Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
When Will Chestnut Bloom?

Posted by quercus_alba2 4 MN (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 19:49

How big does an American chestnut have to be to bloom? I have one that is 15 years old and about 20 feet tall.The last few years I thought it would bloom,but no luck so far.

On the plus side,no sign of blight either.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 19:57

Probably depends on how much shade is around. I've had them bloom around my height in the open before.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

How old is it? They grow FAST so it might be 20' and only a few years old.
Mine are in a thick clay soil and grow 2-4 feet a year. In general, I have noticed they get to about 7 years and will flower. The following year, they create burrs.

Where in MN are you growing chestnuts? I am in the Twin Cities.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

oops sorry - you said how old it is. that does seem odd. You might try hitting it with phosphorus to induce flowering

http://www.elmpost.org/chestnut.htm
http://www.acf.org/pdfs/resources/journal/journ_vol6-2.pdf

no warranties!


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

It was a bit shaded when younger,but for the last few years has been a good deal taller then its' competitors.

It is 15 years old.It was about a foot tall when planted.

I'm also in the Twin Cities.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

I have been putting some of those tree spikes around it the last few years.It grows well,about 2 feet a year,but still no flowers.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 19, 13 at 22:33

Are you just growing it for the flowers or growing more than one so you can get nuts, too?


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 14:53

Yes: cross-pollination will probably be required for filled nuts.

Do not apply phosphorus without specific evidence (such as soil analysis report) showing it is needed. Phosphorus leaches extremely slowly and like other soil minerals becomes toxic to plant growth when over-applied - you pretty much have to dig up and replace affected soil to remove the toxicity.

Tree spikes are granular fertilizer that would otherwise be broadcast over the root zone that has been compressed into spikes, making fertilization less efficient (and more expensive). Crumble any remaining spikes and broadcast them as a powder - if any additional fertilization seems to be called for. If you have done nothing to check what soil mineral situation you had before you fertilized and what mineral content the fertilization has produced you may want to do that next.

With fertilizer blends containing multiple ingredients there is a high likelihood of buying and applying nutrients that are not needed on a given planting site. Typically a location will be short on one or two minerals - if any - rather than an entire range of them. Products containing a lot of phosphorus or trace minerals in particular can have potential for producing a toxicity when applied repeatedly.

In my area it is a pretty general rule the nitrogen is all that needs to be supplemented, and even this may mostly be the case on disturbed soils where the natural nutrient cycling system has been disrupted.

This post was edited by bboy on Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 14:57


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

phosphorus is not for plant health. Elevated levels will induce more flowering. Although if your spikes already have phosphorus, you may have other issues. most spikes are MOSTLY nitrogen for plant growth - any idea what yours were?
Another dumb question - are you SURE it is a true chestnut and not a horsechestnut or something?


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

I have a second tree,but it is much smaller and years away from blooming.The spikes I am using are 16-4-4.Yes,that was a dumb question ! ; )

Are there visible flower buds that I could look for?


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

In the winter I am not sure there is any way to tell. But my first year flowers were NOT OBVIOUS even once they were developed


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

Nothing will show up in winter as they make flowers on current years growth. I took pictures last winter of the ones that bloomed this year, and, nothing.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

for what they are worth.. just send me the money you waste on tree spikes ... and i will pray for them ... crikey ...

last pic.. just above.. not a weed in the lawn ... you treat your lawn.. yes ???? ... including fert...yes?? .. which would include the tree with its roots under the grass... yes???

then if the spikes were in fact useful.. wouldnt you be double fertilizing????

IMHO ... just stop using them ... how do you even know you are pounding them anywhere near a root for this tree????

also.. as to ANY soil amendment.. regardless of which responder above is right ... NEVER AMEND YOUR SOIL W/O A SOIL TEST .... no guessing ... or winging it on a non-locals guess .. now.. if your county extension agent were to suggest such.. there are good odds.. he has enough local info, to act upon ....

frankly ... look around your county ... i will submit.. short of the desert ... there are millions of trees in your county.. that no one ever fertilized ... and they are doing just fine ... so on that logic.. why do yours need fertilizer..????

a tree will become sexually active .... when it darn well ready to [just like a teenager] ... there is nothing you can do to change that exact moment in time .... but based on that ... one then has to step back and wonder.. if what you are doing.. is counterproductive ... so my usual response .. applied on my own garden .. is let them be free ... other than water for the two years after planting .... thereafter.. totally free range ...

the alternative.. is to love it to death .... of which.. i have done so ... lol ... and learned that benign neglect is better ... lol ..

ken


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 10:29

'Timburr' hybrid chestnut from OIKOS after 8 seasons here shows no sign of blooming yet.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

too much fertilization will prevent blooming. All the excess nutrients will go into making leaves and wood. The tree does not see a need to bloom because its too "happy". The whole purpose of blooming and reproduction is to ensure the continuation of its genes. If conditions are too perfect then the tree "thinks" it safe and doesn't need to put energy into making seeds/nuts.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 14:58

Except on clearly deficient soils such as barren sands the best general practice to enhance establishment and growth of plantings is mulching.

Where there is a known significant deficiency you won't be likely to get a full response unless you also fertilize - and fertilize with something that corrects that particular deficiency. This means the right mineral in the right amounts.

This post was edited by bboy on Sun, Dec 22, 13 at 18:57


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

Ken, the picture just above is not from the original poster. It's from my tree which did bloom this year , but the photo was taken after a thaw in early winter to show that chestnut does not set flower buds the year before. I have livestock, so they fertilize for me. My tree made catkins this year and it was 7. It was started from a seednut in 2006.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

Hybrid chestnuts from Oikos, planted as 6-12" seedlings at my dad's farm 30 miles north of St. Cloud, MN, bloomed and bore nuts for me within 5 years of planting. Growth rate was only 1-1.5 ft/yr though, which I attribute to being at the northern edge of their limit.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

Yes, I have one hybrid tree too, and it also bloomed earlier. I can't remember how much earlier than the pure americans, just earlier. I'm in PEI, east coast of Canada, so I get slower growth in the open too. The ones by the driveway are perhaps 10 to 12 feet, and were nuts in 2006. The same seedlot is bigger in the woods, but not by a whole lot, perhaps 3 feet more. Geographic location does seem to affect growth rate. I'm at 46 degrees plus a bit. Bunnies eat some of the ones in the woods too, if they can pry the mouse guards off. Those ones have to start over again from the root.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Dec 26, 13 at 11:31

Any hybrid stock that is grafted will have the sexual maturity of the stock plant; seedlings of large-growing trees such as American chestnut might be expected to take decades to reach flowering size, if it is not known otherwise that the species blooms small.


 o
RE: When Will Chestnut Bloom?

Pure americans, C dentatas, they do bloom small. In the open, in good soil, they bloom at about 7 or 8 years, longer if it's too much shade.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here