American Chestnut, American Sweet Chestnut

Castanea dentata

Family: Fagaceae (fag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Castanea (kas-TAN-nee-uh) (Info)
Species: dentata (den-TAY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Castanea americana



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cumberland, Maryland

Lawrence, Massachusetts

Gladstone, Michigan

Chaska, Minnesota

Fairport, New York

Panama, New York

Dundee, Ohio

Vermilion, Ohio

Birdsboro, Pennsylvania

Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Media, Pennsylvania

Roulette, Pennsylvania

Swansea, South Carolina

Sevierville, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Issaquah, Washington

Cambridge, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 23, 2015, NorthPotter from Roulette, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

There are thousand of wild, native stump sprouting American chestnuts out there growing from old root systems. Over the years I have also found about 7 wild, seed grown trees that tolerate some blight (not immune to it but fight it and recover with battle scars) and produce burrs semi-regularly. These range from 8" - 18" DBH. Finding those took hundreds of hours and many wonderful miles on the hiking boots.

Collect the nuts from these specimens and grow them into trees. Its a great way to pass the time in the winter.


On Mar 3, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

With proper care, it is still possible to grow blight-sensitive American chestnuts in their native range up to about 30' in height and 6" trunk diameter. Cultivated trees are important for preserving genetic diversity for future restoration work. They will eventually be hit by the blight, but can produce chestnuts and wood until then. Chestnut blight does not kill the roots, and stump sprouts can be re-grown into productive trees.

This was once the most common tree in the Appalachian forests from Maine to Mississippi, growing to 120'. Massive, majestic, and beautiful, it was a keystone species in the ecology of the eastern forests. It was also of tremendous economic value for its rot-resistant lumber, tannin for leather tanning, and food for humans, livestock, and wildlife. ... read more


On Dec 12, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

I first saw some of those chestnut tree sprouts that keep coming up from old trunks in the forest of Crows Nest Land Preserve in Southeast PA, before dying back down from the blight. Then I visited Tyler Arboretum's Chestnut plantation, surrounded by fencing to keep deer out, near Media, PA. Their trees vary from being pure American species that have enought resistance to grow decently to plants that are 1/8th or 1/4 or 1/2 Chinese. The American Chestnut Association has begun planting trees that are 15/16th American in various forests in the Apppalachian Region.


On Sep 12, 2012, 10jdjean from Gladstone, MI wrote:

This tree is very hardy in zone 4 and grows well in sandy soil. I have had it for about 3 years and it has thrived out of the range of chestnut blight.


On Jun 11, 2010, runnow from Sevierville, TN wrote:

Once the dominant tree in this area it was nearly
elimanated by Chestnut blight. I planted two trees from the
new breeding program 2 years ago which seem to be doing well. It was a major food source for the Cherokee and for wildlife.During a recent trip to the Smoky Mountains National
Park I came across 37 young Chestnuts next to a trail at 5,000 feet near Fraser Firs killed by Balsam adelgids.


On Sep 25, 2004, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

When it avoids the above problems it forms an attractive tree carrying large greenish yellow catkins in the summer, which develop into typical chestnut fruits with spiny casings. It has good autumn leaf colour of orangey-yellow. The leaves have toothed edges


On Dec 20, 2003, tmpugel wrote:

The American Chestnut Foundation's backcross breeding program will produce American chestnut trees that are resistant to chestnut blight. In less than ten years the first resistant trees will be planted out. The web page is
Tom Pugel


On Aug 29, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A massive tree, but unfortunately Castanea dentata is highly susceptible to Chestnut blight (Endothia parasitica), as well as leaf spot, anthracnose and powdery mildew.