Chestnut tree propagate - 3 variants presented

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Chestnut trees are gigantic shade donors. If you would like to have two or three copies of it in your garden, then you have it easy. Propagation is child's play.

Multiply chestnut

Who hears the term "chestnut" today, usually thinks first of the red-brown horse chestnuts, which are found almost in every region of Germany. For many adults, the horse chestnut is also the childhood reminder of long craft afternoons associated with just recently collected chestnuts.

But even the much less represented chestnut is native to Germany. Chestnuts are very impressive trees. Depending on chestnut species, the tree can reach a size between 10 and 30 meters. He develops a tightly closed foliage roof that goes hand in hand with a very wide and spreading treetop. Therefore, before planting a chestnut in your own garden, be aware that chestnuts do not thrive everywhere and certainly do not fit anywhere.

In front gardens and on small green areas, chestnut trees are just as out of place as close to buildings, garages or busy streets. If you want to multiply chestnuts in your own garden, for example, by bringing the necessary seeds or shoots of wild chestnuts, you should think carefully about which place in the garden is the best place to plant. Chestnuts grow fast and even if it takes years for them to really reach a height of 30 meters, they donate a lot of shade after a few years - or rob a lot of sun, depending on your point of view.

The chestnut - a short overview of the tree

homelandEurope, Asia and North America
heightup to 30 meters
  • The horse chestnut is inedible and can lead to poisoning when consumed
  • The sweet chestnut, on the other hand, is edible, as the name suggests, and is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world

To breed chestnuts - That's how it works

If you want to breed the horse chestnut, it is very easy. The chestnut is much harder to multiply. For hobby gardeners in particular, it makes sense to buy a young tree with root ball in the nursery or a nursery, because even chestnuts are often very susceptible to diseases and tend to be rather weak in growth. On top of that, chestnuts need to be aware that they are very sensitive to two-digit minus temperatures, while the horse chestnut is also tough in terms of winter temperatures.

For the propagation of the horse chestnut there are three possible variants. For two of them you need the fruit of the tree, so a classic chestnut. This should be ripe, but not yet dried out.

Variant one - breeding in cotton wool

Even if you can hardly believe it - the easiest and best way to pack the chestnut in cotton wool for the first time. For this one needs a chestnut as described above. Then you have to make a piece of cotton wool, into which the fruit can be packed. The cotton wool must always be kept moist and should be placed with the fruit in a flat rearing container. The cotton wool must be kept sufficiently moist throughout, taking care to avoid waterlogging and direct sunlight. It takes around 14 days for the plant to develop the first shoots. When the young tree has reached a sufficient size, it is time to plant it in a larger bucket.

Variant two - quite classic with substrate

As an alternative to cotton, it is also possible to use a rather lean substrate consisting of sand and earth. It does not have to be a nutrient-rich soil, as the chestnut is very undemanding, especially in its beginnings. But even with the classic propagation variant with substrate you should make sure that no waterlogging is present. The soil-sand mixture, as well as the cotton wool should be kept moist throughout and should be stored with the chestnut in a shallow cultivation vessel. The chestnut should be placed with the soft side down in the growing soil, as the roots shoot out here.

Variant three - the propagation with cuttings

The deciduous trees, which are really excellent as a shade in large gardens, can also be wonderfully propagated with cuttings. For this you need several shoots of a chestnut in the spring, which should be between 20 and 30 inches long. All but the top four leaf pairs must be removed. Then put the shoots about 5 centimeters deep into the soil and make sure that the substrate around the shoot is always kept moist. Again, of course, that waterlogging is to be avoided. Direct sunlight is not so bad in this variant of propagation, but can quickly lead to dehydration of the earth around the shoot.For irrigation, it makes sense to dispense with the watering can and prefer to use a water atomizer. So you not only prevent waterlogging - you also ensure that the earth remains evenly moist around the shoots.

When a small tree has arisen....

When the first small tree has emerged from the small seedling and this has also outgrown the planter, it is time to plant it in the place that you intended for your chestnut. The necessary nutrient supply now becomes important. Because at this stage of growth the chestnut needs a lot of nutrients and enough water. If you plant the tree out of the pot into the ground, you should definitely fill the hole with a good layer of humus or fertilizer before you use the young tree. As a result, especially foliage and grass clippings are ideal for fertilizing the chestnut. Distributed around the tree, the slowly decomposing natural plant fertilizers ensure that your young tree always has enough nutrients available.


The horse chestnut is one of the trees that can be easily reproduced and often reach a stately growth even among home gardeners, without you having to fear an increased infestation of diseases. If you have chosen the right location for your chestnut tree, you will surely have some decades of fun on this impressive, shady and especially beautiful deciduous tree.

Video Board: How to Dwarf a Tree.

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