Chestnuts roasting on an open fire - or bought piping hot from a street vendor - Castanea sativa is so evocative of Christmas long ago!
Castanea sativa is a large, majestic tree which won the Award of Garden Merit in 2002. The Sweet Chestnut tree has long, glossy leaves which are well ridged and bright green. In the summer time the tree becomes laden with male and female catkins which are creamy in colour and contrast remarkably with the bright, glossy green leaves.
In the autumn time the leaves turn golden brown before falling, accompanied by the spikey cream husks that contain the sweet chestnuts nuts; get to them before the squirrels do!
This large chestnut tree has spiralling, rough bark at maturity which is grey brown and extremely interesting, with the tree taking on a statuesque appearance and a broadly oval crown at maturity.
Castanea sativa does best on reasonably dry, light soils and is moderately tolerant of lime.
This stunning specimen tree can be planted singularly and also makes a superb candidate for avenue planting.
With the decreasing health of Horse Chestnut in the UK, Castanea sativa may be a good second choice for avenue planting in stately homes.
Mature height: 20m+