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Mature sweet chestnut tree

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Sweet Chestnut
Castanea Sativa

Castanea sativa, common name Sweet Chestnut, is a large vigorous deciduous tree with spirally furrowed bark when old. It has toothed, glossy dark green leaves which turn golden yellow in autumn and is laden with yellowish green catkins in summer. Its edible fruit in the autumn are chestnuts which are delicious when roasted on an open fire.

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Sweet Chestnut is available for purchase in increments of 25

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Description
Sweet Chestnut is a deciduous broad-leaved tree in the Fagaceae family, and is native to Southern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. The trees can live for up to 700 years. It was imported by the Romans, and can be found in woods and copses throughout the UK.

Planting Position
Suitable for well-drained soil and happiest in full sun, however it will tolerate shade Intolerant of lime.

Size
Growth Rate: Medium
Final Height: 35m
Final Spread: 15m

Foliage & Flowers
The bark often has a net-shaped pattern with deep furrows or fissures running spirally in both directions up the trunk. The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 16-28cm long and 5-9cm broad. The flowers of both sexes are borne in 10-20cm long upright catkins, the male flowers in the upper part and the female in the lower part. They appear late June to July and the female flowers develop into spiny cupules containing 3-7 brownish nuts that are shed during October.

Plant Interest
The flowers provide pollen and nectar to bees and other insects. Squirrels eat the fruits and a number of micro moths feed on the leaves and moths.

Landscape Use
Sweet Chestnut requires a mild climate and adequate moisture for good growth and a reasonable chestnut harvest. Its year growth is sensitive to late spring and early autumn frosts.

Uses
The timber is similar to oak, strong and durable, but is more lightweight. Sweet Chestnut is frequently planted and managed commercially for its timber, typically trees are coppiced on a 10 - 12 year cycle, generating tall, strong poles. It can be used for carpentry, joinery and furniture. Thin steam bent planks are traditionally used to make Sussex trugs. The Chestnuts can be eaten.

Planting may be carried out at any time between early-November and mid-May.

Planting Willow and Poplar Setts / Cuttings

The cuttings are quick and easy to plant. They are provided with a slanted cut at the base and a straight cut at the top to make insertion into the ground easier and distinguish top from bottom. They can simply be pushed into loose cultivated soil and firmed in. They will need no support. In firmer soils simply make a vertical slit with a spade and push the cutting to the bottom of the slit and firm well by treading. Alternatively a narrow hole may be made with a bar or spike and the cutting pushed to the bottom and firmed well. A mole-plough or subsoil blade may be pulled through the ground in rows and the cuttings simply pushed into the loosened soil slit and firmed in by foot.

The smallest one foot long (30 cm) cuttings must be planted so that only 2 inches (5 cm) is showing above ground. This makes them vulnerable to being smothered by weeds and grass before they get away, and so they are only suited to situations where they will receive a high standard of care in the early days. The two foot long cuttings (60 cm) are planted so that half is in the soil as in the photo below. This means that the new growth starts above weed and grass height. Being larger they also contain greater reserves of energy and grow away faster. In most situations the 2 foot long (60 cm) cuttings are the best option and will produce a tree, if looked after, of 6 - 8ft high in the first growing season .

 

Planting Bare Root Whips and Hedging

Bare root plants can planted by notch or pit planting methods. For more information, please download this helpsheet.

Planting bare root whips and hedging help sheet

 

The decision on whether to plant rooted trees and/or which size of cuttings will depend on:

      - How easy a job you want planting to be

      - How well you will look after your trees 

      - Your soil type and site

      - How quickly you need results

 

All sizes of cutting root equally well.

The smallest one foot long (30 cm) cuttings must be planted so that only 2 inches (5 cm) is showing above ground. This makes them vulnerable to being smothered by weeds and grass before they get away, and so they are only suited to situations where they will receive a high standard of care in the early days. The two foot long cuttings (60 cm) are planted so that half is in the soil. This means that the new growth starts above weed and grass height. Being larger they also contain greater reserves of energy and grow away faster. 

In most situations the 2 foot long (60 cm) cuttings are the best option and will produce a tree, if looked after, of 6 - 8ft high in the first growing season.

On dry sites such as sands and gravels, or on banks, we would suggest that you plant a longer cutting and insert a larger proportion into the soil. Both the hybrid willows and poplars have the ability to make roots from any part of the stem and so, if planted deeply, will produce deep roots, which will always find moisture. 

The rooted trees and longer cuttings will cope better with difficult conditions and weed or grass competition to give instantly visible results.

Further information on rooted or unrooted plants can be found here.

Payment

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Delivery

Our bare root plants and cuttings are delivered between November and May (specific dates cannot be guaranteed) but we do encourage early planting for the best results.

Most orders are dispatched within 3-5 working days where stocks are available. If they are not available at the time of order you will be notified and an alternative delivery date discussed with you.We ship to mainland UK and the Isle of Wight (although surcharges may be incurred in some more remote areas). Our orders are generally sent out using a national courier but for local deliveries, we may use our own couriers. Orders can also be collected from the nursery by prior appointment and we are more than happy for you to do this if you prefer.

Our standard delivery charge is £15 plus VAT. This is for a next day delivery service in areas where this is available (i.e. mainland UK). For areas outside mainland UK, such as northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Scottish islands and mainland Europe, we can often offer delivery but will need to confirm the costs of these with you, so please call us to discuss on 01404 811229.  

There's usually no need to wait in for a standard delivery, our couriers will leave it in a safe place for you. If there is somewhere in particular you would like it left, please let us know at the time of ordering. For taller plants or a larger volume (particularly root ball trees), a pallet may be required. We will let you know at the time of your order as this will usually incur an additional fee. 

On arrival you should try to plant as soon as possible but, if the weather makes this impossible, cuttings will remain viable somewhere cold for 4 weeks. A cold shed or outside is fine but if the weather turns warm then put them into a fridge if possible. If you are unable to plant the rooted trees within ten days of arrival then we suggest that you unpack the bale and cover the roots with soil in a shallow trench to keep them moist.

It is important to look after your trees as they mature so now click on After-Planting Care for some useful guide-lines.