Chestnut Trees

Newly Planted Chinese Chestnut Trees

Zone 4 | cornpatchguy added on October 30, 2011 | Answered

Aside from planting my 2 peach trees this past spring, I planted 2 Chinese chestnut trees. Guessing they may be 3/4 year old nursery stock. . . a good 5' tall and 1 1/2 in diameter and have very large, short roots. My one tree leafed out just fine, just leaves and no new branches. The other tree had maybe 6/7 leaves and no other new growth. I'm a little concerned that maybe something is wrong. I tried to get the nursery guy to come look but he never showed. I guess what I would like to know, are they a very slow developing tree? I used the drenching method with systemic insecticide and systemic fungicide as called for on each brand. The tree with very few leaves turned brown way before the other, doesn't look good. With my fingernail, I scratched the bark. It was green under outer bark, so at least it is still alive. I'm hoping the second season they will take off, otherwise I'll be visiting my nursery guy again. I bought Chinese chestnuts, but how do you really know if that's what you got?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on November 5, 2011

The tree that leafed out but did not grow new branches sounds normal. They focus a lot on growing new roots the first year, so you sometimes see very little growth above ground while that is happening.

The other tree does sounds like it has problems. Since you treated for bugs and fungus, the other possibility is that there may be air pockets in the soil around the roots that are preventing it from establishing well. I would flood the area with water and then step firmly on the ground around the trunk to help collapse any possible air pockets.

As far as if you got the right tree, until you see leaves, it can be hard to say. It is rare for a reputable nursery to mistakenly sell the wrong plant, but mislabeling does happen.

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