Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adding Some Horsechestnuts to the Mix

Chestnuts placed in bare patch
During a recent and brief trip to the small town of Kingsport in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, I picked up a pocketful of horse-chestnuts [Aesculus hippocastanum] from a sidewalk that was just littered with them. One of the nuts I kept in the pod while the others were already husked by the foot or vehicle traffic.

Chestnut patch before rock.
Chestnuts covered up.
According to, the nuts must not dry out if you want to plant them. Unfortunately by the time I got to planting them only the two nuts in the pod were still nice and round while the other half dozen or so were starting to shrivel up.

I planted the nuts along the forest edge or the residential acre in a half metre square patch as shown here and covered the patch with a large flat rock, to protect the nuts against predation by squirrels or raccoons and also to temper large temperature shifts. In spring when the nuts are expected to emerge I will remove the rock. If more that one survives they will be transplanted. I can probably find a spot somewhere for them in this 80 acre lot.

Rock covering chestnuts for the winter.
Though the tree is not indigenous to the area and actually an import from southern Europe, It does make for an attractive showy tree and I figure I can justify it being in the garden area around our house.

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