Information About Chinese Chestnuts
What Are Chinese Chestnuts: How To Grow Chinese Chestnut Trees
By Teo Spengler
Many gardeners growing Chinese chestnuts do so for the nutritious, low-fat nuts, but the tree itself is attractive enough to be an ornamental. Read this article to learn how to grow Chinese chestnut trees. Click here for more info.
There are three species of chestnut — American, European and Asiatic. Each has slightly different characteristics. The American Chestnut is famous for having been nearly wiped out by a blight in the early 1900s. Over 4 billion chestnut trees were killed. Enough survived though to be crossed with Eastern Asian species that were blight-resistant, creating new American Chestnut hybrids. See the American Chestnut Foundation for more information. When purchasing a young tree, be sure to inquire about its blight resistance.
These trees do best in well-drained and moist soil. Sand or gravel soils with enough substance to hold moisture are ideal. Deep soil is best (at least four feet) and areas that are slightly acidic will likely benefit the tree.
Chestnuts make you fat?
Lihi , Neighbor
Chestnuts are the symbol fruit of autumn, both roasted and boiled. Chestnuts are perfect as a base for confectionery products, however, enough calories.
Delicious roasted, boiled or pureed as a filling for cakes and breads, meaty chestnuts are beloved by adults and children as "feared" for the alleged effects fattening. Of them it is said that bloat your belly, they do "rise" waist and raise the glycemic index.
But is that really true? Not at all. In fact, this fruit symbol of autumn season enjoys a reputation a little undeserved.
No one should be deprived of the pleasure of tasting a good portion of ripe chestnuts every so often, even who is on a diet or have high blood sugar, because this fruit protects the health and is good for your mood.
Many people feel weak and vulnerable in the months between October and December, partly due to a physiological decline of the immune system, and in part by psychological reasons. Shorter days and less bright, gloomy weather, the humidity, and the first colds, they put ko and rob us of energy.
But the solution to these problems comes to us from nature and there are several fruits which can help us: pomegranates, persimmons, grapes, pumpkins, pears and apples . Among these we include chestnuts, but what benefits we derive from eating them in the fall, apart from the pleasure of the palate?
Nutritional properties of chestnuts are amazing, they contain amides (as it's known), but also vitamins such as Vitamin C (which boosts the immune system), folic acid and vitamin B that help us fight the states of anemia and weakness, minerals important for healthy skin and hair, but also the muscles, including magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, and lots of fiber.
These restrict the absorption of sugars and fats in the intestine, therefore the chestnuts are indicated in the case of high cholesterol.
Also stimulate the intestinal peristalsis helping to combat obstinate constipation.
Chestnuts are rich in amides and carbohydrates so they provide energy.
About calories, per 100g (fresh and raw) we assume 200 calories, however, go down to 120 if we decide to eat them boiled.
Eating too many chestnuts can have unpleasant side effects such as the formation of air into the stomach (flatulence) and bloating.
A tip for the food cold period is to use, even for making cakes and cookies, chestnut flour, which has a lower glycemic index in wheat flour 00 and a naturally sweet taste that requires a smaller quantity of sugar, quality which makes it suitable for diabetics.
Tips on Starting a Chinese Chestnut Tree Farm
The Chinese Chestnut (Castanea mollissima) is a medium-sized shade tree that bears nutritious nuts and has a spreading habit. At present, these native Chinese trees are becoming increasingly popular as cash crops. Their nuts appear in spiny burs that open up on ripening. Each bur contains one to three shiny, dark brown nuts.
Soil and Water Requirements
These shade trees grow best in loamy to sandy loam soils that are well-drained. The soil should be slightly acidic (pH 5.5 to 6.5).
These trees can tolerate extreme temperatures of up to 20°F when they are completely dormant. However, it is advisable to avoid frost pockets at the site of plantation to prevent injury to the swelling buds.
The site chosen for plantation should have a summit and shoulder slopes for maximum air drainage and protection from winter and early spring frost injury. Once the trees are established, they are drought tolerant, but require ample water during the growing season. The maximum yield is obtained under optimum soil and water conditions. Deficient water supply during mid-August results in smaller nuts, while the lack of water in September can prevent the burs from opening normally. Micro-irrigation is the best suited technique for chestnut plantation.
Tips on Cultivation
The trees can be cultivated by directly planting grafted trees, by planting nuts and graft fielding them after one or two years, or by planting seedling trees and grafting them after one or two years. The method of cultivation should be chosen according to the skills of the grower and the economic conditions. Planting grafted trees is the easiest method of establishing a Chinese Chestnut farm. The grafted trees begin to bear nuts in two to three years. The time taken to bear nuts also depends on the growth rate of the trees.
Transplanting should be done in early March when it is easy to work on the soil. Special care should be taken to keep the roots moist while transplanting. The treetops and rotten roots should be pruned regularly. The transplanting hole should be free of fertilizers and soil amendments. The tree should be watered after transplantation. 30-by-30-foot spacing is required between the trees. As the trees grow, every tree on the diagonal should be removed to increase the spacing to 42-by-42 feet.
The trunks of young plants are susceptible to sunscald. It is advisable to paint the trunk with a 50/50 mixture of white interior paint, and then, water and cover it with a white plastic spiral tree wrap to avoid injury.
Mulch should be applied on a 6-foot circle around the tree to prevent other vegetation from growing. Every time the tree grows a few inches, half a cup of ammonium nitrate fertilizer should be evenly applied over the mulch. The plant should be watered regularly during the summers to keep the soil moist.
A Chinese Chestnut farm usually remains pest-free. In well-managed areas, the chestnuts can be grown without any pesticides. It is a good idea to surround the plantation with a 5-foot welded wire cage to keep animals from grazing. If the crop gets infected by caterpillars or weevils, application of effective insecticides becomes necessary.
Harvesting is usually done in September or October. The fallen nuts should be harvested promptly to avoid predation from animals. The nuts should be removed from the burs and refrigerated in sealed plastic bags to avoid molds. Once the collection period is over, the chestnuts can be sold locally.
“The only thing I like about chestnuts roasting on an open fire is the romance of the song,” says rworange. They taste like unseasoned yuca—bland and boring starch.
Chinese chestnuts, however, are entirely different beasts. They’re tiny, scarcely larger than a hazelnut, and my, are they good. Each bite is filled with sweet, smoky wonderfulness. “When I reheated them in the microwave, a heady aroma perfumed the kitchen,” says rworange. “I actually prefer them at room temperature, since there are more perceptible flavor nuances. But either way, good.”
bulavinaka says that our homegrown chestnuts are bland because most of the native trees were wiped out by blight long ago, and the chestnuts grown today are bred to be blight-resistant, not tasty.
Even the vacuum-sealed bags of roasted chestnuts available at Asian markets are tasty, says justagthing. They live in the snack section, and usually cost about a dollar a bag. And hannaone notes that the Korean roasted chestnut is probably the same variety as the Chinese. Korean chestnuts develop very good flavor from being roasted over an ondau, a round charcoal brick.