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Chestnut (castanea Dentata)

Distinguishing characters: The *bark* in young trees is smooth and of a

marked reddish-bronze color, but when the tree grows older, the bark

breaks up into *diamond-shaped ridges*, sufficiently characteristic

to distinguish the tree at a glance, see Fig. 65. A close

examination of the _terminal twig_ will show _three ridges_ and _two

grooves_ running down along the stem from the base of each leaf or

leaf-scar. The twig has no true terminal bud. The fruit, a large,

round *bur*, prickly without and hairy within and enclosing the

familiar dark brown, sweet edible nuts is also a distinguishing mark

of the tree.

Leaf: The leaves are distinctly long and narrow. They are from 6 to 8

inches long.

Form and size: The chestnut is a large tree with a massive trunk and

broad spreading crown. The chestnut tree when cut, sprouts readily

from the stump and therefore in places where the trees have once

been cut, a group of two to six trees may be seen emerging from the

old stump.

Range: Eastern United States.

Soil and location: It will grow on rocky as well as on fertile soils and

requires plenty of light.

Enemies: During the past nine years nearly all the chestnut trees in the

United States have been attacked by a fungus disease (_Diaporthe

parasitica_, Mur.) which still threatens the entire extinction of

the chestnut trees in this country. No remedy has been discovered

and all affected trees should be cut down and the wood utilized

before it decays and becomes worthless. No species of chestnut tree

is entirely immune from this disease, though some species are highly


Value for planting: The chestnut is one of the most rapidly growing

hardwood trees but, on account of its disease, which is now

prevalent everywhere, it is not wise to plant chestnut trees for the


Commercial value: The wood is light, not very strong and liable to warp.

It is durable when brought in contact with the soil and is therefore

used for railroad ties, fence-posts, poles, and mine timbers. It is

also valuable for interior finish in houses and for fuel. Its bark

is used in the manufacture of tanning extracts and the nuts are sold

in cities in large quantities.

Tree Studies

How To Identify Trees
Group I The Pines
The White Pine (pinus Strobus)
The Pitch Pine (pinus Rigida)
The Scotch Pine (pinus Sylvestris)
Group Ii The Spruce And Hemlock
The Norway Spruce (picea Excelsa)
Hemlock (tsuga Canadensis)
Group Iii The Red Cedar And Arbor-vitae
Red Cedar (juniperus Virginiana)
Arbor-vitae; Northern White Cedar (thuja Occidentalis)
Group Iv The Larch And Cypress
The European Larch (larix Europaea)
Bald Cypress (taxodium Distichum)
Group V The Horsechestnut, Ash And Maple
The Horsechestnut
The White Ash (fraxinus Americana)
Sugar Maple (acer Saccharum)
Silver Maple (acer Saccharinum)
Red Maple (acer Rubrum)
Norway Maple (acer Platanoides)
Box Elder (acer Negundo)
Group Vi Trees Told By Their Form: Elm, Poplar, Gingko And Willow
American Elm (ulmus Americana)
Lombardy Or Italian Poplar (populus Nigra, Var Italica)
Gingko Or Maidenhair Tree (gingko Biloba)
Weeping Willow (salix Babylonica)
Group Vii Trees Told By Their Bark Or Trunk: Sycamore, Birch, Beech,
Blue Beech, Ironwood, And Hackberry
The Sycamore Or Plane Tree (platanus Occidentalis)
Gray Or White Birch (betula Populifolia)
American Beech (fagus Americana)
Blue Beech Or Hornbeam (carpinus Caroliniana)
Hackberry (celtis Occidentalis)
Group Viii The Oaks And Chestnut
White Oak (quercus Alba)
Black Oak (quercus Velutina)
Red Oak (quercus Rubra)
Pin Oak (quercus Palustris)
Chestnut (castanea Dentata)
Group Ix The Hickories, Walnut And Butternut
Shagbark Hickory (hicoria Ovata)
Mockernut Hickory (hicoria Alba)
Black Walnut (juglans Nigra)
Group X Tulip Tree, Sweet Gum, Linden, Magnolia, Locust, Catalpa,
Dogwood, Mulberry And Osage Orange
Tulip Tree (liriodendron Tulipifera)
Sweet Gum (liquidambar Styraciflua)
American Linden (tilia Americana)
The Magnolias