American chestnut at Ringve in Trondheim

There’s a great little American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) just outside the office building at Ringve Botanical Garden in Trondheim where I work. This one has bloomed almost all summer.

The tree has separate male and female flowers, but there has to be at least two trees for pollination ….

I have 5 one-year-old trees from a northern provenance, Jefferson County in Washington State (via Chris Homanics in Oregon) and hope that Ringve would like to plant more eventually….I would love to see if the nuts would ripen here… and also help to preserve a tree species that is threatened with extinction by an imported fungal disease where it grows wild in eastern North America. In its homeland, this is one of the quickest to produce nuts from seed (as early as 5 years!)

Chris, one of my food diversity / preparedness heroes, wrote in 2016:

“Last month was spent collecting many distinct types of chestnuts from about 30 separate sites throughout Western Washington and Oregon. Some were even from old naturalized forests full of chestnut trees. Amassed it represents a diverse foundation stock for planting up, far and wide. In the face of growing droughts and the woes of climate change, I believe this plant will play a significant role in feeding people in the future as it has gone far back into the deep past. My hope is to help foster a revival of interest with the chestnut as a viable sustainable food source by offering a diverse collection of these nuts to the public to select and adapt to their local environment. ”

My other plants I’d like to plant in KVANN’s garden at Væres Venner Felleshage!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *