Planting mast orchards is a great way to attract and keep more wildlife on a plot and improve habitat. Chestnut Hill Outdoors offers a variety of options, but as the company name indicates, Dunstan Chestnuts offers several significant advantages.
Plague resistance: After receiving buds from a healthy American chestnut tree discovered in a grove of dead and dying trees in Ohio, Dr. Robert T. Dunstan grafted it onto a chestnut rootstock and then crossed it with specially selected Asian varieties. Dunstan then selected individuals with the best hybrid characteristics from the new stock, crossing them with the American and Chinese parent trees until he developed a variety strongly resistant to blight.
Reliability: Dunstan’s chestnut trees flower later in the spring. As a result, they are much less susceptible to large-scale mast harvest failures, sometimes caused by late frosts. Also, they lack the boom and bust cycles more common in oaks.
Better growth: Dunstan chestnut trees grow faster and ultimately larger than oak trees. Under optimal conditions, they can bear nuts in two to five years, while a white oak tree may not bear fruit for 20 years. Even sawtooth oaks take longer. And at maturity, Dunstan’s chestnut trees can reach 60 feet in height and 40 feet in spread.
Productivity: Perhaps best of all, Dunstan chestnuts become prolific hard mast producers, up to 50-100 pounds per tree at maturity. Additionally, Dunstan’s chestnuts are more prominent, averaging 15 to 35 nuts per pound, compared to China walnuts (35 to 100 per pound) and American walnuts (75 to 150 per pound).
Nuts have less tannins, which makes them sweeter and more flavorful. And finally, they are nutritionally superior, containing four times the carbohydrates of a white oak acorn, 2.5 times the protein, and only a fraction of the fat.
Preference: In tests conducted by Dr. James Kroll at the Whitetail Research Institute in Nacogdoches, TX, deer selected chestnuts in a 100:1 ratio over acorns, even though wild deer at this location had never seen a chestnut That’s perhaps less surprising, considering that chestnuts were once the most abundant species in the hardwood forests of eastern North America.
Landowners and managers make choices by selecting the tallest species to attract and feed wildlife. That choice becomes that much easier when one like Dunstan Chestnut stands out from the pack.
Chestnut Hill Outdoors is more than just a daycare. To ensure you receive the maximum benefit from their products, they also provide great advice and instructions on proper planting and care. And they make sure that the plants you receive are suited to your regional climate. For more information on the varieties listed above and all Chestnut Hill Outdoors products and how to care for them, visit ChestnutHillOutdoors.com or call (855) 386-7826.
Chestnut Hill is the best place to buy your deer feedlot and attractant plants because they offer a great selection, their plants are grown specifically to attract deer, and they offer customers different size plants at different growth levels.
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