Of all the nut trees that are actually quite easy to grow, the chestnut, Castanea (various specie and hybrids), has somehow become the most obscure. It probably lost popularity while native forests in eastern North America were being annihilated by rampant disease (which never became such a threat in the west), but may be unpopular simply because it can get so big. Mature trees are regularly more than seventy feet tall and nearly as broad.
Chestnut trees are productive for those who like the nuts, but simply very messy for those who do not. The smooth meaty nuts are contained within offensively spiny husks known as 'burrs'. A few varieties of chestnuts fall freely from the burrs. Most need to be separated from their burrs even after they fall to the ground. The evenly serrate leaves will soon be turning amber gold or brown for autumn.
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