This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The chestnut is bi-sexual. The first flowers which give the pretty white cast to a chestnut wood are wholly male, and fall before the female flowers on the same tree open. But where these flowers are formed there is also a string of males above them, and they have been taken to be the flowers which fertilized the female flowers at the base of the spike. These observations seem to show that this is not the case. The fertilization seems to be effected by the pollen from some other tree, when fertilized at all, - and this leads the curious inquirer to wonder what the second crop of male flowers were formed for. Have they no use in the economy of the individual tree?