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Castanea pumila, Alleghany Chinkapin

Chinkapin's will grow best in full-day sun. It is tolerant of drought, being native to dry sandy ridge tops, but prefers good soil which is loose, not dry, and not too wet. Any advantages of using this tree may be overshadowed by the potential disease problems (although it is moderately resistant to chestnut blight), so plant it in limited numbers. Most plants I have seen are less than 25 feet tall but these can be pruned and trained into a small multi-stemmed tree. There are several plants growing nicely in Gainesville. Wood is considered ring porous.

This plant can be grown as a multi-trunk tree for use in highway median strips and in landscapes, or can be used as a street tree where there is not a need for tall-vehicle clearance beneath the crown. The small stature and low, spreading, branching habit makes pruning for vehicular clearance difficult unless it is properly trained from an early age to develop one main trunk. The effort required initially to train this tree for street tree use, however, may be offset by its advantages.

Trees appear to be drought tolerant having pulled through the recent 4 year dry period nicely. The creamy white flowers borne in spring add a certain softness to any landscape.

National champion is 55 x 60 feet in Florida.

Chinkapin Photos

Alleghany Chinkapin

Alleghany Chinkapin Leaves

Alleghany Chinkapin Leaves

Alleghany Chinkapin Flowers