Bouche de Betizac Chestnut
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Bouche de Betizac, it just sounds fancy! Uncommonly planted, the quirky chestnut tree has much to offer the homeowner looking for something a little out of the ordinary. In fall, the flowers have morphed into the proverbial chestnuts that you can roast on an open fire while Jack Frost nips at your nose. The local wildlife will enjoy the bounty, too. (A second Chestnut Tree in the vicinity may be necessary for cross-pollination to ensure a good harvest.) Chestnuts or no chestnuts, you’ll look forward to the amber tones this tree’s distinctive toothed leaves take on before falling in autumn.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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In the early days of the United States, millions of American Chestnut Trees grew across the land, from Michigan to Maine and south to Mississippi and northwestern Florida. The largest specimens were over 100 feet tall and had trunks 12 feet thick. The durable wood supplied people with the material to make furniture, railway ties, and utility poles. Then, in 1904, a deadly Chestnut blight from China appeared at the Bronx Zoo. By the time Nat King Cole was singing about roasting chestnuts in 1946, most of the country’s Chestnut Trees had fallen victim. We offer seedlings from mature, surviving Chestnut Trees in northwestern Illinois in an effort to help get this glorious species reestablished!
A vigorous, upright grower, Bouche de Betizac Chestnut makes for a great nut-producing fast-growing shade tree. Each year, Bouche will provide your home with healthy-sized crops made up of medium to large-sized chestnuts. Each nut is easily peeled and has great flavor, making a great snack fresh off the tree. This chestnut variety does require another chestnut, such as Precoce Migoule or Marigoule, for cross-pollination to produce a crop.
Height: 30-60 ft
Width: 20-40 ft
Exposure: Full Sun
How to Grow
Bouche de Betizac Chestnut appreciates good, rich, moist, well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine. Provide regular irrigation. Chestnuts are encased in prickly, sea urchin–like pods, so you’ll want to keep this tree away from patios, pools, sidewalks, and other places where bare feet may wander. In rural areas, semi-wild spaces are ideal, as local wildlife like turkeys, jays, and grouse will love to share in the bounty. Before planting, check with your local extension office about the presence of Chestnut blight in your area and the feasibility of planting Chestnuts on your property.
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