This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In a recent issue of the Monthly, I notice a few notes relative to the Spanish chestnut, and it occurred to me that a few notes giving my experience would prove to be of interest to many. At this place, Oatlands, we have perhaps one of the finest specimens to be found in the country. It measures thirteen feet nine inches in circumference, and is from sixty-five to seventy feet in height, with wide spreading branches. It commences to branch some fifteen feet from the ground, the branches extending over thirty-five feet from the trunk. As they are symmetrically produced, and extend equally in all directions, it forms as perfect a specimen as one would wish to see, and when in bloom presents a beautiful appearance - one worth coming a considerable distance to see. It produces an abundant crop of nuts every other year, but, unfortunately, they are so infested with worms as to render the greater portion worthless. The nuts are much larger than those of our native variety, but, in my opinion, quite inferior in quality, as they do not possess that sweet, nutty flavor of our natives.
For cooking purposes, however, they would be far superior could they be obtained free from insect life.
The Spanish chestnut, however, is an excellent ornamental shade tree for the lawn, both on account of its rapid, handsome, symmetrical growth, and its freedom from insect pests, and, as a proof of its rapid growth, I may mention that some nuts planted in the fall of 1875 produced trees that are now some twenty-five feet in height, and which fruited freely last season. It is claimed by some that this chestnut is rather tender in many situations when young. It may be, in very exposed situations, but not in others, for it is my opinion that if small trees of this chestnut were properly planted and cared for, it would be found to be perfectly hardy in many situations where it is now considered as tender. Queens, N. Y.