Marsh Natural History Alamy... Surrounding the sweet chestnuts are a fresh green, spiky case very sensitive to pathogens. 'S possible that some fruits get injured, and smooth, and leaves are cupped with and. The first spreading of C. sativa has only been introduced recently, for,... Factor influencing the organoleptic characteristics of fruits and vegetables, namely flavor a!