SPROUTING SEEDS AND GROWING CHESTNUT AND PERSIMMON TREES

GROWING CHESTNUT TREES IN YOUR YARD

AP_08100305280-1-1000x666.webp

Sprouting Chestnut Seeds

The chestnuts will require a minimum of two to three months of cold before they will germinate.  After cold storage the chestnuts can be planted indoors in containers around February and March and provided with bright light, or planted outside in the spring once the ground thaws. 

  • Place nuts in a plastic bag with moist peat moss. Be sure to poke holes in the bag for gas exchange. If you can squeeze water from the peat moss, it’s too wet! Peat moss has anti-fungal properties that will help to prevent the growth of mold. Fungal growth is still possible, and nuts should be checked every few weeks for present of mold or rot. Any nuts that are soft and squishy should be discarded. Nuts with mold on the surface can be washed off well with dish soap or a light bleach solution and returned to storage. Replace medium if mold has grown into it.   

  • Keep seeds cold but don’t freeze them. The vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator is usually a good climate. Between 34° and 40° is optimal. The radicle (young root) will likely emerge during cold storage. Move seeds as little as possible. The radicle is fragile. If it breaks, the seed will no longer be viable. Best not to store with fresh fruit, as the ethylene produced can cause the chestnuts to ripen too quickly.

  • After 3 months, plant the nut in a container of peat moss and sand. Tall narrow containers with good drainage are the best.

  • Plant seeds no more than a ½-1 nch deep, and be careful with the radicle, which should point down.

  • Place in a sunny spot and water lightly until germination. Allow the potting mix to mostly dry out between watering.

Sprouting Persimmon Seeds

The seeds require 24-hour scarification and a 90 day stratification before they will germinate.  After cold storage the seeds can be planted indoors in containers around February and March and provided with bright light, or planted outside in the spring once the ground thaws. 

  • Soak seeds in water for 24 hours; 

  • Place seeds in a plastic bag with moist peat moss. Be sure to poke holes in the bag for gas exchange. If you can squeeze water from the peat moss, it’s too wet! Peat moss has anti-fungal properties that will help to prevent the growth of mold. Fungal growth is still possible, and seeds should be checked every few weeks for present of mold or rot. Any seeds that are soft and squishy should be discarded. Seeds with mold on the surface can be washed off well with dish soap or a light bleach solution and returned to storage. Replace medium if mold has grown into it.   

  • Keep seeds cold but don’t freeze them. The vegetable crisper drawer in the refrigerator is usually a good climate. Between 34° and 40° is optimal.    

  • After 90 days, plant the seeds in a tall, plastic container with drainage holes. The container needs to be tall because persimmon trees develop their long taproot very early. The seed should be planted 2” deep in sterile potting soil and placed in a bright location where the temperature is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Because persimmon seeds have a 25-35% germination rate, plant multiple seeds for the best chance of success. You should see persimmon seedlings in 6-8 weeks.

HAPPY GROWING!