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Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

Fagaceae family

Code: Castanea
  • £1.80 (ex. VAT)
Item in Stock   |   Delivery within a few days

Key Features

Sweet chestnut trees (Castanea sativa) are

- Suitable as a woodland tree, parkland tree or street tree

- Non-native

- Deciduous

- Edible, highly nutritious nuts

- Safe to plant near livestock (non-toxic)

Grown by us in Herefordshire. Buy with confidence - read our customer reviews.

The specifications shown below are our normal range but we often have additional options.  If there is something that you are looking for, it's often worth contacting us.

Please Email Us or call 01989552028 if you would prefer to order on the phone or have any questions or to discuss a discount for larger quantities.



British Grown
Minimum Order Value £1000 +VAT
Free delivery over £3,000+VAT*
Trade terms available for orders over £5,000+VAT
Planting Essentials
Bagging Options
Product Options Height Age Root Type Specification 1+ 100+ 250+ Quantity Qty
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) Height: 20-60cm Age: 1 yr Root Type: Cell grown Specification: cell grown Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) 1+ £2.00 (ex. VAT) 100+ £1.90 (ex. VAT) 250+ £1.80 (ex. VAT) Please Purchase in Multiples of: 12
20-60cm 1 yr Cell grown cell grown £2.00 (ex. VAT) £1.90 (ex. VAT) £1.80 (ex. VAT)
Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) Height: 40-60cm Age: 2 yr Root Type: Bare Root Specification: 1U1 (undercut) Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) 1+ £1.20 (ex. VAT) 100+ £1.10 (ex. VAT) 250+ £1.00 (ex. VAT) Please Purchase in Multiples of: 25
40-60cm 2 yr Bare Root 1U1 (undercut) £1.20 (ex. VAT) £1.10 (ex. VAT) £1.00 (ex. VAT) Out of stock | Email me when back in stock
Total: £0.00 (ex. VAT)

Our range of Sweet Chestnut bare root trees (Castanea sativa)

We have bare root Sweet Chestnut trees in several sizes and specifications.  

The 1U1 specification plants are seedlings which were grown from seed in the spring and instead of being sold in the following November to April period they are kept in situ in our fields and grown on for a further year or longer which makes a strong bushy plant.  These plants are grown on our farm in Herefordshire.

The seed from which we grow our Sweet Chestnut tree saplings is generally UK provenance, and normally from a Select Stand which demonstrates excellent qualities - this is particularly important where trees are grown for timber.  See our blog on seed provenance.

We also have cell grown Sweet Chestnut trees which are grown by one of the UK's best specialist growers. Cell grown plants are available all year round.

You can read more about the various specifications we offer in each species on the tab just below our pricing table to the right of this product description.

Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa) Summary

Sweet chestnut is the tree that gives us the edible “chestnuts roasted on an open fire” and also a lightweight, weather resistant wood that is used for furniture-making and coppiced to make long-lasting fencing, poles, firewood and charcoal.  Thin strips have traditionally been made into Sussex trugs.  It is non-native to the UK (thought to be a fairly recent introduction) and grows only in the south of the UK, being native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor. It is susceptible to sweet chestnut blight and banned from being imported from areas affected.  Our sweet chestnut trees are all UK seed and UK grown.

Soil and Situation

Sweet chestnut trees prefer well drained soils and a mild temperature.  They grown mostly in the south of the UK in nut orchards, in mixed woodlands and in specific sweet chestnut coppices, ideally in full sun but they will also grow in partial shade. They do not like to grow in a limestone soil or compacted soil

Leaves, flowers, fruit and bark

The leaves are shiny, mid-green, very long (up to 25cm) and oblong with a pointed tip, deeply veined and with a serrated edge. In autumn they become gold/russet coloured

The flowers which appear in June and July are long yellow catkins of both male and female flowers (male on the lower part of the flower and female on the upper part) and after pollination by insects the female flowers develop by autumn into glossy delicious chestnuts encased in a very spiky green case. Sweet chestnuts are packed with nutrients and antioxidents, high in fibre and very versatile. Trees do not produce chestnuts until they are mature but then the average production of chestnuts is generally about 100kg per tree but can be up to 300kg.  Autumn frosts can damage the chestnut harvest.  Chestnuts have many culinary uses and are gluten free.

Young trees have quite a smooth bark, in middle age they develop minor fissures (like oak) and then in old age (150 years or more) the bole twists into a contorted corkscrew with very deep fissures.

Eventual height and growth rate

Sweet chestnut is a large tree and will grow to about 35m though they are often coppiced, regrowing rapidly and producing timber every 10-12 years.   If allowed to grow without coppicing, they develop a squat shape with downward facing branches and a relatively short trunk. They are very long living trees when grown in the right conditions - up to 1000 years.

Sweet chestnut trees are susceptible to two issues - oriental chestnut gall wasp (OCGW), which is a non-stinging wasp but leaves a swelling at the leaf's central vein and where the leaf joins on to the stem (leaf nodes), and secondly chestnut blight which leaves trees with sunken and disfigured patches of bark and a sparce crown. Members of the public are encouraged to identify sweet chestnut trees in their area and inspect the leaves and bark looking for signs of disease and if appropriate, report sightings of either of these issues on the following website -






This section gives definitions on the specifications of plants that we sell.  We are specialists in field grown (or bare root) plants which are grown in two ways.  The majority are grown from seed, some are ready within one growing season (seedlings or 1+0's) and some species require two growing seasons (1u1's).  In addition to growing from seed we also grow from small plants or cuttings (transplants) which are much more widely spaced (taking more land, more irrigation water, fertilisers and labour).  There are only a handful of bare root wholesale nurseries in the UK and of those even fewer grow transplants but Ray Jenkins has many years' experience of transplanting so we grow these in large volumes.  Ray has written this blog about the benefits of bare root plants and how they are grown and another blog which gives further detail on bare root specifications.

The detailed specifications are shown below.  If you are in doubt about what specification to use please email us on with a description of the project (and photos if appropriate) and we will advise you.

1+0 - field grown in one season from seed, known as a seedling (sometimes called a whip), generally a slender single stem plant.   These are the cheapest specification and are particularly suitable for planting where weed competition will be less intense, soil is shallow or on exposed windy sites.  Gives a high root to shoot ratio and minimal plant "check".

2+0 - a 2 year seedling, field grown from seed in the same seed bed in two growing seasons where the species cannot be grown to a saleable plant from seed in one season

1U1 - 2 year old plant called an undercut, field grown for two seasons in the same seed bed and undercut by machine (a sharp blade cutting the roots under the soil level) after the first year to develop the root structure. We do this with several species which take 2 years to develop (eg oak, beech, hornbeam)

1+1 - 2 year old plant (transplant) grown from seed in the first year and then transplanted into a different area of the field and spaced out for the second growing season - a robust plant with a larger and more robust root system than seedling or undercut plant which will enable it to better withstand drought and weed competition. Often the best choice and the staple norm for farm hedging and this specification is a requirement of the Countryside Stewardship Grant

1+2- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two growing seasons giving a tall, stocky, bushy plant

2+1- a 3 year old plant, two years field growing in the seedbed and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further growing season, giving a strong bushy plant

3+1 - as above but field grown for a further growing season for more height and a very bushy plant

1+3- 4 year old, one year field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for three years, giving a very strong, bushy plant

2+2- 4 year old, two years field growing in the seed beds and then transplanted (and spaced out) for a further two years - a very mature plant suited to certain species like beech and hornbeam where we can offer almost instant hedging

and some that are a bit different.....

P9 - a plant grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel in a 9cm pot (for holly which germinates poorly in the field)

Cell grown - a plant grown in small deep cells (like a small yogurt pot) and then lifted out of those for transportation. Commonly used in forestry and large hedging projects.  Very high quality plants with excellent success rate.  See our blog on the benefits of cell grown plants.

C+1 or C+2 - a 3 or 4 year old plant initally started as hardwood cuttings grown on for a year as cell grown plants and then lined out in fields to grow on for a further 1 or 2 years (a technique used for Cherry Laurel)

0/1 - a hardwood cutting, then field grown for one season (for example for white willow, black poplar and osier)