Chestnut Tree

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Castanea Sativa Mill.

The Chestnut tree is native of southern Europe, North Africa and western Asia. It is also on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, on the shores of the Caspian Sea and in southern England. The regions in Italy where the cultivation of chestnut fruit takes on greater importance are Campania, Sicily, Lazio, Piemonte and Tuscany. Chestnuts are rich in starch and in many mountain areas of Italy have represented up to 50 years, the main source of food. The chestnut belongs to the family of Fagaceae: the genus Castanea includes: - Castanea sativa Mill. Or European chestnut, popular in Europe; - Castanea crenata Sieb. and Zucc., or Japanese chestnut, widespread in Asia and resistant to ink disease and cancer of the cortex; - Castanea pumila Mill, or the American chestnut, popular in North America. The European chestnut is a plant long-lived, centuries, up to 25 meters high, with trunks sometimes imposing girth, much expanded and branched crown, deciduous, elliptical-oblong, the margin serrate, almost coraicee, green in color and intense glossy, lighter at the bottom. Monoecious plant. The male inflorescences are represented by spikes 10-20 cm long, greenish-yellow in color. Those women are composed of individual flowers or gathered in groups of 2-3 at the base of the panicle. The flowering occurs in midsummer. The fruit is represented by a nut that chestnut, entirely covered by a dome spinosa, called hedgehog. Pollination can be anemophilous or entomophilous, so very important is the presence of bees. The chestnut loves the deep ground, light, permeable, rich in nutrients, with pH slightly acidic, with little or no limestone. Does not tolerate heavy, poorly drained soils. It is a plant heliophilous, loves temperate climates, while enduring cold winter also very intense. Four groups are considered distinct varieties: Brown, Chestnuts, Hybrid Euro-Japanese, Japanese. - Brown: they are regarded as the fruits of chestnut who present inside the skin, whole fruit, not seven, with the film (episperma) which does not penetrate into the flesh, and that comes off easily in the operations of peeling. Chestnuts are particularly sought after, and the size of the fruits of different varieties can be considered medium to large (55 to 70 fruit per kg), all varieties are derived from European chestnut (Castanea sativa). Plants are a good force posture assurgente. The entry into production occurs after the 5th and 6th years after planting or dall'innesto. Almost all varieties of brown are astaminee, that is devoid of male flowers and therefore need the presence of pollinators. The most widely used and recommended are: Florence Brown, Marrone di Caprese Michelangelo, Marrone di Viterbo, Marrone di Marradi, Marrone di Castel del Rio Marrone di Susa, S. Brown Mauro di Saline, Marrone di Chiusa Pesio Borgovelino of brown, brown comballi (France), Brown Bouche Rouge (France), Brown Goujounac (France), Brown Epine Belle (France). The maturing of the fruits of this variety group can be considered medium-late and starts toward the end of September. Are considered good pollinators of Brown: among the European "Chestnut of the della Madonna" or "Canale d'Alba," Brown Epine Belle "," Brown Goujounac. Excellent pollinators are considered hybrids eurogiapponesi "Early Migoule", "Marsol", "Bournette", "Bouche de Betizac. - Chestnuts: This group includes many popular varieties in different areas castanicole and Italian are all derived from European chestnut. The fruit set commercially under the name of "chestnuts" are of different size (45 to 110 fruits per 1 kg) and are characterized by a film that can penetrate deep inside the interior of the pulp, in some cases to divide (fruit set), the fruit have a dual-purpose: fresh consumption and processing into white dried chestnuts, and for some variety, candied chestnuts. While presenting the same plant the male and female flowers of all varieties require cross-pollination. The varieties of chestnut "most popular are: Chestnut Lady of Canal of Alba (early maturing), Bracalla (a large fruit), red Garrone (prized for its taste and size of the pulp), Pistoia , Reggiolana, Chestnut of Montella (excellent for dried chestnuts), N'zerta, Riggiola and seagulls. - Euro-japanese: they are derived from natural cross or driving time between the European chestnut (Castanea sativa) and Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata) were introduced in Italy in the mid 70s. The main features are a strong resistance of some variety to the "cancer of the cortex, a lower sensitivity to the" ink disease ", the development content that allows the construction of installations with lower sixth, striking precocity to the coming into production , size of fruits with high, almost all the varieties, the characteristics of brown, earliness of ripening and harvesting of fruit that begins in September, before browns and chestnuts, are mutually pollinate each other. In Northern Italy should not be located in an altitude above 700 m. Varieties pi Euro-japanese notes are: First, Early Migoule, Bournette, Bouche De Betizac, Marsol. - Japanese: the most important varieties of Castanea crenata are: Tanzawa and Ginyose. They are characterized by reduced plant development, need a rational irrigation and annual pruning to allow for ongoing renewal of the crown to avoid alternating production. The type of farming is best suited to this species is the vessel rather loose, very close to the natural form, obtained from a scaffold rather high (120-150 cm) and then a very small pruning. The collection, scale as the aging, is implemented by the raccattatura or gently shaking. The production ranges from 10 q.li / ha of chestnut trees in marginal areas to 40-50 q.li / ha in the intensive. Semi-hard wood is used mainly in the manufacture of furniture and props. The disease most dangerous for the chestnut is still the "cancer of the cortex. The infection enters the plant through wounds and, therefore, all pruning cuts and wounds caused by any mechanical means or by hail should be disinfected with copper salts or other. Even the "ink disease" can be dangerous when they occur access to moisture accumulation of leaves or organic matter around the various strains, which is why the logs should be kept clean and disinfected regularly.