Castanea sativa, is large, with a stout trunk and strong, fairly short main branches that create a shaggy canopy starting quite close to the ground. Sweet chestnuts, which can reach 30 metres in the right position, will grow on almost any well-drained soil apart from chalk. The nuts are edible - and delicious.
Browse our other varieties of Chestnut trees.
General description of Sweet Chestnut trees:
This rugged, deciduous tree has lush, glossy, lance head shaped leaves with serrated edges that turn bronze-gold in autumn. It produces fairly insignificant pale yellow catkins in June/July which are pollinated by bees and ripen into eating chestnuts in early winter. Castanea sativa excellent parkland or woodland specimen. It is a very long-lived tree and old specimens can be exceptionally beautiful, with thick, spreading branches and intricately ridge bark which seems to spiral around the trunk.
Castanea sativa trivia:
Spanish chestnuts were hugely important to the Roman Empire, which was responsible for increasing its range across the Old World and for introducing it to Britain some 2,000 years ago. Sweet chestnut porridge was the staple diet of Roman soldiers on campaign. In Sicily there is an ancient sweet chestnut that is thought to be over 2,000 years old, called the Castagnu de Centu Cavaddi, The Chestnut of One Hundred Horses, which refers to a legend about a Spanish queen and her company of 100 knights taking shelter under this massive tree in a storm. Chestnut wood is strong and almost rotproof making it ideal for outdoor uses such as fencing.