I remember my grandparents telling me about their chestnut trees... and their delicious fruit.
They’d collect the nuts every October, peel the skins away and roast them over a fire just like in the Christmas song.
Sadly, almost every american chestnut tree in the country was wiped out 75 years ago by a foreign fungal disease.
Since then, teams of horticulturists have worked hard to bring back the American Chestnut tree... but with improved disease resistance.
It worked. The new American Chestnut is even better than the original. It's easier to grow, but still gives you rich, flavorful chestnuts in the fall.
A mature tree can reach 70 feet and spread 50 feet or more.
The nuts are formed on drooping, yellow catkins that form feathery masses in late spring. Plant several chestnuts near each other to pollinate for fruit.
Trees usually start bearing nuts in 2-3 years when planted in full sun.
I use roasted chestnuts as a compliment to vegetables, in a classic Thanksgiving stuffing or as a snack all by themselves.