The American Chestnut (C. vesca) is rarely seen in our public squares; but for what reason a tree so grand and imposing should be neglected, I have never been able to learn, unless it is the one given by a former mayor of the city of Boston. When asked why he did not encourage the planting of Chestnuts, Walnuts and Oaks, among other trees on the Common, he replied that the boys would mutilate the trees in gathering the nuts. Since then, one of his successors in office has ordered squirrels for domestication in this celebrated park. Would it not have been better to plant the trees most appropriate for these little animals in advance of their introduction to cify life? Would they not have felt a little more at home, where there was a plenty of nut-bearing trees, rather than among Elms, Lindens, etc. ?
The Spanish or Sweet Chestnut is from the south of Europe. This is also a beautiful tree, with foliage equally elegant as that of our native species. The nuts are much larger, sweet, but not of so rich a flavor as our own species. It bears nuts when the trees are quite young.