My neighbor once again this year generously offered us chestnuts from his tree. We enjoyed them thoroughly last year, with our favorite use in a fabulous lentil chestnut soup. We made it for Christmas Day and are looking forward to it again this year.
We didn’t have chestnuts around Ohio where I lived before moving here, so last year was the first time we’d experienced them other than from a pushcart of roasted chestnuts at Christmas. They’re tricky to get out of the shell, but well worth the effort.
My neighbor mentioned that his tree isn’t producing as well this year as previous years and that the nuts don’t seem as large. The only guidance I’ve found suggests that frequent, heavy rains during the time the female flowers are awaiting pollen usually results in poor pollination.
Does anyone else have any experience or guidance to give?
BTW, they continue to have good experiences with crossing a small amount of Chinese chestnut DNA with American chestnut DNA to produce an American chestnut that’s blight resistant. Many people involved in research believe that the American chestnut can one day populate this area again.