Chestnut trees

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owlice
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Chestnut trees

Postby owlice » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:44 pm

For all the time I've owned my house, I've thought the chestnut tree out front was a horse chestnut. Horses, not zebras, right? But having been reminded again why it's not a good idea to walk in the front yard barefoot (ouch!), I read the Wikipedia article on chestnut and horse chestnut trees and realized the flowers shown for horse chestnuts do not match the (horrible smelling) catkins my tree produces. (I live in horror of the smell of these things.)

I think I have an American chestnut tree, which were very common until wiped out by blight in the early 20th century. If so, the local squirrels have had their last meal from it.

American chestnut


Horse chestnut
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Beyond
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Beyond » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:13 am

I vote for the Horse chestnut. The flowers look so much nicer and I take it that it doesn't smell bad, like the American chestnut??
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owlice
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby owlice » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:32 am

But horse chestnuts are mildly poisonous, and the point of chestnuts should be to eat 'em; they are delicious!
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Nitpicker » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:46 am

I thought you were saying that you were going to chop the tree down. But now I think you mean you're going to eat the chestnuts and deprive the squirrels, because you realise the nuts aren't poisonous. (At least you're no longer poisoning the squirrels with imaginary horse chestnuts.)

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geckzilla
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby geckzilla » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:59 am

You could make a chestnut pie and then see if pecan pie or chestnut pie is better.
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BMAONE23
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby BMAONE23 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:11 pm

It is your civic duty to ensure the survival of this obnoxiously odiferous flourescent shrub of scrumptiousness and utilize it to repopulate the species :D

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owlice
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby owlice » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:10 pm

Nitpicker, mildly poisonous to humans; I should have specified that! And yes, now that I know -- or am reasonably certain, anyway -- that the nuts from this tree are edible, I'm going to deprive the squirrels. (It's quite fun to watch them with these, so I will be depriving myself of the show even as I get to nom chestnuts.)

geckzilla, this is the kind of pie I'd probably make with chestnuts. I'm hungry just thinking about it!

BMAONE23, I pulled a sprouted chestnut out of my side garden yesterday. I should take some of the nuts and plant them in woods near me. These are quite obnoxious trees to have in one's yard so I don't know that I would grow another if I have alternatives to consider. I should probably check with an arborist or the local ag office to better identify this tree.

I have a package of chestnuts in the cupboard (store bought); maybe I'll make chestnut stuffing this weekend...
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Nitpicker » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:06 pm

Somewhat more poisonous to horses, I understand. I admit I had no idea of the effect of horse chestnuts on squirrels. Apparently deer are unaffected.

The Mushroom and American Chestnut pie looks good.

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orin stepanek
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby orin stepanek » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:14 am

:D
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Psnarf » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:28 pm

Is that the technique they use in those chestnut carts that appear on the sidewalks of New York City every winter which inspired the opening line to the "Christmas Song"?

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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby owlice » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:29 pm

It's been some years since I've smelled chestnuts roasting on the streets of NYC, alas; it was a common scent when I lived there in the early 80s. Maybe there are still roasted chestnut vendors around -- I would like to think so! -- and I have just missed them on my sporadic visits to the Big Apple.
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby owlice » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:13 am

So it's 2.5 years later, and until yesterday, I did not examine the tree further. While outside in the gorgeous weather yesterday, I decided to pick up burrs that had fallen (so many! so spiny! I used pliers), and then, since some of them still had nuts in them, to harvest the nuts. I ended up with a large grocery bag full of burrs and a container full of chestnuts. Further research convinced me these are edible, so I did not leave the nuts outside for the squirrels (who, while I was picking up burrs, were in the tree trying to nab nuts from burrs that had split open). I roasted them today (the chestnuts, not the squirrels) and could just kick myself!!! For decades, I've bought chestnuts to put in turkey stuffing (so so so good), and for over 20 years, I've had a source of these incredibly delicious goodies right in front of my house and dropping nuts all over the front yard!

Dinner tonight: warm chestnuts. I peeled the lot of them, eating as I went along, and now hope enough survive the next 22 hours so I can make mushroom chestnut pie.

The tree is still well-laden, and I look forward to additional opportunities to nom chestnuts this fall!

chestnut2.jpg
chestnut1.jpg


chestnut4.jpg
chestnut3.jpg


chestnut meats and shells.jpg
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Chris Peterson
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:42 am

owlice wrote:For decades, I've bought chestnuts to put in turkey stuffing (so so so good), and for over 20 years, I've had a source of these incredibly delicious goodies right in front of my house and dropping nuts all over the front yard!

We are frequently so removed from nature that we overlook food that literally drops into our laps! If it is not wrapped in cellophane on a supermarket shelf, is it even food?
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby geckzilla » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:10 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
owlice wrote:For decades, I've bought chestnuts to put in turkey stuffing (so so so good), and for over 20 years, I've had a source of these incredibly delicious goodies right in front of my house and dropping nuts all over the front yard!

We are frequently so removed from nature that we overlook food that literally drops into our laps! If it is not wrapped in cellophane on a supermarket shelf, is it even food?

The other day I saw a picture of individual boiled eggs in plastic containers captioned "if only there was a shell to hold it"

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Fred the Cat » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:43 pm

Creativity is the fruit of the mind. But some of us are nuts. :ssmile:
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owlice
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby owlice » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:55 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
owlice wrote:For decades, I've bought chestnuts to put in turkey stuffing (so so so good), and for over 20 years, I've had a source of these incredibly delicious goodies right in front of my house and dropping nuts all over the front yard!

We are frequently so removed from nature that we overlook food that literally drops into our laps! If it is not wrapped in cellophane on a supermarket shelf, is it even food?

If chestnuts dropped into your lap from the tree, you would not be a happy camper!

My son and I picked up many burrs last night, at least half of them deprived of their chestnuts; even so, I got 50 chestnuts from the remaining burrs (and another bag of "don't touch me!" yard waste). The tree still looks laden, and I picked up three burrs this morning before work (ow! ow! ow!), before the squirrels had time to get to them, woo-hoo!
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Re: Chestnut trees

Postby Michael Benno Butter » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:23 am

Hi! I had so much fun of reading your debate about the Horse- and other chestnuts... So here is some more.: We were on holiday in France 2014, in the Elsace to be more precise, and were very astonished to find that there the woods are completely different from Saxony! Every second tree there was a really huge Chestnut-tree!! We were told, that folks use to walk into the forests in fall with bags and rucksacks in droves, to harvest that bounty!
Next: On my shool yard there are standing two big (in German "Kastanienbäume") Horse-Chestnut trees. They look gorgeous in spring, but in September, when the nuts fall down, we supervising teachers are kept busy preventing the smaller kids from using them as missiles;-) Perhaps not the best of all ideas to plant those trees there in the first place...


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