Dunstan chestnut trees offer deer, other wildlife plenty of chow

Want to make the remarkable addition of a natural wildlife food on your hunting property without having to drop the first disc, plow or cultipacker in the soil?

Just dig a hole and let a Dunstan chestnut tree do the rest.

Dunstan chestnuts are a hybrid between a Chinese chestnut variety and a single, American chestnut that survived the deadly blight of the 1930s that destroyed 30 million acres of what was arguably the most-important tree in the nation’s first 150 years.

The hybrid chestnut was the brainchild of Dr. Robert Dunstan, a Windsor, N.C., native and graduate of Trinity College, the predecessor of Duke University.

Chestnuts are high in carbohydrates and proteins and will attract deer, squirrels and other wildlife, and they produce at only 3 to 5 years of age, eventually dropping up to 50 pounds of nuts (20 to 35 per pound) per tree every September and October — not every other year like some oaks.

Best times to plant in the Southeast are spring months.

MSRP: $24.95-$29.95.

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About Dan Kibler 115 Articles
Dan Kibler is managing editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has been writing about the outdoors since 1985.

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