How to Grow Chestnut Trees From Cuttings

Updated November 21, 2016

Chestnut trees add shade to any garden or lawn area, but it also offers something more: edible nuts. The wood of the tree is also highly prized; chestnut is a hardy furniture wood. If you want to start growing your own chestnut tree in your outdoor spaces, start the tree from a cutting.

Find a well-established chestnut tree for the cutting. You'll want a tree that is already growing in your region, to increase chances that your cutting will root and thrive in your soil. The tree should be healthy, straight and contain no visible signs of disease.

Take the cutting from the tree in winter: December through February.

Choose a 4- to 8-inch branch containing four to six buds, cutting it from the tree at a slight angle with sharp garden shears.

Place the cutting into well-drained, rich soil, leaving only the top 4 inches above the soil. Cuttings may be put into a pot indoors to keep them protected from winter weather and then transplanted in the spring, or placed directly into its permanent outdoor site.

Plant chestnut cuttings in well-drained, moist soil that is damp but not wet. If you are able to wring excess moisture from the soil by gently squeezing it, the soil is too wet for chestnut trees. Optimal soil pH for chestnut trees is 5.5 to 6.5.

Fertilise the soil in spring using one pound of 10-10-10 fertiliser per inch of trunk as measured by the diameter.

Mow the grass around the tree in a 3-foot diameter.

Apply a layer of wood chips or straw mulch, less than 2 inches thick, to help prevent weeks and keep the soil moist, in the mowed area around the trunk. The area 6 inches around the trunk should be kept free of mulch.

Erect a fence of wire mesh around young cuttings and chestnut tree saplings to protect them from deer, rodents and other pests.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp garden shears
  • 10-10-10 fertiliser
  • Wood/straw mulch
  • Wire mesh
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About the Author

K. C. Morgan is a professional freelance writer, with articles and blog posts appearing on dozens of sites. During her years of writing professionally, K. C. has covered a wide range of topics. She has interviewed experts in several fields, including celebrated psychoanalyst Frances Cohen Praver, PhD; television personality and psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig; and entrepreneur Todd Reed.