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How to Grow Chestnut Trees

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

If you are considering growing a chestnut tree, the task is probably easier than you think. They are relatively hardy trees and do not require a lot of specialized care. Chestnut trees grow best in the eastern regions of the United States. Chestnut fruit is round and spiny, with the nut encased inside. Chestnut trees grow three times quicker than oak trees and should start bearing nuts around the fourth year. If you are looking for an easy tree to grow that isn't too large, try your hand at a chestnut tree.

Wait in the spring and until all chance of frost is gone before planting your chestnut seedlings. Frosts or freezes can kill young seedlings, so it is best to wait until warmer weather before setting it outside.

Select an area in your landscape that receives full sunlight and is large enough to hold the chestnut tree. Chestnut trees can reach 15 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Don’t plant the tree next to any structures or powerlines.

Weed the planting area before planting the tree. Keep the area around the chestnut tree clear of weeds or grasses at all times.

Amend the soil with organic material such as compost, manure or peat. Chestnut trees grow best in soil that drains well and has some organic substance to it. Work the organic material into the planting area before setting the tree in it.

Add lime to the planting area if your soil is too alkaline. Chestnut trees prefer acidic soil. Work the lime into the planting area as you did with the organic compost.

Plant the chestnut tree in a hole that is three times wider than the root ball but at the same depth the tree was being housed in the container. Planting the chestnut tree any deeper could cause undue stress and could weaken or kill it.

Water the newly-planted chestnut tree well after it has been planted. Continue to give the tree deep, weekly waterings. Watering the tree on a regular basis will produce a bigger crop of chestnuts, and the nuts themselves will be larger.

Fertilize the chestnut tree heavily during its first year in the ground. Use a high-quality acidic fertilizer four times per year. An azalea or gardenia fertilizer will work fine.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Peat
  • Lime
  • Fertilizer


  • Chestnuts can be harvested in the fall.
  • The nuts can be stored inside of wet peat moss, placed inside a plastic bag and stored in a cool area through winter. The nuts can then be planted directly into the ground in spring.

About the Author


For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.