How to Prune Chestnut Trees


Chestnut trees come in different types including American chestnut, Chinese chestnut, Allegheny chinkapin, Japanese chestnut and European chestnut. Chestnuts are used in a number of recipes as nuts or can be ground into chestnut flour and then used. The chestnut tree differs from other crop trees, such as cherries, apples or peaches, in that it does not require a regular yearly pruning. Prune chestnuts within the first five to 10 years of planting to shape the tree.

Step 1

Prune broken, damaged or diseased branches on the chestnut trees at any time. Remove cut branches from the area under the tree to prevent any problems spreading.

Step 2

Cut away any suckers or growth on the base of the tree trunk. Never cut more than 1/3 of the chestnut tree annually.

Step 3

Prune only branches of at least 1 inch in diameter. Leave the base of the branch, known as the branch collar, when making cuts.

Step 4

Cut the lower branches on the tree to clear the first 8 feet of the trunk. Do this over several seasons until completed. Prune the chestnut only when required after this time.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears


  • Red Fern Farm: The Chestnut Grower's Primer
  • CAES: Planting and Caring for Chestnut Trees
  • Chestnut Tree

Who Can Help

  • USDA: How to Prune Trees
  • Arbor Day Foundation: Tree Pruning Guide
Keywords: prune branches, cut branches, branch cuts

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.