Sweet Chestnut – Castina Sativa


The Sweet Chestnut tree, or Castanea sativa, is a truly distinctive species that adds character and history to any landscape. Originally from Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, this tree is now found across the UK and other parts of Europe.


The Sweet Chestnut tree, or Castanea sativa, is a truly distinctive species that adds character and history to any landscape. Originally from Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, this tree is now found across the UK and other parts of Europe.

In terms of growth speed, Sweet Chestnuts are moderate growers, and they tend to accelerate as they become established. With the right conditions, a young tree can reach heights of up to 35 metres within its lifetime, which can span several hundreds of years. Some chestnuts in the UK are believed to be over 500 years old, a testament to their resilience and longevity.

What distinguishes the Sweet Chestnut tree is its impressive bark, which is a greyish-brown with deep fissures that spiral up the trunk, giving the tree a distinct twisted appearance unlike many other species found in the UK. The leaves are another notable feature; they’re long, glossy, and have toothed edges, turning a vibrant yellow in autumn.

Sweet Chestnut trees are typically monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers can be found on the same tree. They bloom in early summer, with the male flowers forming long, drooping catkins and the female flowers appearing at the base of these catkins. Once pollinated by wind, the female flowers develop into the tree’s notable spiky green seed cases, which house the chestnuts.

The fruits of Sweet Chestnut trees, the chestnuts themselves, are a delight to wildlife and humans alike. They ripen in the autumn and provide an important food source for various mammals, such as squirrels and deer, as well as birds. The sweet and nutty chestnuts are also edible for humans and can be roasted or used in various recipes, making them a great addition for any garden.

From a gardening perspective, Sweet Chestnut trees are excellent for large garden designs or public parks due to their size and the shade they offer. They’re also quite hardy, with a high resistance to chestnut blight and frost damage.

As for their distribution in the UK, Sweet Chestnut trees are widespread and are commonly found in Southern England. They have a particular association with Kent, where the trees are an integral part of the historic landscape, particularly in and around the High Weald area. They’ve also been traditionally managed through a process called coppicing, which has resulted in the presence of many ancient woodland sites across the UK.

In summary, the Sweet Chestnut tree is not only significant for its edible fruits but also for its historical and ecological importance. Its unique bark and leaf structure, along with its autumn hues, make it a standout in any garden, and its benefits for wildlife further enhance its value as an addition to the UK landscape.

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Box/Parcel – Used for plants sized 0-70cm, costs £12. Order £100 worth of plants of that size to qualify for free delivery! Parcel deliveries are always sent for next day delivery unless otherwise specified.

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Private Van – Used for plants sized 231cm and taller, costs £60. Order £350 worth to get free private van delivery!

In all cases you can request a private van delivery, where your plants are delivered by us. Upon your request we can re-evaluate your delivery fee and let you know of the delivery time.

Please note, for pallet and box deliveries we use third party companies to deliver the goods. Not often, but occasionally some delays may happen due to unforeseen circumstances, which are out of our control. For this reason, we ask you to never book gardeners, contractors, or other industry professionals for the estimated delivery date. Please do not book days off work or cancel other commitments specifically for your plant delivery to avoid disappointment.

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If you have any special requirements regarding your delivery, please add it to your order notes or call us on 01603 327269. Always include any delivery restrictions into your order note so appropriate vehicles and good carriers can be used to deliver your plants.

Please note that we currently are unable to deliver to Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland due to Brexit rules and regulations.

For more delivery information refer to our terms and conditions here.


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