The U.S. Has About 3,700 Acres of Chestnut Trees

Clock Image
3 Minute Read
Posted by Karyn Moyer
Chestnut Trees

While you’re roasting your chestnuts on the open fire this holiday read these fun facts about these nuts.

  1. The name chestnut comes from the English term “chesten nut”
  2. There are 9 different species native to regions in the Northern Hemisphere.
  3. The 4 main types are known as European, Chinese, Japanese, and American.
  4. Depending on the species, chestnut trees can live 200 to 800 years.
  5. Chestnut flowers do not self-pollinate and require two trees.
  6. Two of three flowers form together to form a four-lobed prickly calybium, which merge together to make the husk covering the fruits.
  7. A sharp cupule, called a burr, contains the fruit. Burrs contain 1 to 7 nuts depending on the varieties.
  8. Chestnuts have a pointed end with a tassel at its tip. The bottom has a pale brown attachment scar, called a hilum.
  9. The nut could also be flattened on one or two sides, depending on the variety.
  10. They also have two skins. The brown outer hull, called pericarpus, is hard and shiny. The under layer, called pellicle, is thinner.
  11. All species, except American chestnut, are abundant in the wild. Between 3 and 4 billion American chestnut trees were destroyed by a fungal disease in the first half of the 20th century.
  12. Japanese chestnuts were cultivated before rice and Chinese chestnuts have been cultivated for 2,000 to 6,000 years.
  13. The oldest and largest chestnut tree in the world is a Sweet Chestnut tree, call the Hundred-Horse Chestnut. It’s located in Sant’Alfio in Sicily. It is believed to be 2,000 to 4,000 years old.
  14. Chestnuts are eaten raw, baked, boiled, or roasted and can be dried and milled into flour.
  15. Chestnut flour can be used in breads, cakes, pies, pancakes, pastas, polenta, and as a thickener for stews, soups, and sauces.
  16. Horse chestnuts and water chestnuts are not related to these nuts.
  17. Chestnut trees being to produce in 3 to 5 years. And by 10 years can produce as much as 10 to 20 pounds per tree. At maturity, about 15 to 20 years, a tree can produce 50 to 100 pounds per tree.
  18. While the United States is one of the few countries in the world that can grow chestnuts, they have about 3,700 acres of trees on about 919 farms.
  19. Michigan, Florida, California, Oregon, and Virginia are the top 5 producing states. 
  20. The average American consumes less than 1 ounce per year. To compare, Europe consumes 1 pound per capita and 2 pounds in Asia.

Want more Agriculture Facts? Click here

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get your weekly dose of Ag Facts.


Just Fun Facts
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
Chestnut Hill Tree Farm

Did you know that some chestnut trees can live up to 800 years? Click here to learn more!
Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer

Karyn Moyer is the Senior Marketing Manager at AgHires, with over 13 years of marketing experience, over 9 of which she has spent in the agriculture marketing industry. Growing up in a small farming town, Karyn has a deep appreciation for the importance of agriculture and its role in our communities. Since joining AgHires in 2017, Karyn has used her wealth of experience and knowledge to help job seekers and clients achieve their goals. She has a passion for learning and discovering new ways to support the industry.