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Are There Any Chestnut Trees in Michigan?

Discussion in 'Michigan Non-Game Animals, Plants, and Scenery' started by fishingrookie, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. swampbuck

    swampbuck

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    My niece has a native Chestnut at her house in St. John's. But I don't know if there are more in the area.
     
  2. d_rek

    d_rek

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    We have a massive one at the back of my grandmothers property smack dab in the middle of a small red oak flat. It drops fruit in a smooth green shell, though i've never eaten it. My inlaws have a 'horsehead' chestnut tree in their front yard that drops these gnarly spiked fruit. The nut is inside the shell, though it's very bitter and not very good to eat. Deer seem to like it though.
     

  3. multibeard

    multibeard Premium Member

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    D_rek If it is dropping nuts in a smooth green shell it is probably not a chestnut. American and Chinese chestnuts are in a spiked outer shell like a horse chestnut. Some times my chestnuts will open while still on the tree and drop the brown chestnuts to the ground. There are two nuts in each spiked shell.

    I always thought that the chestnuts were Chineese but I am thinking now that they are American A few of the trees have died back but have come back from the roots. A friend had gathered some nuts from the property we worked at 40 years ago. He planted them in his garden and offered to let me dig some. I will tell you they have a tap root to hell. It took a long time for mine to take hold but seeing how long ago he gathered the nuts I am thinking that they must have been American Chestnuts.
     
  4. Nostromo

    Nostromo

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    I think there is one at Greenfield village, it's over by the blacksmith shop.
     
  5. Radar420

    Radar420

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    Definitely not an American chestnut. American chestnuts are like your in-laws horsechestnut except on steroids - the burrs are super spiny like a sea urchin. I typically use leather gloves to pick burrs.

    I know of at least 6 chestnuts in Cadillac and the ones I find usually have 3 brown nuts per burr.
     
  6. d_rek

    d_rek

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    Ah I think you're right. I think it's a hickory tree.
     
  7. Bucman

    Bucman

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    My neighbor has 20 acres of nut bearing trees. I believe it was posted earlier in this conversation in Ottawa County
     
  8. Richard Cranium

    Richard Cranium

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    I think I met you two years ago at Camp Crawdad. If you don't mind sharing, where in St Johns? I was raised there most of the younger part of my life and have traveled the city streets for years and don't recall any chestnut trees other than Horse chestnuts. I would seriously like to try these things. Come to find out, I have/had a large bag of these out in my polebarn. If they still are there, they probably wouldn't be very good since they have been there (if they are still there) for several years (still in the husk)!
    How dose one go about eating these things?
     
  9. swampbuck

    swampbuck

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    She is out north west of town in farm country. I have only been there once, but I believe we went west at the last intersection before you start coming in to St. John's. New gas station on the corner, and lots of new subs on that road. I could get the name. Her in-laws are the major fuel suppliers to farmers in that area

    I tried some she roasted. They were ok, not great though.
     
  10. Radar420

    Radar420

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    Meijer typically carries them in the produce section in the fall/winter.
     
  11. Paddle

    Paddle

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    My family has one old, tired native chestnut hanging on with just one branch still leafing out every year. This year we had some blooms but I guess chestnuts don't usually self pollinate. So we have the burrs but I'm afraid it won't produce any viable seeds for the rest of it's life unless we come in and pollinate for it....
     
  12. Copper116

    Copper116

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    I've been getting mine from Winkel Chestnut Farm in Coopersville, MI. 616-895-1332
     
  13. multibeard

    multibeard Premium Member

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    Yesterday I checked the chestnuts on my old place, my sons now. Most are now dead but some are regrowing growing from the stumps. There is a clump of 8 footers that must have come from a nut buried by a squirrel.

    The wood is nasty knarly wood. I found that out when I tried to split some with a big power splitter. I wonder what it would look like turned on a lathe. I am gong to have to send some to a guy on another site that just bought a new lathe. I am sure that it will give the lathe a work out