chestnuts2.jpgChestnuts thrive in the Mid Klamath region, where they can grow to majestic trees 50 - 100 feet wide and high.  There are many established, mature trees in the Klamath-Trinity valleys that produce reliable crops annually with no extra irrigation or fertilization.  The chestnut, Castanea, is closely related to the golden chinquapin, Castanopsis chrysophylla, (and can share many of the same pests); and the  tan oak, Lithocarpus, that yields highest quality acorns, which may explain it's suitability to the region.  Chestnuts drop from the tree in spiny burrs (which deter squirrels)in the fall, the easiest way to harvest is to step on the burrs to release the nuts and use gloves to protect from the burrs.    

 Over the years some highly California skilled horticulturalists have recognized the value of chestnuts and devoted considerable efforts to breeding and selecting varieties for Northern California.  Albert Etter of Ettersburg in Southern Humboldt County selected and bred varieties for that region, Felix Gillet of Nevada Cit hybridized various species and developed "Colossal" a highly productive blight resistant variety planted for commercial production.  Word has it that the renowned horticulturalist Luther Burbank spent summer vacations on the Klamath and is responsible for many of the old chestnut trees in the Happy Camp area .

Chestnuts at a Glance


Climate Zones:

Sunset zones  2-9, 14 - 17, Hardy to USDA zone 5


Chilling Requirement:

Low chill requirement,



Requires a pollenizer, plant two seedlings or a designated  pollenizer variety.






30 - 100 feet, Colossal is smaller averaging 20 feet



30 - 100 feet, Colossal is smaller averaging 20 feet


Years to Fruit:

3 to 10


Life Expectancy:

100 years