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Common Name:

Chinese Chestnut

Scientific Name:

Castanea mollissima

Family Name:



Chinese Chestnut is a medium size deciduous tree with an apple tree-like growth habit. Often planted as a blight resistant substitute for American Chestnut, but it lacks the forest tree growth form. Some commercial orchards of Chinese Chestnuts have been established in the Southeastern US, Midwest, and West Coast. Sometimes planted as a shade tree or for mast to attract wildlife.

Plant Habit or Use:

Small tree, medium tree



Flower Color:

Monoecious; females inconspicuous, males in showy creamy white-yellow catkins

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

One to three chestnuts enclosed in a very spiny husk


30 ft to 40 ft


30 ft to 50 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: Medium Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Low Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Marginal adaptability in zones 4b and 9a. Although resistant to chestnut blight, it is susceptible to oak wilt and chestnut weevils.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.