I think you know what you are doing here... :)
By Ol'Bones
#304407
I tried some of the Realtree Dunstan chestnut trees this summer. I planted 5 near a stand on some ground we own. In Oct. while bow hunting I noticed the closest looked broken. It was snapped about shoulder high at a knot. what looked like the last time the tree had been pruned. On my last card pull I found a second one is broken about 2.5 to 3 ft. high again at a knot. My question. Is this common, abuse from critters or is this some trespasser with really low ethics? The first one looked more like it was broken with a hand and looked like it killed the top but was still hanging there. Now I can't even find that tree.(snow is still down) And have a second one broke. This looks kind of like a hinge type of break and the tree looks to be still alive. Bones
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By johnnydeerhunter
#304408
Bears will bend trees over to mark their territory. They are usually about shoulder to head high and it looks like someone bent the tree over and maybe twisted it once or twice.
By Ol'Bones
#304470
I don't know what happened. I guess I need another camera to watch my trees! We have a big clumsy fox squirrel in our neck of the woods and a lot of coons. Don't think we are suppose to have bears? Bones
By Ol'Bones
#304574
I just planted them. No tubes. ... No bark is missing , no scratches. Just broken. Could I spilt a section of drain tile and put that around them? Or chicken wire (fence). Where do you get tree tubes or cages? Bones
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By mattpatt
#304576
I would either fence them off or tube them. Www.treeprotectionsupply.com for the tubes. I use 2x4 welded wire to make cages. Needs or be at least 5' tall to prevent deer browse.
By yoderj@cox.net
#304585
I grew mine from seed rather than spending $25/tree and planted in volume. Everyone else who I talked to who planted chestnuts told me that they were a favorite browse for deer. They said the best bet was to cage them. The best cages I've seen are made out of cement wire and heavy duty T-posts. That is fine if you are buying a half dozen bare root trees, but not when you are planting hundreds. I went the tree tube route last year. I tried a variety of tubes, some 18" with mesh tops and some 3' tall with mesh tops. I used bamboo to stake the small tubes which was a mistake. The bamboo rotted on many and the blew over. I simply removed those tubes. I have seen no deer use so far (they were planted last spring). None on the trees without tubes and none on the branches sticking through the mesh.

I did have a few trees break when the tubes were blown over. Upon examination, these were brittle and apparently did not take properly. I'd see what happens to those broken trees next spring. If they don't green-up properly, they likely did not get established properly.

I also had a neighbor's calves get loose on my property and they knocked over a few of the 3' tubes with pvc stakes. Those trees had properly established and were very flexible. They stood back up with no problem.

My Dunstan chestnuts cost me very little since I'm growing them from seed, but if I were playing $25/tree for them, I'd certainly spend a little extra money to cage them.

Thanks,

Jack
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By mattpatt
#304588
Hi Jack,

Nice to see someone else isn't seeing much browse on your chestnuts. I have planted a bunch of Chinese chestnut seedlings and plan to plant many Dunstans from seed. There is no way I could possibly afford to tube them all so my plan was to tube what can and just let the rest of them go and see what happens. My hunch is that the deer won't bother them too bad as we have a relatively low population and there is always lots for them to eat during spring and summer as we maintain several multi-acre food plots. Plus our deer seem to be slow to try new things.
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By mattpatt
#304590
Also on the subject of cost.. Unless you just want to try Dunstans you will get better bang for your buck if you buy Chinese chestnut seedlings instead. You can get 12-18" Chinese seedlings for around $2-$3 depending on where you look. I've seen Dunstans as high as $25 each. Chinese chestnuts grow fast and the deer love them just as much as the Dunstans. However, as Jack stated, where it really gets inexpensive is growing them from seed.

Matt
By yoderj@cox.net
#304593
Matt,

We have high deer densities and I'm not out of the woods yet. This was a mast crop failure year and the deer have just destroyed our food plots as a result. Others, even in our state, have significant issues with deer browsing chestnuts. I'm not sure why we don't. The only thing I can figure is that we have some other more attractive food source available at the times deer tend to browse them. If I don't see any significant browse pressure on the non-tubed trees by April, I'll be planting the next batch without protection.

Dunstan chestnuts have some really nice characteristics, but they are overhyped in the hunting community right now. That is why you are seeing the $25/tree prices. When you grow them from seed, there is no real cost difference.

Last year I started with 200 chestnuts and about 150 of them made it to the field. I planted 125 in the spring and another 25 I kept in rootmakers over the summer and planted in the fall. This year I started with 400 nuts. I changed my technique a bit this year and seem to be having more mold issues. As of yesterday a little over 100 of them had produced root radicles and were planted in rootmaker cells. The rest are still sitting in flats waiting to germinate.

If you ever decide to grow some from seed, I'll point you to my documentation thread with pictures.

Thanks,

Jack
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By mattpatt
#304595
Sorry if I hijacked the thread...

Jack,

I have about 40 Dunstan Chestnut seeds right now that I have been storing them dry in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator. They have been there since November when I received them from Chestnet Ridge. I plan to direct plant these with 2' tubes in another month or so. I also frequent the QDMA forums and enjoy reading all your posts.

Matt
By Ol'Bones
#304652
This browsing, is it done after the leaves fall. The damage came after October all leaves had turned if not fallen they were bare but very flexible. When will these trees produce nuts if any survive? Bones
By yoderj@cox.net
#304658
Since I haven't had any browsing issues, I can't speak from personal experience on that. I would think it would depend on your location and other food sources available.

As for bearing fruit, under optimal conditions they can bear nuts in 2-4 years. How they will perform for you depends a lot on the resources available in your situation. In my poor soils, I'll be happy if they bear in 5+ years.
By Sodbuster
#304677
This browsing, is it done after the leaves fall. The damage came after October all leaves had turned if not fallen they were bare but very flexible. When will these trees produce nuts if any survive? Bones

Can't speak for chestnuts, but yes deer will nip off the end of branches of young trees when there are no leaves.
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