According to the American Chestnut Foundation, a blight, Cryphonectria parasitica, has drastically decreased the numbers of native American chestnut trees. Scientific Name: Castanea dentata. Identifying Your Chestnut Tree – Step 2 of 2. 6 mm, big, sharp, and often curved (hooked), many large dots (glands), sun leaves hairy, many small dots, sun leaves hairy on some specimens but not others, many small dots, sun leaves not hairy, long sparse hairs only on midrib, hairy tips, tan to pea green, large elliptical yellow lenticels, slender, smooth, hairless, reddish brown, small white lenticels, 3 mm, downy dark red, pointed, longer than wide, sticks out from stem, glossy brown, as long as it is wide (rounded), hairy, tan, dull brown to black, rounded and flat against stem, long 6 mm, smooth, reddish brown, pointed or longer than it is wide, sticks out from stem. The long thread-like structures are male catkins, which are not yet showing anthers. Look at the environment for conditions favorable to the American chestnut. I used the rest of the wood to make the striking surface of a mallet, so that picture shows the inside of the wood, with a new finish on it. Once you have decided that you have a Chestnut, the second step in deciding if your tree is American chestnut is to distinguish whether it is pure American, or if it has some non-American chestnut parentage. Other Common/Trade Names: None Scientific Name: Castanea dentata Best Characteristics for Identification:Ring porous with uniserrate rays. The first step in deciding whether your tree is a possible chestnut is to distinguish it from other trees which can be mistaken for chestnut trees. Examine the leaves of the tree, looking for the characteristic elongated, toothed leaves of the American chestnut. This is an example of an American chestnut tree reaching its branches out in the sun over Flint Pond in Lincoln. A horse chestnut tree has a rounder shaped … Over 80% of the leaves that are sent to us each year for identification are either from Chinese chestnuts or Chinese/American hybrids, because these trees are resistant to the chestnut blight. I was asked to repair an antique kitchen table recently. It will grow on elevations up to 3,300 feet and will often be in groves in a mature forest. Digitized images of the Castanea collection at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Looking at the end grain will reveal the rays. The great mass of conspicuous white catkins on larger trees is visible at great distances. Spot American chestnuts on south and east facing hillside slopes in the Appalachian mountains of the eastern United States. Over the past hundred years or so, European, Chinese, and Japanese chestnut trees as well as hybrids have been planted in the natural range of American chestnut, so remote location is not necessarily a guide to a tree’s parentage. Pull a twig off the tree, if possible and examine it for a reddish hue common in American chestnut trees. In Massachusetts, these are the American chestnut (Castanea dentata), the Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima), and the Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata). I'm including a couple of pictures of some wood I removed from the table. American chestnut trees once proliferated across Appalachia. Examine the leaves of the tree, looking for the characteristic elongated, toothed leaves of the American chestnut. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Other chestnut identification sites to improve your eyes…, TACF National Office 50 North Merrimon Avenue, Suite 115, Asheville, NC 28804, Phone: 828-281-0047 Fax: 828-253-5373 chestnut@acf.org, The American Chestnut Foundation identification pages. Can anyone tell me how to identify American chestnut from the wood? The chestnut genus “Castanea” is not the same as the horsechestnut family “Aesculus” or the beech genus “Fagus“. The tree is often found planted in towns. It is in a separate family called “Aesculus”. American Chestnut. Leaves: The leaves are “palmate”, radiating from the center, and are arranged in a spoke. American chestnut trees then spread their range all along the Appalachian Pull a twig off the tree, if possible and examine it for a reddish hue common in American chestnut trees. how to identify american chestnut wood samples? A good place to start is to compare American and Chinese chestnuts. Can anyone tell me how to identify American chestnut from the wood? American chestnut-brown in color and hairless. May be found in antique furniture, old barns, and other products manufactured before the blight affected trees in the early 20th century. Oak has broad bands, while chestnut has none. American beech is most often found on moist slopes, in ravines, and atop moist hammocks. It originated in Europe, and it is often what people think of when they hear about “chestnut” trees. On the leaves there will be small hooks that curve up all along the edge of the leaf. These trees have toothed leaves, and smooth gray bark. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Stream in a wood in mountains image by Georgiy Pashin from, American Chestnut Foundation: Field Guide-How to Identify, MDTACF: American Chestnut Identification Cards, American Chestnut Foundation: Expert Contact Information for Sending Samples. Chinese is gray-brown in color and is covered with fine fuzz, especially near the tip. Pull a twig off the tree, if possible and examine it for a reddish hue common in American chestnut trees. Average Dried Weight: 30 lbs/ft 3 (480 kg/m 3) Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC):.40, .48 In a second step, you need to learn the differences between the common members of the Castanea family. Distribution: Eastern United States. Identify American chestnuts as having three to five nuts per bur with the nuts measuring no more than 1 inch in diameter. Proper identification of the American chestnut tree prevents confusing these with other look-alike plants, like horsechestnuts or Chinese chestnuts, which do not produce the same tasty fruit as the sweet American chestnuts. American Chestnut Cooperators Foundation (ACCF) is not using crosses with Asian species for blight resistance, but intercrossing among American chestnuts selected for native resistance to the blight, a breeding strategy described by the ACCF as "All-American intercrosses". The leaf is wider and shorter than the American chestnut tree leaves. Hold a leaf to see how it reflects the light. Open the bur and count the number of nuts inside. Identifying Chestnut trees in the woods (Spring) ACCF Guide to Identifying American Chestnut. How to identify American chestnut trees Chestnut trees are most easily located while they are in full bloom, from early June, in the southern part of the range, to the weeks around the Fourth of July in the North. I'm including a couple of pictures of some wood I removed from the table. The American chestnut has long canoe shaped leaves with a prominent lance-shaped tip, with a coarse, forward hooked teeth at the edge of the leaf. Identifying Your Chestnut Tree – Step 1 of 2. Common Name(s): American Chestnut. Tree Size: 100-120 ft (30-37 m) tall, 5-7 ft (1.5-2.0 m) trunk diameter* *Because of the chestnut blight of the early 1900s, very few trees of this size currently exist. Be aware that all chestnuts can cross-pollinate, so that the chestnut you are trying to identify may actually be a mix of two or more different types of chestnuts, known as a hybrid. Identify American chestnuts as having three to five nuts per bur with the nuts measuring no more than 1 inch in diameter. The tree loves loamy soils but will also thrive in clay. Identifying Chestnuts. The American chestnut prefers well-drained sandy or acidic soil. Bark: Smooth and chestnut-brown in color when young, later shallowly fissured into flat ridges. Chinese is gray-brown in color and is covered with fine fuzz, especially near the tip. The leaf is dull or “matte” rather than shiny or waxy in texture. After the ice had permanently receded (about 13,000 years ago), measurable chestnut pollen was first deposited in the Blue Ridge area of North Carolina. American chestnut trees once proliferated across Appalachia. American chestnut trees, Castanea dentata, were present on Long Island 30,000 to 50,000 years ago. Uses: No longer a commercial tree species due to chestnut blight. They also have long pointed buds. Collect a sample of a twig and leaf and mail these to an expert with the American Chestnut Foundation for a positive identification. Also compare true American chestnut with three trees often confused with chestnut: chestnut oak, beech, and horse chestnut. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! One is a small piece that still has the original outside (dark, probably from the tanin in the wood). Worm holes in many boards. Cultivars of Chestnut (by CAES) Herbarium Collection Scans. If your tree lookes like this, then it is probably a beech tree. The leaf is dull or “matte” rather than shiny or waxy in texture. It looked a bit like oak but for a variety of reasons, I question whether it was oak or whether it was American chestnut.