The nut itself is composed of two skins: an external, shiny brown part, and an internal skin adhering to the fruit. The pictures are pretty informative and there is a separate gallery of all the pictures related to this. Credit: Martin Fowler / Alamy Stock Photo. A sugar can be extracted from them.  Generally, glucose content in European chestnuts is very low and ranges from zero to traces. The tannin renders the young growing wood durable and weather resistant for outdoor use, thus suitable for posts, fencing or stakes.  Various composition and health studies have shown its big potential as a food ingredient and functional food. The sweet chestnut is a native of the Mediterranean region and the Romans probably introduced the sweet chestnut to Britain for its nuts (seeds) which are quite edible raw or cooked and can be made into flour or used as a coffee bean substitute. In contrast to a cold storage system, where the fruits are stored at low temperatures in untreated air, the controlled environment method avoids flesh hardening which negatively impacts the processability of the product.. Sweet chestnut can be a large tree up to 30 m in height, with a single trunk but is often coppiced to form a shrub of many straight poles.  The energy value per 100 g (3.5 oz) of C. sativa amounts to 891 kJ (213 kcal). Sweet chestnuts are a rich source of vitamin C. The flowers provide nectar for bees and other insects. 2013;2013:471790. doi: 10.1155/2013/471790. Sweet chestnut bark extract is particularly rich in tannins; therefore, we have investigated the ability of the extract to protect cultured cardiomyocytes from oxidative stress. Sweet chestnut can grow up to 9m plus in girth. 1 (1768). Photo about Interesting sweet chestnut tree bark in forest. , Similar to the introduction of grape vine and olive cultivation to the Latin world, C. sativa is thought to have been introduced during the colonisation of the Italian peninsula by the Greeks.  The optimal pH value of the soil is between 4.5 and 6, and the tree cannot tolerate soil compaction. The fruit contains significant amounts of a wide range of valuable nutrients. In Kent there are large woodlands full of Sweet Chestnut, planted for the production of hop poles used in the brewing trade. The leaves are quite glossy and there are about 20 pairs of prominent parallel veins. The leaves are completely different, with sweet chestnut having single, long, serrated leaves and horse chestnut having hand-shaped leaves with deeply divided lobes or ‘fingers’. , Tannin is found in the following proportions on a 10% moisture basis: bark (6.8%), wood (13.4%), seed husks (10 - 13%). Flowers and Fruits. But the younger chestnut tree has a smoother bark. No other evidence of sweet chestnut in Roman Britain has been confirmed. 301, 643 CE). Download our free Tree ID app for Android and iPhone to identify the UK's native and non-native trees. … In the northern hemisphere, they appear in late June to July, and by autumn, the female flowers develop into spiny cupules containing 3-7 brownish nuts that are shed during October. While cleaning the soil from the leaves and pruning is the norm, the use of fertilizer, irrigation and pesticides is less common and reserved for more intensive cultivation.  Organic acids are also affected by high temperatures: their content decreases about 50% after frying, and 15% after boiling. ... Bark. This tree responds very well to coppicing, which is still practised in Britain, and produces a good crop of tannin-rich wood every 12 to 30 years, depending on intended use and local growth rate.  Heat appears to be the most influencing factor when it comes to decreasing the organic acid content. Gnarled bark of old sweet chestnut tree trunk (Castanea sativa) in green woodland, National Forest, Derbyshire, England, UK Detail of the bark of a horse chestnut tree eroded by time, with textures and scratches on the background.  Indeed, no center of sweet chestnut cultivation outside the Italian peninsula in Roman times has been detected.  Their large genetic diversity and different cultivars are exploited for uses such as flour, boiling, roasting, drying, sweets or wood. About 16–28 cm long, 5–9 cm wide and oblong with a pointed tip and a serrated or toothed edge. , Increasing sweet chestnut pollen appearances in Switzerland, France, Germany and the Iberian peninsula in the first century A.D. suggests the spreading of cultivated sweet chestnut trees by the Romans. However, even after heating sweet chestnuts, antioxidant activity remains relatively high. They can also be used in confections, puddings, desserts and cakes.  Optimal precipitation is between 400 and 1600 mm. , Leaf infusions are used in respiratory diseases and are a popular remedy for whooping cough. Note the diseased bark is still fairly smooth but has longitudinal cracks. Height: Broadening with age, the sweet chestnut can reach up to 40 metres in height. Their high level of starch is similar to that of wheat and twice as high as the potato. Flowers: Some catkins have male and female flowers on the same stalk. Cooking dry in an oven or fire normally helps remove this skin. Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), which has similar nuts, but those of the sweet chestnut are smaller and found in clusters. It is a species introduced to the UK and widely planted and extensively naturalised , especially on … Its bark can be recognised from its long diagonal fissures. The raw nuts, though edible, have a skin which is astringent and unpleasant to eat when still moist; after drying for a time the thin skin loses its astringency but is still better removed to reach the white fruit underneath.  Pollen data indicates that the first spreading of C. sativa due to human activity started around 2100-2050 B.C. The trunk is mostly straight with branching starting at low heights. Size. ), is an entirely different tree from the Sweet Chestnut, to which it is not even distantly related, and is of much more recent importation to English soil. It has a straight grain when young, but this spirals in older trees. Regarding mineral content, the chestnut provides a good source for Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn and K. Its sugar content ranges from 14% to 20% dry weight depending on the cultivar; which is very important, since the sensory appeal of sweet chestnut is correlated with its sugar content. This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 05:04. Miller. The remains of the male catkin stay attached to the husk until it falls off. Long, yellow catkins of mostly male flowers, with female flowers at the base. In southeast England, sweet chestnut is coppiced to produce poles.Unlike the nuts of the horse chestnut, those of the sweet chestnut are edible to humans and can be roasted and used in a variety of recipes, including stuffing for poultry, cake fillings, nut roasts and much more. A lovely thought, in late summer early autumn the chestnuts ripen to full size,some bursting out of the spiky cases.The chestnuts we buy in shops today are usually imported from France or … The seeds develop inside the prickly, green seed cases.Identified in winter by: the bark which has fissures that spiral upwards around the tree. Article by Ursula Stopka. Oxidative Damage. Sweet chestnut is native to southern Europe, western Asia and north Africa. Sweet Chestnut produces nuts in warm summers. Castanea sativa, the sweet chestnut, Spanish chestnut or just chestnut, is a species of tree in the family Fagaceae, native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor, and widely cultivated throughout the temperate world. VAT No. Sweet chestnuts roasting on an open fire at Christmas, whilst in the kitchen preparations are under way in making chestnut stuffing. Record all sweet chestnut … Bark on young trees is a dull silvery purple, with vertical cracks. Bark Extract: Cardiovascular Activity and Myocyte Protection against. They belong to the same family as oaks and beeches. Sweet chestnut timber is similar to oak but is more lightweight and easier to work.  The sweet chestnut is naturallyself incompatible, meaning that the plant cannot pollinate itself, making cross-pollination necessary. The buds alternate on young shoots.  Today's phylogenetic map of the sweet chestnut, while not fully understood, shows greater genetic similarity between Italian and western Anatolian C. sativa trees compared to eastern Anatolian specimen, reinforcing these findings. The Romans ground sweet chestnuts into a flour or coarse meal.Sweet chestnuts are a rich source of vitamins C (the only nut that is) and B, and minerals including magnesium, potassium and iron. The other native trees that bloom late in the year around the same time as American chestnuts are Black Locust and Sourwood. Since the beginning of the 20th century, due to depopulation of the countryside and the abandonment of the sweet chestnut as a staple food as well as the spread of chestnut blight and ink disease, C. sativa cultivation has dramatically decreased.  Nonetheless, until the end of the pre-Christian era, the spread and use of the chestnut in Italy remained limited. These old trees provide us with our classic Christmas nut. sativa.. Sweet chestnut. There are three harvesting techniques: The total world chestnut harvest was 1,17 Mio Tons in 2006, but only 151 000 Tons were C.  Low temperature in autumn can damage the fruit.  It can be used for carpentry, joinery and furniture. The fruit yield per tree is usually between 30–100 kg, but can get as high as 300 kg. Sweet chestnut is a deciduous tree which can reach 35m when mature and live for up to 700 years. The twigs are purple-brown and buds are plum, red-brown and oval in shape. Chestnuts are traditionally roasted in their tough brown husks after removing the spiny cupules in which they grow on the tree, the husks being peeled off and discarded and the hot chestnuts dipped in salt before eating them. We have single trees and tree packs to meet your needs, from wildlife to woodfuel. In Switzerland, it is often served as Vermicelles. Leaves are oblong with a pointed tip and toothed or serrated edge. Edible chestnuts or Sweet chestnuts (European chestnut (Castanea sativa); American chestnut (Castanea dentata)), but not horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum (also called Buckeye)), are safe to consume raw with few or no side effects. Delivery is free. Registered office: Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL. With biological control, the population of the sweet chestnut is not threatened anymore by the chestnut blight and is regenerating. It grows long catkins, the remains of which stay attached to the husk until they fall off. A large number of micro-moths feed on the leaves and nuts. Its naturally high concentration of organic acids is a key factor influencing the organoleptic characteristics of fruits and vegetables, namely flavor. In other European countries, C. sativa has only been introduced recently, for example in Slovakia or the Netherlands.. The bark of a mature sweet chestnut is deep and furrowed. They can develop vast girths which can reach up to 2m in diameter.  Contrary to that notion, other scientists found no indication of the Romans spreading C. sativa before the fifth century. However, the ancient Greeks dedicated the sweet chestnut to Zeus and its botanical name Castanea comes from Castonis, a Town in Thessaly in Greece where the tree was grown for its nuts. 8 no. , Sweet chestnut is suited for human nutrition. , Another serious pest which is difficult to control is the gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphylus) which was recently introduced in Southern Europe, originating from Asia. The cooked nuts can be used for stuffing poultry, as a vegetable or in nut roasts. The optimal average temperature is between 8 °C and 15 °C and in January the temperature should preferably not be below -1 °C but it may tolerate temperatures as low as -15 °C. It's an A-Z tree guide in your pocket. What do Chestnuts look Like? GB520 6111 04. in Anatolia, northeastern Greece and southeastern Bulgaria. The flowers of both sexes are borne in 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long, upright catkins, the male flowers in the upper part and female flowers in the lower part.  Sweet chestnut is also appreciated in a gluten-free diet. Bark, sweet chestnut tree. The twigs are purple-brown and buds are plum, red-brown and oval in shape. The bark resembles a large twisted steel cable. Furthermore, a visual sorting is not possible. It is thought to have survived the last Ice Age in several refuges in southern Europe, on the southern coast of the Black Sea with a main centre on the southern slope of the Caucasus and in the region of north-western Syria, possibly extending into Lebanon. , C. sativa is found across the Mediterranean region, from the Caspian Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Sweet Chestnut bark seating Whilst running the intro to green woodworking course we took the time to peel the bark from the sweet chestnut logs before riving them down, with the aim of using it for weaving, principally for seating the chairs that I will be making this summer. Phytophthora cambivora caused serious damage in Asia and the US, and it still continues to destroy new plantations in Europe. Sweet chestnut trees live to an age of 500 to 600 years. A local variety of Corsican beer also uses chestnuts. Sweet chestnut is found commonly throughout woods and copses in Britain. Also, the capsule makes the harvest more complicated and even painful for the worker. Doing so is time-saving and economical, but it's possible that some fruits get injured, and a big initial investment is needed. Spiral fissures may develop on old trunks; the bark is brown. The tree requires a mild climate and adequate moisture for good growth and a good nut harvest. Furthermore, this characteristic is valuable in cases of celiac diseases as well as reducing coronary heart diseases and cancer rates. 1.5k. Epub … Nevertheless, roasted or boiled chestnuts may still be a solid vitamin C source, since 100 gram still represent about 20% of the recommended daily dietary intake. A newer but more reliable source are the literary works of Ancient Greece, with the richest being Theophrastus’ Inquiry into plants written in the third century B.C. It is thought to have been introduced to the British Isles by the Romans and today can be found commonly throughout the UK in woods and copses, especially in parts of southern England where it is still managed to form large areas of coppice. By hand: The sweet chestnuts are harvested by rake or broom, with a harvest speed of 5 to 30 kg every hour depending on the soil relief. 79. June 2020.  Some cultivars only produce one large seed per cupule, while others produce up to three seeds.  In North America as well as in Southern Europe Cryphonectria parasitica destroyed most of the chestnut population in the 20th century. , This tree responds very well to coppicing, which is still practised in Britain, and produces a good crop of tannin-rich wood every 12 to 30 years, depending on intended use and local growth rate.  Theophrastus focuses mainly on the use of sweet chestnut wood as timber and charcoal, only mentioning the use of the fruit once when commenting on the digestive difficulties it causes, but praising its nourishing quality. , Clues in art and literature indicate a dislike of the sweet chestnut by the Roman aristocracy. Transform your home into a woodland wonderland this Christmas with our easy ideas for festive, foraged home decor. , The sweet chestnut tree grows well on limestone-free, deeply weathered soil. Most sweet chestnut is consumed in processed form, which has an impact on the nutrient composition. bark extract: cardiovascular activity and myocyte protection against oxidative damage Oxid Med Cell Longev.  On the other hand, the consumer must consider that roasting, boiling or frying has a big impact on the nutritional profile of chestnut. The world’s oldest known chestnut tree grows on Mount Etna in Sicily and has a circumference of 190 feet. It is often found in parkland as a specimen tree with a smooth grey bark and long dark green toothed leaves which contrast with the long, yellowish spring catkins.  In cultivation they may even grow as old as 1000 years or more. A large number of micro-moths feed on the leaves and nuts. Sweet chestnut is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers are found on the same tree. Under forest conditions, it will tolerate moderate shade well. Introduced by the Romans and a roasted winter treat.  The oblong-lanceolate, boldly toothed leaves are 16–28 cm (6–11 in) long and 5–9 cm (2–4 in) broad. The wood is of light colour, hard and strong. The two major fungal pathogens of the sweet chestnut are the chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica) and the ink disease caused by Phytophthora cambivora and Phytophthora cinnamomi.  Organic acids are thought to play an important role against diseases as an antioxidant. Broadening with age, this tree can reach up to 40 metres in height. , The ornamental cultivar C. sativa 'Albomarginata' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit, Media related to Castanea sativa at Wikimedia Commons, The examples and perspective in this article. Credit: Yon Marsh Natural History / Alamy Stock Photo.  As an alternative to water curing, hot water treatment is also commercially used. 6 In modern herbal medicine, sweet chestnut’s bark, leaves, flowers and nuts are considered to be strengthening, calming, astringent, and digestive, even though the tree is not so well used today. Sweet chestnut  Once cooked, chestnuts acquire a sweet flavour and a floury texture similar to the sweet potato. Sweet Chestnut is monoecious: it has separate male and female flowers. Examples can be seen particularly in the London Boroughs of Islington and Camden. Chestnut blight canker on the stem of a sweet chestnut tree. A tree grown from seed may take 20 years or more before it bears fruits, but a grafted cultivar such as 'Marron de Lyon' or 'Paragon' may start production within five years of being planted. The Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, which has also been known as Hippocastanum vulgare (Gaertn.  Some selected varieties are smaller and more compact in growth yielding earlier in life with different ripening time: the Marigoule, the Marisol and the Maraval. After pollination by insects, female flowers develop into shiny, red-brown fruits wrapped in a green, spiky case. There is very little mythology surrounding the sweet chestnut in the UK, probably because it was introduced. Long-distance spread of C. parasitica can occur through movements of infected sweet chestnut plants, wood or bark in trade.Once bark has been colonised, the mycelium of the pathogen is reported to survive in this tissue for up to 10 months, even if it has been air dried. These are catkins fully developed with burs that are ready to be pollinated. Note: sweet chestnut should not be confused with horse chestnut (the conker tree) whose wood is white in colour and inferior for joinery purposes.  The wood is of light colour, hard and strong. Its year-growth (but not the rest of the tree) is sensitive to late spring and early autumn frosts, and is intolerant of lime.  Nowadays there are cultivars that are resistant to the ink disease.  It is also a good fuel, though not favoured for open fires as it tends to spit. The bark is radially crossed as it ascends the trunk. Registered in England No. in Europe", "Projektstudie: Die Edelkastanie auf Obstwiesen - Eine Alternative zum Kirschanbau? The flowers provide an important source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects, while red squirrels eat the nuts. Image of form, branch, figure - 129117383 Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients in Sweet Chestnut.  It is a heat-loving tree which needs a long vegetation period. Other common names include "Spanish chestnut", or "marron" (French for "chestnut").  Several Greek authors wrote about medicinal properties of the sweet chestnut, specifically as a remedy against lacerations of the lips and of the oesophagus. The sugar content is also affected by the high temperatures. The leaves provide food for some animals, including Lepidoptera such as the case-bearer moth Coleophora anatipennella and North American rose chafer Macrodactylus subspinosus. Chestnut blight has recently arrived in the UK, which causes bark cankers and can lead to dieback and death. Over 70 species found in the UK, from all the native trees to the common non-natives. Bark: Its bark has long diagonal fissures. cultivation in Roman times: New data from ancient Campania", "Distribution and economic potential of the sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) Nevertheless, centuries-old specimens may be found in Great Britain today.