Sweet Chestnut, Castanea sativa

Identification Features

  • Bark: Silvery green-grey then silvery grey with a touch of purple. Later becomes cracked, then dulls to brown as becomes more deeply fissured. Grooves are typically spiralled up the trunk.
  • Twigs: Start off grey-brown, can be green towards tip. Later, thicker twigs are green-grey.
  • Buds: Few scales; hairless; Red-brown to green; Ovoid, pointed.

Description/General Character:
Will grow into a very large tree if not coppiced. Often slender for a big tree, tapering towards the top. In woodland, it will develop a very tall, straight trunk.

Much of mainland Europe, particularly Mediterranean. East to Turkey, south to North Africa. Frequently planted and sometimes naturalised. Planted and coppiced for timber in the south of England.

Woods, does particularly well on acid soils.

Other Observations:
Trees often develop basal shoots.

Author: Paul

Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.


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